External influences telling you how you should act and look are hard on your self-esteem. Or, perhaps there are certain aspects of your appearance or personality that you wish were tweaked. As a result of feeling this way, you may not appreciate your uniqueness. You receive reinforcement by your friends and family to remind you how great you truly are, but your opinion about yourself consistently breaks such support. Though it may be hard for you to love yourself, know that there are ways to gradually change your mindset.
First, stop calling yourself names. Your self-image won’t improve if you’re always putting yourself down. Making mistakes is a human thing to do and God created no person perfect. He left us imperfect so that we had opportunity to grow and learn to become more like Him. Rather than putting yourself down, vocalize things that you like about yourself. Maybe you have a great taste in music or are a great cook. Aspects such as these should be pointed out rather than disregarded.
Ask yourself what are some of your favorite qualities in others. When you reflect on who your favorite people are in comparison to yourself, you’ll be surprised to find that some of their best qualities you also have. It’s easy to not realize the greatness in others is something you also possess.
A new wardrobe, haircut or group of friends will not make you love yourself.
Besides vocalizing aspects of yourself, write out your strengths and build off them. Start somewhere, even if it’s just one positive thing about yourself. One is better than zero. As each week comes to a close, add something new to the list. Make sure you’re specific by using verbs rather than general adjectives. With each passing day face yourself in the mirror and read those strengths out loud. Using someone rather than yourself won’t have the same effect—they already love you therefore need no convincing; you must love yourself.
Recognize that changing the things you don’t like will not improve how you feel about yourself. No matter what you change, you will still be the same person you were before. A new wardrobe, haircut or group of friends will not make you love yourself. When it comes to your personality, pretending to be different than who you really are at heart will hurt you down deep! Suffocating yourself with “what ifs” will have a tremendous negative effect. It’s a dangerous game to play.
Most importantly, seek guidance and comfort from God. When you feel doubtful of yourself, pray to Him to find guidance. God put you on Earth for a reason—you have more purpose than you think. You may not realize it, but when you belittle yourself, you belittle your Father. However, His power shall guide you through your sad moments, and put you in a better place. Never doubt the strength of God and His will to lift you higher. When you feel doubt in yourself, say these out loud:
- “I have the mind of Christ and hold the thoughts, feelings and purpose of His heart.” (Corinthians 2:16)
- “Jesus is Lord over my spirit, my soul and my body. Jesus has been made unto me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 4:13)
It can be a battle to feel good about yourself, but don’t give up hope. Positive progress takes time and patience. Never give up on yourself. Before you know it, you’ll see the good in you that everyone else does; and, you will feel how God feels about you. Chin up!