This is a topic that’s been on my mind for a little while – about finding comfort (and dare I say it, happiness!) in our own skin. It’s one of the easiest changes we say we are going to make in our lives, but one of the hardest to actually do. It’s easy to read a post or a quote about “falling in love with yourself,” but to actually look at yourself in the mirror, or more importantly to reflect within, and be in love with what you see and feel is tough. It’s a journey. But it’s attainable, and it’s got to be the most important journey we can possibly take ourselves on. You have to love yourself.
I look around a room and pick out the fittest people, or the happiest people, or the fittest and happiest people in an attempt to gauge who falls into the category of being happy with the way they look. Being a gymnast, I see a lot of people with incredible bodies. But the thing is, no one is perfect. The people who have bodies that I think are awesome probably have a thing or two that they don’t like about themselves. But hey, people may be thinking the same things about you.
That’s the sad thing about living in this image-driven world – we can be entirely perfect and beautiful in a stranger’s eyes, but in our own eyes we pick ourselves apart. We might be healthy, active, fit and attractive, but we are always going to find that one thing about ourselves that we don’t like. And if we fix that, we will already be focusing on the next issue.
I think we should all challenge ourselves to let those judgments of ourselves go. Problem is, we have already established how hard that it is to do. So I pose this test to you: view yourself from someone else’s eyes. Look at yourself as the stranger in the gym who sees you, or the girl passing you by on the sidewalk. See yourself from the eyes of a stranger, a loved one, or an old friend. Tell yourself you can be that person that someone else chooses to be. Because you are happy, healthy, friendly and confident. Not because you have a perfect body.
Let’s be honest, we aren’t going to be happy with ourselves 100% of the time. I’m admitting this as someone who has a really hard time with body image and tending to prioritize exercise and fitness (not necessarily health) above most things. It’s just the truth. You’ve got to be realistic and set achievable goals for yourself if you want to reach them. And once you do that, you can begin the process of falling in love with yourself.
Next time you look in the mirror, I challenge you to pretend you are seeing yourself for the first time. Pretend you have one shot to make an impression on yourself. How would you carry yourself? What would you want to see?