Uplifting

5 Steps to Feeling Comfortable in Your Own Skin

“Why can’t I be more like other people? No matter what I do, I just can’t seem to measure up to other people. My self-worth is dependent on other people’s perception of me.”

I heard this a lot when growing up. Whispered among friends, implied through actions, and eventually echoed around in my own head. No matter what society or culture you grew up in, being judged and compared to those around you is an inevitable fact of life. Trying to hide from it is futile; the only thing you can do is to build self-assurance and grow more confident in who you are so that you come to believe in yourself and your self-worth. Find and build yourself until your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters.

1. Don’t feel bad about doing things alone

I know many people who pity someone eating alone in a restaurant or going to a movie theater alone, but I encourage you to do the same thing sometimes. Doing things alone will sometimes great opportunities to learn more about yourself. Watch the movies you want to watch, eat the food you want to eat and enjoy the privacy of eating it uninterrupted! And don’t hide from any awkwardness you might feel the first couple times by burying your head in your phone or a book. This is all about learning to feel comfortable with yourself. If you don’t want to be with yourself, how do you expect other people to want to be around you?

2. Try everything! Find your passion

Don’t shy away from things you’ve never done before. Knowledge is never a bad thing. You will have much more to talk about and can join in on a larger variety of conversations. Volunteer, join a club, take some classes. Think you might enjoy something, but you’re not sure? Do it and find out! You may even find your purpose in life while you’re at it. It will take a bit of courage, but take it one thing at a time and you may be surprised at what you can do.

3. Practice self-awareness and tune into your emotions

Honing your emotional intelligence is an important part of understanding yourself. Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and channel your emotions in an effective and productive way. Did something make you angry or disappointed? Try to understand why it made you feel that way, and maybe a little tweak in your perception of the situation will help you feel differently. Knowing how you feel and react towards certain things and in different situations will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Your tenacity might surprise you.

4. Connect with your body, don’t just look at it

There was a time when I couldn’t pass by anything reflective without sneaking a peek to make sure every tiny detail was still in place. Now, I only look long enough in the washroom to make sure I’m decent. Trust in your image of yourself. You know what you look like, but do you know what you feel like? Do things that help connect you with your body. I practice yoga and pilates in total silence (or some really soft music). I find that there’s nothing better to connect with your body than fully concentrating on how your body moves. Find healthy foods that help you feel more balanced and whole. Trust your body to know what it wants. When you are feeling energetic, clear-headed, and happy, you won’t need a reflection to tell you how great you look.

5. Learn to laugh at yourself!

I used to be embarrassed by my imperfections and would try to pretend they didn’t exist, which made for some awkward moments when they inevitably showed themselves. Since then, I’ve learned that no one is perfect. Accept your imperfections and don’t take yourself too seriously. When you learn to laugh at yourself, you will find more people who will laugh WITH you.

An important note to keep in mind: Take baby steps and be patient with yourself! You won’t change overnight. If you take too big of a leap, you’ll just feel more disappointed if you fail. Remember, your goal is not to break out of your boundaries, but just stretching them a little bit at a time.

Above all else, remember that your self-worth is never dependent on the approval of others. The only approval you need is that from yourself.

Kaitlyn Lo

Kaitlyn is a blogger and professional writer. While specializing in health and relationship topics, she also writes articles on a variety of topics, including culture, food, technology, and politics. Her written work can be found on pilcrowmagazine.com and newbiechef.wordpress.com. Her portfolio can be found at kaitlynlo.com.
  • Khalila

    Wonderful points. Thanks for your encouraging words.