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How can I love myself when I don’t like the way I look? [Here is how I did!]

(Last Updated On: March 27, 2023)

Welcome to my body love series epi: 1 -“How can I love myself when I don’t like the way I look”?

How can I love myself when I don't like the way I look [Here is how I did!]

I remember being 16 when I truly did not like anything about myself, I came across so many youtube videos that talked about self-love,

Women in videos talk and share why self-love is important, and we should just feel beautiful.

As a 16-year-old this was difficult for me to grasp,

I wondered, “How can I love myself when I don’t even like the way I look?”

and I know you must be thinking well loving yourself is not just about body

Yes, it is not, But it plays a huge part in your self-esteem and self-respect

Self-love is incomplete without self-respect and positive inner talk

The words you constantly think in your mind about yourself have a huge effect on your inner being

The treatment you are giving to yourself is not kind and is not a part of self-love

So to answer

Can you love yourself when you don’t like the way you look?

Yes, but keeping in mind that you do respect and stay kind to your body

You may not feel the most beautiful or perfect looking, which is fine

Body neutrality is equally important

You can still love yourself

But if you are constantly degrading yourself by saying things like

“I am not enough”

“I look ugly”

Then you cannot love yourself truly

In another way, you may practice self-love

But it will be an incomplete form of self-love

Self-respect is a part of love, So for those wondering “How can I love myself when I don’t like the way I look?

You don’t necessarily have to be in love with how you look, but it is important to accept and have neutral feelings toward your looks

It is a part of you, and each part of your body plays an important function in your to live.

You need to respect and value your body as a part of loving yourself

Without it, Self-love has no value!

I have been through this phase and…

If I am being honest, at that time, I never thought there would be a day,

I would actually love myself without changing anything about myself and not seeing my presumed flaws as flaws

But I did!

Its been years, and I don’t feel the same way I did back then

If you are going through the phase of life as I did

Maybe, feeling insecure about your long nose, your height, body type, or some other features

I can totally feel you!

I have been there, and I am grateful that I can share with you through this post some ways that helped me love myself truly when I did not like the way I looked or changed any parts of my body!

let’s, begin!

How can I love myself when I don't like the way I look [Here is how I did!]

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My Back story with Insecurity

I think it’s important to share my back story before I go into detail about ways that have helped me.

I remember I started feeling insecure around when I was 10-11, although, it was subconscious, I used to feel low and not confident in myself.

With time it started to get more serious.

I was insecure about everything from my nose, height, body, acne, and braces

Not to mention, all of this started somewhere when someone pointed out this as an issue one or more times

“Your nose is too big”

“You are so short”

“Why do you have so much acne?” and many more criticisms

The thing is, those words stay with you forever. I remember who and what they said to me, which even now, I have not forgotten

When I reached the age of 16, I became aware and realized for the first time that I am insecure and dealing with body image issues

I learned it through the internet and youtube videos where people talked about these issues openly

It was only after that, I started to work on small things to change myself

It was not until I reached 18 that I finally felt sick of feeling this way, always worrying about my looks and feeling underconfident

This feeling, after so many years, had now become burdensome

and I wanted to feel free from it

I wanted to enjoy my life without constantly worrying about how I looked. I wanted to feel confident as much as other people did and to love and respect myself and so

I started my self-love journey, and in about a year, everything changed

Now, I no longer feel this way, and I am so happy and content with how I look

Trust me, you can feel this too! Hence, in this Post, I will share with you everything!

Why do I feel like I don’t look good?

How can I love myself when I don't like the way I look

Before sharing the solution, I feel it is extremely important to dive into this feeling we often feel and the effect it has on our life.

There is no single person in this world who has not gone through this stage of not feeling good or not liking the way they look.

Even Angelina Jolie has said in an interview, she often feels insecure about how she looks.

It all goes down to society and how we were brought up

We all see models with thin, small, and sloppy noses, having skinny bodies or hourglass figures

And we compare them to our real life

With social media, things have gotten even more serious!

To summarize, these are the main reasons why we often feel insecure about looks

  • body shaming
  •  Always comparing
  •  Judgments
  •  Social media perfectly edited pictures and filters
  •  Movies and shows that often make actors look flawless

And especially as women, we keep thinking, about how we look all the time.

By going through all these issues for years, our mind naturally feels like

we don’t look good

Or not as good as the person in this picture or this celebrity

It has built low self-esteem, this is why we naturally feel like people are constantly judging and thinking we don’t look

because we think, we don’t look good!

Self love and Body Image

Self love and Body Image

Many things come under self-love apart from our body image, but it also has an important role in loving ourself

I remember when I did not like the way I looked, I used to use negative self-talk

Saying words like my nose looks so bad”

“I wish I was a little taller”

“Everybody must think I look bad”

“Nobody would want to be friends with me”

This negative self-talk was contributing to my

  • low confidence ( not being able to stand confidently and talk to people)
  •  Constantly looking for ways to change my appearance
  •  Always belittling myself
  •  Lowering my self-respect by not standing up for myself when someone made fun because I too did not like the way I looked

These were just a few things that affected my life daily and one of the reasons I struggled to love myself too.

Self-love is incomplete without self-respect and positive inner talk, as I mentioned at the starting.

Our inner dialogue, the way we speak to ourselves and let others treat us the way they want, plays a huge part in self-love

If you constantly keep saying to yourself “I am not good looking”

You will let others make fun of you too

My point is, Both self-love and body image are connected.

So to love yourself, you need to change your perspective and behavior toward your body image.

If you are going through body image issues!

I will share some tips that helped me 🙂

How to love yourself when you don’t like the way you look- 11 things that helped me

How can I love myself when I don't like the way I look

1. Realizing my insecurity

The first important thing that opened my way toward starting my self-love journey, was realizing that I was insecure and going through body image issues.

I started feeling this way when I was 10, but nothing changed until I was 16, and I realized that I am going through insecurity and low self-esteem.

After learning about this, is when I started to learn more and find ways to overcome it.

Realize and accept your feelings

Be honest with yourself and become aware of how you feel

This is being vulnerable with yourself, which you may find challenging in the start but,

It is important because it will help you work towards loving yourself

2. Accepting How I look

Easier said than done

I know, but eventually, you need to accept how you look

And by that, I don’t mean- you should accept, the fact you don’t look good because that is not true

At the end of the day, You have to realize, that the beauty standard that is created is not real

and they change as the trend goes

Our body is not a trend

Back in the day, the skinny fit was a trend, everyone wanted to look skinny and wear low-rise jeans,

years later even that changed to hourglass thick figures, and now skinny fashion looks like it’s going to coming back.

Our body, as I said is not a fashion trend.

It plays a deeper role in our life for us to survive and function every day.

You cannot go around changing your body all the time because that’s what is trending.

It is not only toxic but too much

Accept how you are and embrace each part of your body

Changing my inner dialogue

Changing my inner dialogue was one of the most helpful ways that I learned to love myself and embrace how I look.

Even though my negative inner dialogue started when people pointed out a few features, or you say my “flaws”

But it got worse by me. As it is said, “nobody criticises us more than we criticise ourselves”

I used to constantly in my head affirm things and think all the time negatively.

Eventually, it was out of control and exactly what was contributing to my negative body image the most.

I struggled to love myself…

During the lockdown, I decided to practice positive affirmation and change the way I speak to myself and my body.

I would keep practicing affirmation saying to myself

“I love and accept my body as it is”

“I am beautiful”

“I love my nose”

“I am grateful for my body”

“I look pretty today”

Yes, in the beginning, it was pretty awkward and felt like a lie, But as I kept going with each word trying to feel each word as I speak

as Months passed, I did not even realize that so much had changed, I stopped criticising myself and feeling genuinely beautiful

Weirdly, there was a time when I looked at my nose and told my friend. I think my nose does not look bad at all, it’s pretty normal!”

This was a huge, like HUGE change in my mental health and self-love

Never, in the million years i had thought, that I could even feel this way about my nose

Trust me, as you will start to practice and make an effort in changing your inner dialogue and be more mindful of your words

The feeling that you don’t look good will fade away slowly…

Being kinder to myself

How can I love myself when I don't like the way I look

While the negative self-talk was one of the most contributing factors in not feeling good about how I look

There were many more small yet harsh things I did to myself

I needed to be kinder to myself, it is the first way to love yourself

Being kind to my body and everything else with it

There are few ways you can be kinder to yourself

  • Practicing positive self-talk
  •  Embracing myself
  •  Hugging myself at the time!
  •  Practicing gratitude
  •  Taking care of my health and body
  •  Practicing self-care
  •  Doing things that make me happy
  •  Dressing up for myself
  •  Celebrate small accomplishments
  •  Taking time off

Try to observe what are some ways, you end up being rude or harsh on yourself?

When are the times you end up doing this, notice and change it then and there

Reverse it with more kindness and love!

Building self-respect

When you love someone, you also respect them for who they are

When someone else makes fun of you or put that person down, whom you love, you get defensive and take their stand. right?

Then when you love yourself, and somebody bullies you or makes fun of how you look

You have to do the same

It was really important for me to change that and build self-respect

I remember, in school or just normal friends would put me down by making fun of my insecurities

I never said anything because I just could not

I let it be and felt hurt

With that somewhere, I let others disrespect me, and they started doing it more.

If I could go back to that time, I would have done things differently and not let them make fun of me.

Because, now I have learned to love and respect myself

No matter who that person is, you should not let them disrespect you or make fun of your body

Building self-respect is an important part of loving who you are, so

How does one build self-respect?

How can I love myself when I don't like the way I look

To build self-respect, one must first value themselves

If you think too low of yourself naturally you are not respecting yourself

This means that self-respect is also equally tied to our self-esteem

What do you think of yourself?

Do you value your life, your body, and everything it does for you?

If I give you what truly helped me build love and respect for myself

was quite weirdly, Exercising

I remember in lockdown, I used to work out every day and sometimes two times a day

Initially, it was to lose weight and get fit but later on, it was due to how it made me feel

Every day I put so much effort into myself and worked on my health

that after doing it for months, I felt a sense of respect and pride towards my body

How far I had come, How much effort I put and How good I felt

even though physically not much had changed

You can say, exercising improved my confidence and it was the first time I realized and respected my body genuinely

Of all the things My body was capable of doing and giving to me, I felt grateful

This was definitely a turning point that helped me build self-respect

While this was not so expected way for me, For you it can be something else

Maybe realizing that you are a person who is equally capable of everything as others

Your body goes through so much and is the reason you can live and do so many things without the hassle

To Build Self-respect

– Realize that you are worthy of everything and you are as good-looking as others

No matter what others say, You need to tell yourself that you are worthy

I know it may be tough but this is where positive self-talk comes

It won’t happen in a day, but as you will keep putting in the effort you will start seeing the difference

– Acknowledge yourself!

– Practice self-care every day

– Write down your accomplishments

– Forgive yourself

– Focus on your happiness

Deepening my relationship with myself

All the people you love in this world, you have a deep relationship with them.

You have spent enough time learning about who they are and sharing moments of joy with them

That you have learned to know and love them and enjoy being with them

No matter how they look, you still love them right?

Just like that, To love yourself, you need to build and deepen your relationship with yourself.

Spending time alone and doing things you enjoy

Learning what you like and what you don’t and feeling comfortable in your own company are just some ways to deepen your relationship with yourself.

I remember, when I used to feel insecure and struggled to love myself, I also had not spent much time knowing about myself

What I liked, what made me happy, and practicing hobbies

Later on, slowly, I would spend time alone, journaling, painting, dancing, and exercising on my own I started to feel comfortable with myself

This helped me know who I am and feel closer.

So, find ways you can deepen your relationship with yourself and feel comfortable

Practice journal prompts to get to know yourself

– Spend doing activities you enjoy a.k.a Hobbies

– Go on a solo date

– Write down your thoughts and feeling

– Treat yourself

Taking social media detox

When you are insecure and on a journey to love yourself, Social media can affect it

Seeing the perfect picture world constantly and subconsciously comparing yourself to them will make you feel even more insecure.

In the beginning, you are trying to love yourself, which will take time and be a little challenging

taking a break from social media is a must at this time to avoid any triggers and going forward, in your journey

You don’t have to delete your account, or completely not touch it

  • Revaluating your social media following and the people you watch
  •  Spending less time consuming
  •  Taking a day off any social media accounts every few weeks

Is, a good way to build a healthy relationship with social media

I used to delete my app and constantly unfollow accounts that were in any way could trigger me

In fact, I still do!

Working on overall health

working on my health, as I mentioned in a point above, helped me build not only respect but love, confidence, and kindness towards it

When you are taking care of yourself, in some way, you feel loved

You feel good hormones

Your body sends the same feeling back to you as a gratitude

Take care of your health, and trust me, it will be a very big mood and esteem booster!

  • Moving your body daily
  •  Eating healthy
  •  Paying attention to how your body feels more than how it looks

Stop Comparing

If you find yourself, comparing yourself to someone constantly and judge how you look

It will hurt your mental health

I know it must be so natural to automatically compare to others as a habit, but if you start making a conscious decision and remind yourself to not do it

It will work out eventually

Every time you will compare, you will be trapped in a toxic cycle

Either looking for validation from others or trying to put the other person or yourself down

all of which is not good

Realize all of us are beautiful in our own ways, no one is less or more pretty, and it does not matter

The more you keep thinking about these thoughts and discussing the more you will be trapped in it

you are unique in your own way, and it is a good thing, so don’t compare and focus only on yourself!

Educating myself

I know when I am saying all these phrases to you that you are unique, and it does not matter how you look

all of these words did not come to me naturally when I was struggling with myself

It was only when I had started learning about body image issues and my issues, I realized all these things

Finding more people and learning how they learned to love themselves were just some of the ways I educated myself, and eventually helped me in falling in love with myself

When you listen to or read about these topics, you will feel comforted, and somewhere there will be one or more lines that will stay with you!

Changing your beliefs won’t happen in a day, but constantly educating yourself will help you deeply in the process-

Some ways to educate yourself

  • Read books on self-love
  •  Read stories of people how they learned to love themselves
  •  Listen to podcasts on these topics

Be consistent in the journey

Lastly, The most important is to keep going and keep putting in the effort

Loving yourself will happen slowly, as you will keep putting in the effort, so don’t give up mid-way!

For me to reach a healthy point in my journey, it took me almost one year!

I kept going on and doing all these things for at least a year

And It was worth all the time and effort!

Conclusion

If you were wondering, “How can I love myself when I don’t like the way I look”?

I hope you got your answer and found some tips useful

If you are finding it tough to love yourself, I want you to know that it is possible, and you will reach there

You just need to connect with yourself again, and it will happen!

Have a great day!

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