What if you loved yourself just the way you are, flaws and all?
This is something I’m working on myself. I love myself a little more each day.
Self-love is a gradual process. Sometimes I wish I could wake up tomorrow and say, “I love absolutely everything about myself, and I think I’m perfect!”
But it doesn’t work like that. And in a way, I’m glad it doesn’t. There’s beauty in imperfection. People aren’t meant to be perfect. They’re meant to be unique.
Because everyone is unique, each person has an individual purpose in the world. We all contribute something different to society.
So, at the end of the day, it’s not about being “perfect” or “imperfect.” Instead of hating your perceived flaws or wishing you were someone else, embrace your individuality and learn to love yourself!
I wanted to write this post because I’ve struggled with perfectionism for most of my life. To an extent, I still do. But when I shifted my perspective to focus on my positive qualities instead of negative ones, I finally learned to value myself.
If you have a hard time loving yourself just the way you are, read on! Here are 10 tips to help you embrace your flaws and love your imperfect self:
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1. End negative self-talk.
Start by changing the way you speak to yourself. Instead of allowing negative self-talk to dictate your personal narrative, encourage more positive self-talk. Be kind to yourself!
Here are some examples of negative statements:
- I’m stupid.
- I’m ugly.
- I can’t do anything right!
If you feel bad about yourself, I understand why it might feel difficult to shift into a positive frame of mind. However, the way you speak to yourself will greatly impact your self-esteem.
To stop using negative statements, you can do one of two things: reframe the negative statement into a positive one, or completely counter the negative statement with a positive affirmation.
Here’s an example of a reframed statement:
- Negative statement: I’m stupid.
- Reframed positive statement: I don’t know everything, but it’s okay because I’m still learning.
Here’s an example of a positive affirmation used to counter a negative statement:
- Negative statement: I’m ugly.
- Positive statement: I’m beautiful.
Negative self-talk will steal your happiness, so avoid it at all costs!
2. Use positive affirmations daily.
Speaking of positive affirmations, you should be using them every day!
It’s okay if you don’t think they’re true statements at first. The more you use the affirmations, the more you’ll start to believe them!
Here are some examples of positive affirmations you can use:
- I am beautiful.
- I am intelligent.
- I deserve the best.
- I radiate positivity.
- Fear of failure does not control me.
- I don’t ever fail. I learn and I win.
- My ideas are valuable.
- I am a good person.
- I am doing my best, and that is enough.
- I am grateful for everything I have.
Check out one of my older posts for 50 examples of positive affirmations you can use.
3. Encourage a positive narrative with yourself.
What’s your favorite novel? Was it a book you read when you were in school, or was it one you recently read for fun?
Think of your life as a novel, similar to one of the great ones you’ve read. Is it a happy, uplifting, exciting story? Or is it dark, depressing, and difficult to read?
The way you view your life’s narrative is up to you. With a positive narrative, you’ll choose to view your story from a positive perspective. You’ll find opportunities within every challenge, show bravery when faced with adversity, and learn to love your life.
If you write a positive narrative for your life, it will read just like a great novel. It will be a page turner!
And better yet, a positive narrative will make you love yourself just as much as you love the protagonist in your favorite story. That’s why it’s so important to encourage a positive narrative with yourself instead of a negative one!
4. Start a self-discovery journal.
If you don’t love yourself, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. You are deserving of love!
But if you struggle with self-love, it might mean that you don’t know yourself well enough yet. A self-discovery journal will help you strengthen your identity, learn about yourself, and find little things to love!
There are several guided journals on the market that you can try. Here are a few great ones:
- Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration
- Present, Not Perfect: A Journal for Slowing Down, Letting Go, and Loving Who You Are
- One Question A Day: A Five-Year Journal
You can also just grab a notebook and start writing! I have several posts on free journal prompts to get you started. Check them out below:
- 55 Gratitude Journal Prompts for Positive Thinking
- 25 Journal Prompts for Self-Care and Self-Love
- 125 Journal Prompts for Personal Growth
- 10 Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection
Try to write in your journal every day. The more often you do it, the more you’ll learn about yourself. It’s important to write your thoughts and feelings down so you have a record to look back on.
Try to reread your journal entries every couple of weeks. When you reflect upon them, you’ll likely uncover new insights about yourself that you would have missed otherwise.
5. Express gratitude for the things you love about yourself.
I’m familiar with the feeling of always wanting more. It’s not a happy mindset to be in.
I used to spend hours every day looking in the mirror, wishing my body was different. There were so many things I hated about my appearance. Instead of being grateful for my good qualities, I was focused on the things I didn’t like about myself.
If you feel bad about yourself, stop focusing on the things you don’t like! Instead, show gratitude for your amazing qualities.
One simple way to do this is to make a list of things you love about yourself. They could be physical qualities, aspects of your personality, or anything you can think of that you love.
If you struggle with a negative self-image, you’re focusing on your self-proclaimed “bad qualities” too much. Instead, take a moment to celebrate the good! It will help you remember how special you are, even if you don’t feel like it in the moment.
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6. Find a lesson in every mistake you make, forgive yourself, and move on.
Remember, nobody’s perfect. It’s natural to make mistakes every once in a while. In fact, it’s inevitable.
However, you can control how you handle the mistakes, and that will make or break you. When you make a mistake, don’t put yourself down or resort to negative self-talk. Instead, do this:
- View the situation objectively.
- Determine what you can learn from the mistake.
- Forgive yourself.
If you follow the three steps above, you’ll be less likely to make the same mistake in the future. You’ll also be able to move on with your life instead of worrying about something that already happened.
You can’t continue to improve if you dwell on the past. So, keep moving forward!
7. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
The comparison game is dangerous, and it will sabotage your happiness.
Social media has made it a lot easier to compare ourselves to other people. If you often find yourself engrossed in the lives of others, you should consider taking a break.
I indulge in social media and reality TV binges every once in a while, but I’ve cut back a lot on that behavior in the past year. I’ve been focusing on my own life instead of worrying about what other people are doing.
I’m building my own awesome life, and that’s much more fulfilling than looking at pictures of other women on social media, wishing I had their bodies, money, cars, or other superficial possessions.
And it’s also important to remember that social media isn’t real life. Even if you follow celebrities or influencers who look like they have the perfect lives, that might not be the case. They choose what they share online.
So, there’s no point in comparing your life to other people’s lives. Instead, focus on loving yourself just the way you are!
8. Avoid self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.
Self-sabotage is anything you do, actively or passively, that impedes your progress in life.
Look at it this way: life is made up of choices. You can choose what you think and do. So, the next time a negative thought pops into your head or you’re about to do something questionable, ask yourself this:
“Is this thought/action going to help me achieve my goals?”
If the answer is “no,” you might be self-sabotaging.
Putting yourself down is self-sabotage. Getting blackout drunk when you have work the next day is self-sabotage.
Your choices will determine the outcome of your life. If you maintain a positive mindset and take the necessary actions to reach your goals, you can achieve anything!
9. Beware of perfectionism.
Perfectionism is the enemy of productivity. It causes self-doubt and negative self-talk, which will stop your progress in its tracks.
Instead of being a perfectionist, accept your imperfect self. Allow yourself to fail. Love yourself for your unique qualities and flaws.
If someone in your life expects you to be perfect, you likely have an unhealthy relationship with that person. The same applies to your relationship with yourself.
If no one else expects you to be perfect, why should you?
10. Celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how big or small.
You’re allowed to celebrate your wins. It’s not conceited. It’s a form of self-love!
Every little bit of progress is worthy of praise.
You got a new job? Celebrate that!
You got an A on a test? Celebrate that!
You got out of bed today? Celebrate that one, too!
Remember that a little bit of progress each day adds up to incredible results. So, celebrate the little wins along the way and it will lead to even bigger victories!