A Buddhist proverb says, “if your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” I think this pretty much sums up what having confidence in yourself means, You need to not only know, but also love yourself for who you are. Only then can you love others as they deserve to be loved. Its funny how that works out, and how true it is despite seeming so backward. But I can attest to this truth.
I had my first serious boyfriend a few years ago during a time in which all I wanted was a guy’s attention. I became so wrapped up in the idea of “love” and how good having a boyfriend would make me look that I didn’t realize who obsessively dependent I had become on someone who I couldn’t even be myself with. I’m a spazz and a dork at heart, but I was so worried that I would embarrass him or myself that I hid who I was from someone who thought he knew everything about me. I felt immensely dissatisfied and knew something had to change. So, I broke up with him. It was hard but worth it because I did it for the sake of bettering myself. I couldn’t love him, my friends, or even my family if I couldn’t love, let alone be comfortable with myself.
I faced many obstacles and insecurities, but they miraculously lead to personal growth. My insecurities and self esteem issues that ensued reduced me, only so I could have more room to build back up from. Facing my flaws while also realizing how many people loved me allowed me to see just how much I was worth.
Now, I’m secure in myself to reach out to others more sincerely than ever before. I’m aware of my imperfections and mistakes, and use this awareness to empathize with others in order to better love and understand them.
Loving ourselves, though, is a lifelong struggle, but once you try, confidence is only one of the benefits we receive. So I challenge you to try. How? Well, identify qualities that you like about yourself. Know your limits, and stop comparing yourself to others. Celebrate what makes you unique. Be around people who love you. Go outside (sunshine makes you happy)! Reflect. Make an effort to be better. And most importantly, be true to yourself. When you do, everything else will fall into place.