photo by Melissa Ann Photographer
Growing up I always struggled with finding my place in the world. As a kid, I was the youngest of 3 and of course there was an age gap between my brother and I. My brother and sister were like two peas in a pod. They grew up together. They experienced so many adventures before I came along. Years later, I was born and I had to learn how to adjust. I had my own friends and my own life separate from theirs. With me, my parents had to start all over and if you’re a parent, you pretty much know that everything goes out the window with the youngest. There’s no such thing as rules or discipline.
By the time I got to high school, shit officially hit the fan. I was the only kid left in the house. There was no one to teach me “how to act” or “how to be comfortable in my own skin” or “what was acceptable.” I had to watch and learn basically figuring things out for myself. In high school, I took all of the gifted classes. I was smart. My friends were smart. But guess what? I always dated an athlete which made for an interesting combo on Friday date nights. On top of all of this, you know that I’m an extroverted introvert so if you caught me at the wrong time there was no chance in hell I was trying to be your friend. I sucked at fitting in and eventually learned to just give up trying because it was never going to happen. One day I just learned to be myself and roll with it. I realized that the relationships that I had with other people didn’t define who I was or make me a happier person. My relationship with myself was what mattered the most.
I chose to write this post because of the picture above. As a blogger, we’re always sharing our lives on our blogs and social media. We’re constantly in the “limelight.” We put ourselves out there and it leaves us vulnerable. We’re always sharing the good parts but very seldom the bad. So I wanted to be open to talk about my flaws and how I came to realize that although I am comfortable in my own skin, it’s something that I have to continuously work towards every single day because that hasn’t always been the case. The older I get, the more I realize that being comfortable in your own skin is a major part of being successful and having a happy life.
If being comfortable in your own skin is something that you find yourself struggling with, here’s a list of 16 things you need to start making progress.
16 Things You Need To Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin
1.Find ways to love the skin you’re in
Learning to love the skin you’re in is the first step. Everyone has flaws and at least one thing that they would change about themselves if they had the chance so be easy with yourself. Find the things that you love about yourself and embrace them.
2. Do something every day to help you feel good about yourself
This one took me a while to figure out. Since I work from home, there’s no need for me to get dolled up every day. When I made thing change, I felt a change. Some days I do my hair, some days I do a full face of makeup and hair. I always feel better about myself when I take the time to do something for myself every day. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just make sure that it’s something that’ll help you feel good.
3. Ignore what other people think
I’ve never had a problem with this one. I’ve never cared much about what other people thought but it’s also gotten me into trouble at times. Ignore what other people think about you. Often times, people will project their fears and flaws onto you. Besides, if you’re too busy worrying about what other people think how will you have time to find yourself?
4. Learn how to be alone with yourself
This is hard for a lot of folks. I learned this early on since I’m the youngest of 3. I always had a lot of time to myself. Learn to be alone with yourself and sit in your thoughts. Use your alone time to discover things about yourself. Do some reading and soul searching. Perfect your talents and hobbies in your alone time.
5. Set goals for yourself
Setting goals for yourself is super important! I always set long-term and short-term goals for myself. Goals will help you feel more confident when you achieve them.
6. Stop searching for love and learn to love yourself
A wise person once told me that in order to love someone else, you must learn to love yourself first. It’s impossible to be in a healthy relationship with someone if you’re unsure of how to love yourself.
7. Live unapologetically
8. Draw boundaries
Boundaries are a concept that is absurd to my family. Most West Indian families have no idea what boundaries are and could honestly care less about your personal space. In our culture, there is no such thing as boundaries. As an adult, I had to step outside of the norm and learn to set boundaries for myself and family. Draw boundaries if it’s what’s best for your mental health.
9. Walk and talk confidently
10. Treat your body with respect
11. Celebrate every milestone
Every year that we have on this Earth to spend with our friends and family is truly a gift. Celebrate every birthday, every anniversary, every job promotion.
12. Make every moment an opportunity to learn
One of the things that I’ve learned in almost 27 years is that every moment, every failure, every success is an opportunity to learn. I’ve never found myself in a room with others that I can’t learn something from. No matter where you find yourself or who you’re surrounded by, take the chance to learn at least one thing.
13. Never speak negatively about yourself
Leave those negative thoughts to the haters because you’re going to ignore what they think anyways.
14. Embrace your personality
15. Take control
If there’s something you don’t like, change it. No one is in control of your life but you. It’s never too late to take control of a situation and change something that you don’t like.
16. Create a life you love living
Take steps every day to create a life you love living. Stop being a people pleaser and put yourself first. If you’re happy, you can make the people around you happy. Take care of yourself first and build the life that you’ve always dreamed of. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from other people. Start each day with a clean slate and start living a better life where you’re comfortable in your own skin.
It’s not easy. It takes time but once you’re at a place in your life where you’re comfortable in your own skin, it’s liberating. There’s a weird sense of freedom you feel from living unapologetically. Being comfortable in your own skin is the beginning of strength and a fresh start.