Be happy with being you. Love your flaws. Own your quirks. And know that you are just as perfect as anyone else, exactly as you are.
These words, retweeted thousands of times, might just be the key to happiness. We hear you thinking: “Yeah, right. She would say that. She’s a pop star with a perfect life.” But guess what? Nobody is perfect—and the moment you accept that simple truth is the moment life starts getting a lot easier.
Perfection doesn’t exist
Scrolling through your Insta several times a day, you’re bombarded with “perfection.” The perfect make-up look, the perfect body…even the perfect breakfast (who knew avocado toast was so photogenic?!) But wait: photoshop (and the struggle to stop comparing yourself to these ideal images) is real. So stop thinking things are perfect when they aren’t and start accepting yourself for who you are. Easier said than done? Next time you find yourself being overly critical, consider taking another perspective.
Be kinder to yourself
When you’re feeling “less than,” or beating yourself up about something, stop for a second. Would you speak this way to a friend or family member? As young children, we are taught to treat others as we would like to be treated. But if you flip it around, the Golden Rule also applies: treat yourself with the same kindness as you treat others. Before you start criticising yourself, think: would I say that to my bestie? If not, then stop saying it to yourself.
A daily self-acceptance ritual, step by step
Being more compassionate towards yourself is a nice thought, but how do you put it into daily practice? Meditation is an excellent way to start. If you’re not up for that yet, try simply slowing down and paying more attention to your thoughts. Whenever you feel badly about yourself, frame the thought in a positive way. Here are some examples:
You think: “Ugh, I hate my body right now.”
Reframe: “I might not feel comfortable in my body right now, but that’s okay. It may not look the way I want it to, but it is strong, capable and most importantly, it is mine.”
By acknowledging that there are good things about your body and taking ownership of them, you’re that much closer to self-acceptance.
You think: “I failed again. Why do I even bother trying?”
Reframe: “I did something, and it didn’t work out. The important thing is that I tried. What matters now is getting back up and not being afraid to fail.”
Some of the most successful people throughout history have said they learned more from their failures than their successes. It’s not a mistake; it’s a well-earned lesson.
You think: “I wish I was more like (fill in the blank).”
Reframe: “(….) is an inspiring person. But I’m sure she also has days where she doesn’t feel as awesome on the inside as she appears to others. There are a lot of great things about being me. I am smart, I am unique, and I am enough.”
Stop comparing yourself to others. There is nobody on earth like you—embrace that and own it.
What’s that, you ask? Wabi-sabi is a Japanese mindset that honours imperfections, finding beauty in them instead of fault. For example: perhaps you’ve recently discovered some lines around your eyes and mouth. You could call them wrinkles, but we have a better term for them: laugh lines. Instead of thinking of them as flaws that age you, consider them a symbol of a life well-led, filled with laughter and good times. That scar on your knee you wish you could cover up? You got it while climbing a mountain—it’s a testament to how daring and brave you are! These things are beautiful. Don’t hide them, celebrate them.