1. People are going to dislike you.
This may seem like a counter-intuitive idea to accept when aiming to be more at ease with the self, but it is something that I think is really necessary when searching for self-acceptance.
I believe that a lot of us lie to ourselves by assuming that the people we associate ourselves with would never speak behind our backs, for example, or have never thought anything bad about us. But let me ask you this: do you have a friend that you love, but you can recall having vented to someone else about them? Or maybe you have simply internally had thoughts about aspects of their personality that you dislike? Even people who love you are going to dislike you from time to time, it is INEVITABLE, so we may as well get on with it.
The point is that so many of us live our lives desperate to be liked by others, to find VALIDATION in their approval of our daily lives; we spend hours choosing the right selfie and caption in order to get the most amount of "likes," but really we need to be honest with ourselves and accept that NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LIKE US and WE AREN'T GOING TO BE LIKED ALL OF THE TIME—for whatever reason, just like we ourselves may not like every human we come into contact with. Therefore, WE REALLY SHOULDN'T MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT OUR OWN LIVES BASED UPON THE OPINIONS, OR PREDICTED OPINIONS, OF OTHERS.
Accept that there will always be critics but there will also always be fanatics. Learn to be okay with the fact that not everyone is going to be your number 1 fan, because a) they don't need to be in order for you to be successful, and b) CRITICISM can be HEALTHY and NECESSARY.
2. You are not beautiful????
An important concept that I’m still training my brain to accept is that the idea of "BEAUTY" is simply a SOCIAL CONSTRUCT—it’s a completely imaginary concept developed by the ever-changing opinions of society. For example, at the moment it has become fashionable to have thick eyebrows, such as the likes of Cara Delevingne, yet decades ago thin eyebrows were all the rage with the likes of Marilyn Monroe dominating front page covers.
Beauty really is the same as a fashion trend and therefore its okay to accept that your appearance might not be "beautiful" according to current conventions, but it could be in years to come or could have been in years gone by. Not only that but there are different societies and cultures in our world and therefore there are MANY DIFFERENT BEAUTY STANDARDS. I recently read an article where artists from different countries were asked to create their ideal woman using photoshop, and the variety was astounding. A large nose or curves may be considered unattractive in one culture, yet deemed endearing features in another.
It is also important to MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN BEAUTY AND ATTRACTIVENESS. You may not be what the masses call "beautiful" but that doesn't make you unattractive. A good exercise is to ask yourself how many people in your life have you truly thought were, in your opinion, "ugly"? I’d imagine the answer is only a few. It’s true that most of us aren’t attracted to the vast majority of people we meet, but it doesn’t mean that we would necessarily class them as unattractive, so why do we tend to think that of ourselves? And, it is more than likely—if not certain—that those who we have deemed unattractive have been found attractive by someone else on the planet, whether they know it or not. It is also likely that the people we think are unattractive haven’t had the most attractive personalities either; the less we like someone as a person the more likely it is that we view every aspect of theirs in a negative light. SOOOOO..... your own physical qualities are unlikely to appear unattractive unless you present yourself as unattractive on the inside.
So the point is, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL (just not necessarily in a conventional way), AND ATTRACTIVE (which I think is the better word), because at least one person has, is, or will be attracted to you. And again, bringing in points made in "1." NOT EVERYONE WILL BE ATTRACTED TO YOU, so its better to ACCEPT THIS than to fear the inevitable disapproval of others.
3. You are not invincible!!!
Traditionally this topic has been applied to men but I really think that this applies to everyone. We live in such a fast-paced society with so many external pressures that are bound to have an effect on our physical and mental well-being. I think that many people are subconsciously aware that they need a break or are going through what many people write off as a "breakdown," but desperately convince themselves in a daily struggle that they are "strong" and "fine."
However, it is not unusual for this "grin and bare it" attitude to unleash itself in other ways. Obviously, there are the famous side effects of unbearable stress, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, insomnia etc., but many of us suffer in more minor ways that we don't realise are having a rather large impact on our quality of life. For example, we may put mood swings down to tiredness but really both of these symptoms could be a warning sign of depression. We may smoke before the big meeting at work, and at the end of the day to calm down, and put it down to a stressful day at the office, but it could be masking an underlying anxiety disorder.
Many people associate these terminologies or diagnoses with WEAKNESS or perhaps attention seeking, when really all they are, are words to describe how you’re "going through a sad period," or you "worry a lot"—seem less frightening? Really IT BOILS DOWN TO BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF and not seeing these phrases as permanent chains that will weigh you down, but rather problems that you should try to help yourself to fix, just like breaking your foot and allowing it to heal. You don’t even have to tell anyone that you think these (or a list of other mental health issues) may be an issue with your life, but the first step is accepting that you aren't made of steel and YOU ARE NOT INVINCIBLE, and that actually it is very NORMAL and OKAY NOT TO FEEL OKAY.
4. Only you can fix it, baby.
Equally, it has to be said that many people who face the issues mentioned above suffer from a lack the motivation, inclination, or guts to do anything to help themselves. This is particularly difficult to remedy as it is an unfortunate and inherent quality of many mental health issues (i.e. a symptom of depression is having a lack of motivation in general, even to do daily activities such as shower or eat, therefore having any motivation to help oneself seems almost impossible).
However, something that has helped me in the past has been simply asking myself the question, DO YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY? For most people, the answer will be yes, even though this seems like a distant and out of reach feeling. It is important to ask yourself if you would like to be happy rather than if you would like to make yourself better because, although the difference may seem subtle, the idea of making yourself better isn't always that appealing, as the wording itself implies that this will take effort that we perhaps don’t feel like putting in. But if your answer to the former is "yes," then you must first accept that IT IS POSSIBLE TO FEEL HAPPY, it just might take time and effort. AND it will take YOUR time, and YOUR effort.
This is not to say that SEEKING HELP from others isn’t a great and VALUABLE, if not necessary option, but you really must accept that only you can fix it, only you have the power over your own mind to make the choices to move forward in a positive light.
5. You should hate yourself????!!!!
A massively helpful technique that I developed myself at a young age in order to overcome various anxiety disorders, was to realise that the bad thoughts I was having, such as fear to eat, were due to my own brain, but not due to me.
In other words I made a DISTINCTION BETWEEN the bad part of my BRAIN causing me these illnesses, (I used to call it the monster), and MYSELF, my personality, the essence of my own being. That way, whenever those thoughts entered my brain I allowed myself to hate that part of me. I allowed myself to get angry at that part of my brain and shout at myself on the inside, to tell myself that these fears or thoughts were harmful or irrational. And, gradually, that way I healed, because I didn't let myself get confused by these thoughts and believe that they were inherent to my personality or an intrinsic quality of my mind. I kept them separate and that way I could tackle them, and know that they weren't going to last forever because they weren't part of ME.
I really hope that these tips or ideas could have been of some help or use to you. I’m aware that this article most likely will not have "cured" anyone but I hope that it is at least food for thought, or that it provides you with an alternate perspective. I’d also like to point out that I’m simply a 19 year old sat in my bedroom with no qualifications in medicine or psychology, however I have been through some things myself and so really, this article is more to speak to you like a friend giving you advice rather than to give you medically approved tips. Thank you for reading and let me know what you think.