A lot of people struggle with body confidence.
While there isn’t an easy answer to changing the way you feel about yourself, you can take steps to become less self-conscious and learn how to appreciate your body.
We’ve all heard that beauty starts from within, so what can you do to begin to love yourself again?
Read on for some tips on how you can embrace and finally feel more confident in your body.
1. Ask why you feel the need to change.
Have you ever seriously asked yourself who you’re trying to change your body for and why?
You might think you feel ugly the way you are, but who is making you feel that way?
For instance, what are you trying to prove by losing weight before your beach holiday and who are you worried might judge you?
Does anyone’s opinion matter so much to you that you’re willing to make yourself unhappy over it?
Changes to your diet, levels of physical activity, or other bodily changes can do more damage than good if done without due care and consideration.
So only focus on changing your body for the sake of your mental and physical health rather than to get more likes on social media or to be seen as “hot” by others.
Break free from the fear of being judged by people you don’t even know, and make the conscious choice to stop giving other people’s opinions the power to ruin your day.
2. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
When people say life is too short to worry so much, you should listen.
Will you look back when you’re old and think of all the times you fitted into a smaller clothes size? Or will it be the amazing memories you made when you were embracing life that stick in your mind most?
You can look after your body without denying yourself joy. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture and miss out on what life has to offer because you’re too wrapped up in worrying about how you look.
You only have one chance at this life, so stop criticizing yourself and instead focus on the positives.
3. Stop comparing yourself to unrealistic standards.
You’re never going to feel confident in your body if you keep comparing it to people who look nothing like you.
Don’t think badly of yourself because you don’t look like the latest fashion model or your favorite celebrity.
Not only do they have the resources and time available to mask any imperfections they have, but they might have a completely different body size and shape to you.
You’re never going to look the same as a model on a catwalk if you’re shorter or curvier than they are. However much weight you lose or amount you exercise, you can’t change genetics.
People aren’t all meant to look the same—and that’s a good thing.
Concentrate on embracing your body shape and dressing to get the best out of what you have rather than trying, and failing, to be someone else.
4. Buy the right clothes.
Keeping or buying clothes that are too small just because you don’t want to embrace your real size is only going to damage your self-confidence.
Tight, uncomfortable clothes aren’t going to help you feel good. Instead, they’re more likely to emphasize everything you already dislike about yourself.
Choose the right clothes for your body size and shape. Pick sizes that are right for you and you’ll see how the right clothes can bring out the best in you and let your character shine through.
The right clothes can make all the difference, so don’t be proud, and start making the right decision for your body right now.
5. Focus on health.
Instead of focusing on your weight or imperfections, shift your mindset to focus on making your body as healthy as you can, however that looks.
One of the signs you’re attractive doesn’t have to be that you’re the slimmest in the room, and healthy doesn’t mean skinny anyway.
You’ll never regret investing in your health, and health ultimately leads to happiness.
Confidence is a mindset. The health of your mind and body are intrinsically linked. The more you start to focus on your health, the less important things like body shape or clothes size will become.
Instead, you’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin because you’ll finally start to appreciate and care for your body in the right way.
6. Be grateful for the body you have.
If you can walk, run, hear, speak, see, and smell, then that’s more than a whole lot of people.
When you put your life into perspective and think about all the incredible things your body enables you to do that you take for granted each day, worrying about how you look in an outfit will start to seem insignificant.
When you’re struggling with your confidence, take a moment to appreciate everything your body can do that so many people might never get the chance to experience.
Remember to be grateful for everything you have already before you look for more.
7. Compliment yourself.
Sometimes, all you need is to hear something to believe it.
If your self-confidence is suffering, then it might be time to become your own cheerleader.
There might be people in your life who help you to feel good when they notice you or compliment you, but you can’t rely on other people to keep you feeling positive.
You need to learn to affirm yourself in those times when you don’t have anyone else to do it for you.
It can be hard to think positively about yourself when you’re so used to being your own worst critic, but that’s why it’s especially important you learn.
Each day, try to compliment yourself out loud. The more you get used to saying and hearing positive things about yourself, the sooner you start to believe them.
8. Surround yourself with positive people.
When your body confidence is low, think about who you’re spending your time with and if they’re adding to the problem.
Are you surrounding yourself with people who are equally harsh about their own bodies or a partner who doesn’t appreciate you?
The people you choose to keep around you can have a huge impact on the way you live your life and see yourself.
Perhaps you feel unattractive to your partner because they never tell you any differently. Maybe you focus on your flaws because that’s all your friends talk about.
If you think that you’re being negatively influenced, it might be time to seek out people with a more positive and empowering mindset.
You should be around people who choose to build each other up and teach you to embrace life as you are rather than tear yourself down.
9. Aim for realistic changes.
There’s nothing wrong with having goals for your own personal health and body image. You just need to make sure they’re realistic.
Setting goals that are too big or drastic can knock your confidence and demotivate you when they feel impossible to achieve.
If you want to work on your self-confidence, try to choose small, achievable goals to work toward.
You’ll feel more motivated if you see yourself reaching your goals, rather than setting yourself a metaphorical mountain to climb.
10. Make your goals enjoyable.
Making lifestyle changes is easier when you find ways to enjoy them, so help yourself to love yourself by making your body goals enjoyable to achieve.
Get excited to go to the gym by buying new gym clothes that make you feel great or joining exercise classes you actually enjoy. Don’t deny yourself the food you like, but instead, find ways to balance the food you love as part of a healthy diet.
Make sure you’re always investing in your own happiness by finding ways to enjoy reaching your personal health goals.
11. Don’t expect to be body-positive all the time.
Even when you’re on a journey to be kinder to yourself, don’t feel pressured to feel fantastic all the time.
No matter how healthy or empowered you’re trying to be, there will always be days when you’re just not feeling your best, and that’s okay.
When you have those days, it’s important to acknowledge how you’re feeling rather than blaming yourself for how you look. Tell yourself “today is just an off day” rather than feeding your insecurities.
If you’re having a bad day, try to think about why that is and get to the root of the problem, instead of giving in to the unkind thoughts you’re having.
Off days are natural, but you want to make sure that your good days outnumber your bad.
12. Take a break from social media.
Social media algorithms are designed to tap into the things you focus on most.
So if you struggle with body confidence, you might be more likely to see content relating to body image, and this could be making your insecurities worse.
When all you see are perfect-looking influencers, it takes a strong mind not to compare yourself with them.
You must remember that influencers have purposefully created their content, editing what you see to make it as flawless as possible. It’s their job to look perfect, using their time and money to do so, while you’re out there feeling bad for just trying to keep up with daily life.
It’s not realistic to compare yourself to this type of curated content and if you’re feeling bad about yourself because of it, then it’s time to take a break.
Focus on life in the real world for a while to get a better, more realistic perspective on life.
And when you return to social media, be sure to unfollow accounts that show content that makes you feel bad. Eventually, the algorithms will learn that you don’t want to see that sort of thing.
13. Take some ‘me time’.
Putting yourself through grueling exercise regimes or focusing on everything you don’t like about yourself might mean that you don’t spare enough time to just treat yourself kindly.
You’ll always feel better about yourself when you feel relaxed and pampered, so make it a priority to have some ‘me time’ regularly.
Take a bath, use the fancy products, moisturize, get your hair or nails done, put on something that makes you feel great.
When you feel good, it shows. And if you make being kind to yourself a habit, then you might find your body image shifting into a more forgiving and loving place.
14. Start with your mind.
You may be focused on how your body looks, but if you struggle with body confidence, you’ll need to work on your mind first and foremost.
Body dysmorphia and negativity toward yourself are powerful issues that can completely distort how you view yourself.
It doesn’t matter what you do or how you look, if your mind isn’t open to accepting yourself, you’re never going to feel confident in your own skin.
Try practicing ways to calm your mind and reduce your anxiety. Take time away from social media and TV. Instead, try reading or listening to calming music to soothe your mind.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and consider meditation to calm intrusive thoughts.
If you’re still struggling to shift your mindset into a more positive place, think about reaching out to a professional and trying therapy to help you on your way with your body confidence. Your future self will thank you for it.
Creating body confidence is an ongoing journey for a lot of people, so don’t feel alone in your struggles.
It takes time to accept yourself for who you are when the beauty industry and social media are telling you that you need to change.
What makes you stand out isn’t just how you look, it’s the person you are inside too. Allow your uniqueness to shine through and embrace your individuality, because there’s no one like you.