That skin of yours… is it comfortable to wear?
Does it fit perfectly like your favorite pair of jeans?
Or is it like an itchy, ill-fitting sweater that you simply can’t relax in?
Since you’ve found your way to this page, let’s assume that it’s the latter.
It follows that you’re probably looking for ways to be more comfortable in your own skin.
And you’re in luck.
Here are 17 tips for feeling more at ease in your own self.
1. Understand that your skin is always changing.
Who you are is constantly changing. It is important that you recognize this fact.
In order to be comfortable in your skin, you have to be comfortable with the ways in which your skin can and will change.
This goes for both your outer appearance and your inner being.
Your self-concept – the psychological term for the thoughts you have about yourself and the way you see yourself – shifts over time and with your experiences.
Don’t fight this shift, but accept it as an inevitable part of life.
2. Don’t hold on to your old skin.
Sometimes the changes we see in ourselves are not ones that we welcome.
This is particularly the case with regards to our physical appearance and abilities.
Ageing is a mental challenge as much as a physical one. You have to adapt to your body’s new form and ways of working.
It is the same with your mental acuity, which can lessen as you reach the latter years of life.
You can’t be comfortable in this new reality if you yearn for a past time when you were more physically and mentally agile.
Aside from ageing, you might also face a change in life circumstances that leaves you looking back in envy at your past self.
But you can’t be that person again right here and right now. Perhaps you can work to change your circumstances to something more favorable, but that won’t happen overnight.
3. Don’t rush to fill your future skin.
There are occasions when we may wish time would pass by faster so that we can reach some future where we’ll be more at ease with ourselves.
This is a dangerous mindset to adopt.
If you are always looking forward to some future you that will be happier or more successful, you will never be able to enjoy yourself in the present moment.
You only have so much time in this life. Don’t wish it away in the false belief that tomorrow will be a better day.
4. Let go of the labels people have given you.
Whilst we’re on the subject of past and future, let’s tackle some of the core hurts you might have suffered when growing up.
As children, we are given many labels – some less kind than others.
And yet, it is often these labels that we cling onto as if they are a part of who we are.
We wrap them up into our identity as if they are facts.
But these unkind labels are not who you are. They are no more than the spiteful words of those who are dealing with their own issues.
You – the real you – are not the “fat” one or the “stupid” one or the “boring” one.
Don’t allow people from your past to define the person you are today.
Release these labels and learn to forge your own identity.
5. Don’t try to meet the expectations of others.
This is your life – not someone else’s.
And as such, you should feel free to live it how you wish.
Other people might hold certain expectations of you, but if these do not match with your own aspirations, you should not factor them into your thinking.
It doesn’t matter if your parents or partner or friends want you to be one thing if you’d rather be another.
If you want to be comfortable in your own skin, it has to be a skin of your choosing.
6. Don’t try to be all things, or even the best at one thing.
No one can be good at all things. And few people can be the best at one thing.
Attempting to be either of these is a recipe for feeling uncomfortable.
Because you’ll never feel satisfied.
There will always be something else that you are not good at. You will never be the best at any one thing.
And you will feel like a failure because of it.
Instead, try to be good at a few core things that really matter to you. Not perfect, but good.
Then recognize that you are good at these things and you’ll be content with who you have become.
7. Notice the parts of your skin that you like.
People tend to spend lots of time focusing on all the things they don’t like about themselves – both physical and in terms of personality.
Instead, spend that time noticing those parts of you that you really quite like.
Perhaps you have great hair or a really nice set of teeth.
Are you a generous person or someone who can be relied upon?
Whatever qualities you have that make you feel good about yourself, focus on these.
The more positively you look at yourself, the more comfortable you’ll be in your skin.
8. Rethink flaws as areas of potential growth.
Where you do see things about you that you don’t like, don’t bemoan them or see them as flaws in an otherwise positive self-image.
Reframe them as areas in which there is room to grow.
Remember, you don’t have to be good at all things, but if there are parts of you that you might be able to change for the better, find ways to do that.
And if you can’t change them, find ways to accept them as they are. This is also a form of personal growth.
9. Identify the benefits your skin brings.
Whether you notice it or not, the person you are right now brings with it many benefits.
You have talents, skills, and unique perspectives that make you a person of worth.
If you were a different person, you might not have these same things going for you. You would have different things, sure, but not these things.
So try to identify all of the wonderful things that your skin brings to your life. Learn to cherish these.
10. Identify things that don’t feel “right” and change them.
If you are not comfortable in your own skin, what is making you feel uncomfortable?
Are there things that you are doing that don’t sit well with you? That don’t feel like things you ought to be doing?
Perhaps you are trying to live up to the expectations of others as mentioned above.
Or maybe you have walked a path and found yourself in a place where you don’t feel at home, figuratively speaking.
If there is something that feels wrong according to your internal moral compass, stop doing it or change the way you do it so that it feels right.
You’ll never feel comfortable with who you are as a person until your actions match your personal philosophy for life.
11. Don’t seek the approval of others.
Another way in which you might engage in things that don’t feel right is by trying to get the approval of other people.
Perhaps you act in a certain way because that’s what other people are doing.
You might feel the need to fit in with the crowd and win the favor of certain influencers in your community – whether that’s school, work, or a group of some kind.
But by looking to others to tell you that you are okay, that you are accepted for the things you are doing – makes you do things that you otherwise wouldn’t do.
You become an actor, playing a role to make other people like you.
But by presenting a false self – a mask to gain popularity – you will never find comfort in your own skin.
12. Stop worrying what other people think of you.
One great way to avoid approval-seeking behavior is to quit caring what others think of you.
Sure, it’s not a switch you can simply flick in your mind, but with time and effort, you can learn to lead a more authentic life without allowing your thoughts to turn to how other people might perceive you.
At the core of this approach is to separate the thoughts of others from your own thoughts.
By worrying what other people think of you, you allow their potential thoughts – not even their actual thoughts – to become your thoughts.
You hand over power to someone who doesn’t even know they have it.
Hold on to this power and use it to form your own thoughts about yourself and how YOU think of you.
Make them positive thoughts.
13. Surround yourself with people who accept you as you are.
When you are with people who don’t judge or criticize or want you to be someone you’re not, you won’t have time to worry about what others are thinking.
You’ll be able to enjoy your own company, knowing that these people are enjoying it too.
You will feel free to drop any mask and just be you.
Imagine how liberating this will feel.
14. Practice being alone.
If you find being alone quite uncomfortable, you shouldn’t avoid it. You should dive into it.
Exposure to solitude can give you the time, and the peace and quiet, to really sit with your thoughts.
This self-reflection will allow you to identify things that you might be doing or thinking that contribute to your unease.
When you are alone, you can put everyone else out of mind and focus on you. You can be the real you without concern for what others think.
Time spent alone can be time you spend getting to grips with who you are and who you would like to be.
15. Don’t say yes when you want to say no.
There are times when it can be beneficial to push beyond your comfort zone and do things that scare you and excite you in equal measure.
But there are just as many times when you should feel able to say no to something that really doesn’t appeal to you.
Being forced into something that you really don’t want to do is a sure-fire way of feeling uncomfortable in your own skin.
Don’t allow others to pressure you. Be polite but firm in your refusal.
16. Get comfortable with discomfort.
It may sound strange, but to feel more comfortable, you ought to be prepared for discomfort.
There will be times when you will feel a little awkward or unsure of yourself. This is an inevitable part of living a life in this world of ours.
But you should try not to let yourself be paralyzed by the potential for discomfort.
Don’t obsess about all of the things that could be difficult or that will stir up unwelcome feelings.
To do so is to live your life in fear. And fear is not a comfortable feeling to live with.
Be accepting of the difficult times when they come, but do not let your mind dwell on them either before or after the event.
Allow yourself to get comfortable in between the moments of discomfort.
17. Never get comfortable being a jerk.
If your skin is one that is mean, rude, or disrespectful to others, we urge you not to get too comfortable in it.
Don’t settle into patterns of behavior that push others away, that hurt others, or that manipulate others to your advantage.
In the long term, you will end up worse off because of it.
Shed this skin and make your new skin one that treats people fairly and with kindness.