Nowadays, we live in the mid of a celebrity culture. Pictures of near perfect looking people, who are leading lives that we could only dream of, constantly bombard us. We are just seating back absorbing these pictures and comparing the way these people look and live with the way that we look and live.
We decide that we come up short and we end up losing our sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. We wrap ourselves in our doubts, fears and insecurities and we start thinking, "I wish I was someone else". We see people around us that seem to have what we would like to have and instantly we wish that we were them. We never stop to question whether these people are really happy though. We just presume they are, simply because they have something that we want.
For example, we look at a young business entrepreneur and think, "He must be a happy man; what else could he ask ask for?" What we can not see though is what this man is thinking when he is looking in the mirror. It is very likely that he might be thinking, "I wonder why my friends are not talking to me; I hate the way I look; my marriage if falling apart and I am not sure what to do about it."
Is not it funny that we look at other people envying what they appear to have and wishing that we traded places with them, while at the same time they could be looking at us thinking exactly the same thing? The bottom line is that it is important to accept ourselves the way we are and to learn to love who we truly are.
Through self-reflection, we can get to know ourselves much better. If then we find some parts of ourselves that we are not happy with, we can change them through self-improvement and self-development. This may sound like hard work that requires a lot of time and effort. However, is it better to spend the rest of our lives with the heartache that we are not good enough, rather than try to love the good parts of ourselves and change the parts we do not like?
Here are some suggestions on how you can start your journey of self-improvement today.
You should find your purpose in life. Do not wonder aimlessly through your days without knowing where you are going and hopping that somewhere along the way you will be able to find happiness, health and prosperity. Make it happen today by choosing the direction that you want your life to take.
You should learn how to live from the inside out. This relates to a point I already made above. You should exercise daily self-reflection, in order to get to know yourself. You should reflect in silence. If you live in a city and you find it hard to find a quiet place, then playing some calming music, such as classical music, will help. While you are reflecting, you should breathe deeply to quieten your distracted mind.
Reflection will help you find your inner wisdom and it will also help you become increasingly aware of the following things, all of which are important to your self-development.
1) Your values: what do you value most in your life? Is it freedom, safety, family, education? Whatever it is, you should always make sure that your values are in accordance with your lifestyle, purpose and targets in life. Otherwise, you will constantly by tormented by internal conflict.
2) Your needs: it is not selfish to take care of your needs first, because when your needs are met, you become more centred and strong and then you will be better equipped to help others. Find out what are your needs and make sure that they are met, in order to be able to fulfill your dreams.
3) Your passions: you should know who you truly are and what you truly enjoy. Doubt and lack of enthusiasm will only hinder and put obstacles to your development. Express yourself without fear, honor who you are and the people that inspired you and become the person that you always wanted to be.
4) Your strengths: what gifts or talents do you possess? Are you witty, creative, good with your hands? Express who you are through those strengths. Sharing what you are good at with others will increase your self-confidence and your sense of purpose.
Family, friends and generally all the people you associate with on a daily basis are important for your self-development. They can help you with getting to know yourself. Talk to the people you trust the most and you know that they only wish what is best for you. Ask them questions about the parts of yourself that you are unsure of and listen to what they have to say to you. Do not be defensive, because they are not trying to hurt you even if their comments are not what you expected.
Stop repeating to yourself the soul-destroying phrase "if only …" Learn to accept the real and authentic you. This is the first step to self-improvement. Nobody is perfect and everyone has some sort of insecure or another. Self-improvement is not the ability to demonstrate to the world that you are perfect. Self-improvement is the ability of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we learn to feel happy and content with what we have.
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Aziz A Meknassi