Loving oneself is a topic that most people don’t think about. Most people focus on loving and caring for others, but never truly love and care for themselves. People love (or don’t love) themselves in a variety of ways; each person defines loving oneself differently.

“[Loving yourself is] accepting your flaws, [even] when you look in the mirror and tell yourself that that could look better,” Colorado Mesa University student Sarah Hall said.

“[Loving yourself is] accepting yourself and body type and who you are, all the quirks, weirdness and even your strengths.” CMU student Morgan Stryke said.  

This is exactly how I feel. For the longest time, I always focused my life on making everyone around me happy and confident in who they were, but I never really thought that wasn’t what made me happy and confident in who I was.

I soon learned, at age 20, that everyone around me was happy and seemed confident in who they were, but I hated so much of myself.  I hate wearing shorts or dresses because of my white legs. I hate wearing tank tops showing my “fat” arms without a flannel or cardigan on top of it. I hate going outside of my house without at least some mascara because I feel like I look like a boy. I hate wearing tight shirts because my muffin top shows, and I hate that I can’t pull off bangs because my forehead is too big. There is so much about myself that I hate, or that has made me not want to leave my house. But one day I woke up and that all changed.

I wanted to start challenging myself to accept my flaws. I wanted to say, so what? Who cares what people think of me? Especially, when in reality, they likely don’t care.

With this, I started to wear clothes I didn’t normally wear that showed parts of myself I hate. I started going to the gym where people could see me working out, which was very out of my comfort zone considering I didn’t workout, and definitely didn’t in front of people.

My first day in stepping out of my clothing comfort zone, I wore a tank top with nothing over it. I didn’t even bring a jacket or cardigan with me; I just went with the flow. As the days went on, I went further and further outside of my comfort zone and haven’t been back since.

Now I want to challenge everyone out there to simply love yourself, so I made a formal challenge to promote loving yourself and everything that comes with it.

“Do all you can do and realize that’s just what happens,” Stryke said.

This includes stepping outside your comfort zone a little at a time; take as long as you need.

“If you want to change yourself and go to the healthy side of it go and do,” Hall said.

This challenge is to help build my confidence and show that everything I might hate about myself is what makes me, me. I may only be a few weeks into this challenge, yet I feel a little more confident in who and what I am.

So, here is my advice: do things you wouldn’t normally do and try not to care. It might seem crazy, but start out small because a little does go a long way.

Do you accept this challenge?

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