I Don’t Love Myself, but I’m Trying — and Here’s Why

It’s a strange feeling to admit to yourself that you don’t love yourself.

So often we look at ourselves in the mirror and critique. We pick ourselves apart citing any reason we possibly can find as to why we look less than perfect: our waist, the length of our hair, our dark circles, our eyebrows. Maybe it’s all at once, maybe it’s just spread out, but for me, I never realized just how often I do until I started thinking about it, because it’s constant, and I don’t actually think I can look at myself in a mirror without finding a plethora of things that I just don’t like about myself.

So often, we look back at past conversations and things we did and just ask ourselves “why?” Why couldn’t we have been better, why couldn’t we have been less awkward, why didn’t the other person like us as much as we liked them, why did he leave me on “opened” or “read,” why didn’t we get the promotion instead of the other person, the list goes on.

So often, the answer to all of those questions is “us.” We’re convinced that we were left on read or didn’t catch someone’s interest because we are the problem.

Sometimes it’s us being hypercritical of ourselves and sometimes it’s because of things that happened to us. Someone you trusted betrayed you, someone used you, someone played with you and got their entertainment out of messing with your feelings. It certainly doesn’t help.

Maybe this is true for you, maybe it isn’t. For me, this is something I spend hours overanalyzing every day. The more time I spent overanalyzing, the more I came to realize that I just really don’t like myself. I don’t think I’m alone and I don’t think this is uncommon, which is why we need to talk about it.

There’s a cliché out there when it comes to why so many of us are unhappy with ourselves, and the answer usually comes back to Instagram models, models in general, and media that give unrealistic ideals of appearance and behavior.

On some level, that’s true, but at the same time, I think it’s okay to aspire to be like the people you see on social media without being self-deprecating.

Coming from someone who uses Instagram regularly to promote and create content, nearly nothing you see on Instagram is actually real. I probably didn’t actually wear that outfit that day and my mother definitely wouldn’t be taking photos for me in picturesque Icelandic cafés if I didn’t ask her to.

Still, it’s difficult to not want something like that in your life.

Coming back from that little tangent, no, maybe I don’t love myself right now, but I’m trying.

So much of appreciating who you are right here and now is accepting that no, you may not be *exactly* how you want to be, but that you have things that make you incredible.

For me, I struggle the most with my physical appearance and things related to how I conduct myself socially and my personality. I overcompensate for feeling like I’m not pretty enough or that I’m absolutely horrible at doing makeup or that I don’t like how frizzy my natural hair can be by spending a half hour every day curling my hair and never leaving the house unless I look like I could’ve stepped out of a catalog at any point in time. Instead of focusing on really anything related to how I don’t like my body or that I’m terrified of coming off as stupid or that the other person doesn’t like me when having a conversation or that I grew up way too fast and missed some key childhood moments or that I’m way too focused on business {more so than any 18 year old should really be}, I focus on what I do like:

I like that I’m ambitious {even if sometimes it’s overly so}

I like that I have hustle and drive.

I like that I had two successful businesses that I started myself before I even turned 16.

I like that I was accepted into my dream college when my parents said I couldn’t do it.

I like that I picked my major because I’m passionate about it, and didn’t listen to the people that weren’t.

I like that I’m independent. If I want something done, I figure it out and do it myself.

Maybe that’s the whole list for now, but who knows? Hopefully as time goes on it will grow.

We also need to accept that sometimes it’s just not our fault. You weren’t left on “opened” or “read” because you didn’t look good enough on Snap or because you texted someone the wrong thing. Maybe the other person was busy and wanted to give themselves proper time to respond, maybe their phone died when they were opening your message, maybe they got called away and just forgot to respond, maybe they accidentally cleared the notification when they couldn’t respond and forgot about it later.

Coming to the realization that I don’t love myself was a difficult pill to swallow {even if my counselors, therapists, and doctors all knew it before I did}, but trying to change that is one of the most difficult things I’ve tried to do.

My point in writing to you is simple: I just want anyone struggling with the same thing or something similar to know that they’re not alone. Each of our situations is difficult, is complicated, and is different. To be completely honest, I don’t know if I’ll ever be comfortable putting my entire story out on the internet to be scrutinized, but until then, this is what I’ll share.



  1. August 15, 2017 / 2:24 am

    You should try and convince yourself to the logic or you will get tangled in between. Thats good that you wrote your positive points. Always keep them in mind and think that you are good.

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