To Achieve Your Dreams, Love Yourself

            Up until very recently, I never really understood what people meant when they said, “be your own best friend.” Sure, I figured they meant that you shouldn’t put yourself down and you should refrain from being too hard on yourself, but I didn’t fully appreciate the power of self-love. However, for a little over a year now, I have been working hard on self-improvement and personal empowerment. I have been working to become a more confident person, and ultimately a more successful person in all aspects of my life. In the process, I have noticed that being kind to myself, and appreciating my strengths has been the most important factor in helping me to become that more successful person. So to anyone who is striving to achieve her dreams, I would advise starting with a little self-love. 

            The first step of loving yourself is abandoning self-deprecating thoughts. The process, however, does not stop there. Once you’re able to set the self-loathing aside, you have to acknowledge your strengths. What are the things that you’re good at? What characteristics do you possess that make you a wonderful person to be around? What hobbies and interests do you have that make you unique? Once you’re able to recognize all of the things that you love about yourself, you’ll be able to utilize those things to help you achieve your goals. For example, I set myself a goal of becoming more involved with a few groups on campus, but at first, I was too scared to pursue it. I always felt as though I was too quiet to contribute to conversations, so first, I had to try to counter this negative thought every time it crossed my mind. Battling such an automatic thought has not been easy, but over time, the thought that I’m too quiet has entered my mind with less frequency, indicating that fighting negative feelings really does work. Next, I listed the things that would me make a good contributor to any group. People have always told me that I’m very thoughtful and inclusive, and am a good listener. Knowing that I had these qualities empowered me to become a more active participant in several clubs. Being able to fight the negative with the positive has helped me to achieve many other goals as well, thereby moving me closer to my ultimate dream of greater success. 

            If you feel like you’re having trouble achieving your dreams, it might be because you’re not loving yourself enough, as crazy as that sounds. Be your own greatest advocate. Before a big exam or interview, give yourself a mental pep-talk. Remind yourself of all the skills that you have to offer. Always be proud of who you are and everything that you have accomplished, because if you believe that you’re worth it, people around you will start believing it too. And just like that, you’ll be one massive step closer to achieving your dreams.