Time to explore the topic of Self Love.

Loving yourself is the first step to your success. Loving yourself builds your self confidence, which then allows you to accomplish every SMART goal you have set for yourself. Loving yourself also gives you the confidence to face every obstacle that is in the way of your success. Above all, loving yourself can make you happier!

Loving myself is something that I have struggled with more than ever since I started college. There have been many low moments of self doubt, low self esteem, and high stress levels due to procrastination.

I have doubted my belonging in college, my grades, my performance, and my ability to succeed. As a first gen, it is difficult to find or feel a sense of belonging in college when we first start. We do not have a blueprint; we have to figure it all out on our own. Sometimes we may have people cheering for us to succeed, but there may be times when we feel as if we do not have support. Sometimes it feels like we just won’t be able to figure it all out. That is when the self doubt thoughts begin to intrude. “Do I belong here?” “I probably failed that test.” “Can I really do this?” “Will I get this degree?” “Will I succeed and make everyone proud?” These are all things I thought and asked myself my first year of college. Once I started to get the hang of things, I started to notice that I was navigating through college just fine, the thoughts began to change. I worked hard to build a support network, to get good grades, and to succeed through that doubt-filled first year. I created my own blueprint to success.

Now there is no doubt in my mind that I do belong in college. I will pass all of my tests. I will get good grades. I can do this and I will be great. I will get these degrees. I will succeed and make myself proud! So, it’s okay if going into college you begin or began to doubt a lot of things including yourself and your success. First, just remember that in those low times of self- doubt, there are many others thinking and feeling the same way. Then, pick yourself up by working hard and not giving up on the process of figuring college out because you will get there. I repeat: You will get there. Finally, believe in yourself, prove those self-doubts wrong, and change your negative self-talk.

My self- esteem had never been the best, but that is okay I have worked on it. I got bullied a lot in middle school and that has been the biggest source as to why my confidence had never reached the top. Before I got to college, I told myself that I would no longer be self conscious of a lot of the things that I have always been insecure of and that I would start with a high self esteem. Unfortunately, it did not go as planned. I did not start college with a good foundation of a high self- esteem, so I walked in with a low self- esteem and I am currently on a road to a high one.

Your self esteem is like a tower. You cannot let others make that base or foundation of that tower because then you give those people the power to take that tower down at any given moment. You have to be the one to create that foundation. You have to love yourself first so that the skyscraper that you are building will only be allowed to be destroyed if you choose to destroy it. How did I get on the road a high self-esteem? Well, I began by only telling myself only positive thoughts. I have learned to not care of what others think of my appearance or personality… to an extent. I have learned to do things for ME. I have began to engage in the things that I love rather than in the things others want me to engage in. I have learned to enjoy my own company, and my appearance, and myself in general. I have learned how to begin to love myself for who and how I am and there is no better feeling.

You know how they say “Curiosity killed the cat.”? Well, procrastination has killed me… not literally, but you get the idea. When you do not love yourself, you sort of lose motivation in everything you do. Since you are not motivated to get things done, you procrastinate on the things that will benefit you. One common example would be going to the gym. I would continuously procrastinate on going because I had no motivation. I knew that it would make me feel better about my appearance and I knew it would reduce my stress, but I would prefer to lay in bed, eat and cry. Where did that get me? Feeling worse. Another example would be my course work. I would procrastinate on all my readings, homework, papers, and studying because I would prefer to lay in bed and not do anything.

Once I started to build my self love, I began to gain the motivation to go to the gym and get my academics together. I spend less time in bed and more time being productive. If you don’t feel motivated, your success is going to be hard to reach. Self love will help improve your motivation and thus increase the chances of you succeeding. Make February the start of your self-love journey if you have not already started, of course. You won’t regret it. Self love is a key to succeeding and the key to happiness. With that being said you hold the key to your success and and your happiness.