They say the bad times make us stronger, that mistakes are not mistakes, only lessons. I know for a fact that in ten years this list will differ. I’ll be all the wiser, older, more grown. For now, this suffices. These are ten lessons I have learnt that changed my world and who I am. Maybe you can relate or maybe you will question the impact of these for your own being.
1. Physical beauty only helps your confidence to a certain point
My entire life really was filled with low self-esteem. From a child that struggled to make friends, to a teenager that struggled to be confident. I focused everything on physical appearance. If my eyebrows were more defined, if my body was more toned, if my skin was smoother. If I could change all the issues impacting my self-worth, than I could be happier. I worked on these flaws. And I love making tweaks to physical appearance, as you grow you want your image to reflect that.
But self-worth is not achievable purely by tweaks. You have to like yourself. You have to work on setting goals and making yourself stronger mentally. Your mind consumes your thoughts. If you are insecure, and you lose weight, your mind can easily start to find another flaw to fixate on. Training your mind to not criticise you everyday, that’s the kind of thing that works on your confidence and works on it long-term.
2. Power does not mean control
Have you ever looked up to someone? This person has something that you admire. And sometimes this power or thing, makes you want to do everything they say, even if you disagree. As I am a makeup artist, let’s use that as an example. A makeup artist you follow, tells you a particular product is the best. They say nothing else compares and yet you go home and you try this product and it doesn’t really work with you. Yet you stick to it and try to make it work. Or what about when someone higher up in your work industry, tells you how to do something even though you disagree.
Now, I’m all for advice and listening to other people’s opinions. I definitely believe knowledge is power, and any information to digest is amazing. We still have our own lives though, and there are different ways to most things. Figure out your way, take all the words on board, then decide how you want to incorporate them into your life, if at all. I met a very successful photographer who said to me I could never model. That my skin was still bad and I was fooling myself. The very next day, I met another incredibly successful photographer and he said the opposite. I’m not saying the first person was wrong, be that as it may, I chose to listen to the second person and my life has improved.
3. Health equals happiness
My priority when it came to fitness, was always about looking good. If I was exercising or eating a salad, it was only about making my stomach flat. How naive I was, to assume physical improvement was the only one that mattered. Taking care of myself has rewarded me with a heap of benefits. My skin, my mind, my optimism,in addition to my energy. The list goes on. I completely encourage making healthier choices. I still enjoy chocolate and pizza etc, it’s just not the focal point of my diet.
4. It’s ok to let people go
When you have been friends with someone for a long time and you share memories, it’s easy to stay friends despite the obvious divide. Unfortunately, we do not always grow in the same way as the people around us. There is nothing worse than negativity; life is too short to keep a person around just because you have history. Always try to surround yourself with love and support.
5. Setbacks can be hidden opportunities
You know the phrase “when one door closes, another door opens”; life can evolve and develop many times over. I am a perfectionist so anytime I have not been able to do something or heard the word no, it would eat me up inside. I really understood this last year, a setback can challenge you to work harder, to think smarter. You can come out more advanced so it’s important to not view them as a bad thing.
6. Regrets are not worth living
We all make mistakes. In spite of this fact, we still take them badly. The best way with a mistake is just to move forward and learn. Spending your life forever contemplating what you did or didn’t do, will lead you with a life consumed by regretful thoughts.
7. Continue to step out of your comfort zone
I love comfort. I love being in my pj’s with one of my favorite movies and favourite food. Comfort is essential. We all have comfort zones, some of ours extends further than others. My issue is, when you put yourself in a box, how do you go beyond it? Every year, I make a point to try to push myself in some way, or do something that scares me. This is what helps keep life exciting. It keeps you discovering what you’re actually capable of.
8. You never know what someone is going through
I was surprised to hear my friend has a history of depression. The same friend who is always smiling and seemingly happy. My mantra is, if you want good friends, you have to be a good friend. Reach out to those closest to you in your life. I like to write sweet messages, one’s that go beyond you look great, or love your haircut. With social media, we are quick to compliment a person’s look and not their actual life decisions. Remember to be wary of both.
9. Ask yourself, can I improve what I am doing?
I ask myself this question usually late at night. If my fitness is slacking or I’m trying to implement an idea, I question if I can do it better. The answer tends to be yes. Most of us do this thing, where instead of exploring our methods, we question ourselves. Before you sit back and analyse if you are capable, ask yourself if you are capable with the way you are doing it. Quit the method before you quit on yourself.
10. Beauty is what you make it
Last year was the first time (well that I can recall) that I have walked out of my house with no makeup. I have posted images with no makeup. Beauty seems to be a trend where if a magazine tells you to grow your eyebrows, you grow them. If you see people online posting videos on contouring, you want to contour. While science may have the research to dictate what we find attractive, society doesn’t. Don’t follow the crowd if you don’t want too. Embrace who you are, flaws and all.