The first step to being comfortable with yourself (and eventually loving yourself) is being your ideal self. However, it is hard to do so when you don’t know yourself very well. Your ideal self is not someone you can become overnight, but having an idea of who you are and who you want to be will help you to embody the you that’ll make you the happiest.
Start by spending time alone. Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely, and the only way to get to know yourself better is to…hang out with yourself (and only yourself).
Reflect on everything. Who you are, who you want to be, why a certain person or instance makes you mad or happy. Look at everything in depth. Try to understand why certain things make you feel certain ways. Reflect on who you are in this moment. Reflect on your favorite and least favorite parts of yourself. Ask yourself why. Talk to yourself. Talk yourself through everything. Discuss with yourself. Figure yourself out with yourself (or a therapist).
Put yourself first. Stop living for your parents or your loved ones or for the unrealistic society ideals. Focus on your happiness and your ideal self, and work towards that. Putting yourself first is not selfish if you are conscientious about how you affect others.
Do whatever makes you happiest and feels the most comforting—reflect on why this is and how you can make those things central in your life. If you don’t know what you like to do or are talented at, try new things. Start painting or dancing or a new instrument, anything new! Read about subjects that interest you. Talk about subjects you’re interested in. Find people who have similar interests to you. Don’t stress about doing something that’ll make you the most money, focus on finding something that’ll make you feel the most fulfilled.
Be okay with who you are at and in this moment, even if it not who you want to be eventually. Just recognize your current self as a starting point or a transition point. You can’t snap your fingers and wake up a new person—it takes time, patience, and persistence. Everyday brings you new experiences and ideas, so take them as they come and use them to help you grow. Just because you are not at your ideal self yet does not mean you are a failure—you are getting there and you should be proud of your progress and perseverance everyday.
Speak your truth. Whether others disagree with or belittle you, being completely honest with your beliefs will bring you inner-peace. Stop faking. Be you, be real. Accept yourself for who you are and others will follow. Being honest with yourself will allow you to grow even more than if you suppress your true self.
Be someone you’d fall in love with. Your ideal self should be your ideal for YOU. Whether that’s a person filled with love and kindness or a person filled will passion. Find yourself through love and growth. Be open to change and the journey that comes. Work towards your ideal self with compassion and patience. Remember that this is a lifelong journey, but you and only you can make it a beautiful one.