overcoming low self esteem in 2015

It doesn't take much of an investigation to notice there was a sizable gap between my current posts and the ones which came before August. I addressed the reasons why I took a break from writing a blog in my post after I returned here but I wanted to talk about the issue outside of blogging as I think its quite pertinent in todays culture.

Today's generation is incredibly visually focussed, that's why websites and apps such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are all so popular, because the user has an option to view eye capturing, beautiful images without committing to reading the words behind the image - if there even is any.

Social media also plays a huge role in todays society. Most of us have grown up with it and have never really been without it when you think about it. Myspace, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, it's like social media developed as we grew. Now most people will not go longer than four hours without checking their social media accounts, with many checking them on first waking up and last thing in the day before sleeping.

But it's so important not to lose sight of what social media really is - an extension of the media. It's not a new notion that mass media is engineered to create consumers in industries such as beauty, fashion and fitness. The way this works is simple - the media creates material which makes people feel like they are lacking, preying on low self esteem and encouraging them to buy into a certain industry to improve their life or situation, its an endless cycle. There is a reason why people enjoy reading entertainment news and watching reality TV, it is because we see those people as just like us, like real people.

If you struggle to accept and love yourself, it can be difficult to look at images in the media and on social media without  it taking away chunks of your confidence and self esteem each time. Content like this can make you feel like everybody has it all but you and that can be hard to take.

You don't have to attain the industrys standards of beautiful, they are are not attainable, you will never get there, you shouldn't even strive to. We all know that magazines are photoshopped but I don't think people accept as easily that reality TV shows are engineered and set up, instagram images are also edited and incredibly selective, even blogs are. Nobody shares the ugly parts of their life, why would they want to and why would anybody want to read about it? But its important to remember that everybody has them.

If you struggle to accept and love yourself, it can be difficult to look at images in the media and on social media without  it taking away chunks of your confidence and self esteem each time.

Earlier this year I became increasingly worried about what people thought of me, I never felt good enough, I thought success would be creating popular online content. For some, thats what success is, it's what their business depends on. But for me it isn't.  This doubt in self confidence affected my self esteem and it bled into my daily life. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror without seeing so many flaws in my own self because everyday I was scrolling through instagram and tabloids and seeing pictures of women with perfectly toned bodies and beautifully made up faces and feeling disgusting. But there is nothing wrong with how I look, there is nothing wrong with my body, I am a healthy young woman. It is one of the saddest things to dislike yourself and feel like you don't measure up to EVERYBODY else. That you're the only one who looks like this and people don't like you as much as they like everybody else. I found myself bitter and jealous of other peoples success because I was so unhappy with myself. I wondered why anybody would like me when there were so many other amazing people out there to like more. I'd look at Tumblr and see images of people who looked cool, beautiful and confident and that would just make the feeling worse. Sometimes those who appear the most confident aren't, they're just overcompensating for how they really feel.

Those who are the happiest in this world are those who have not given in to the pressures of society, who accept themselves for who they are and, most importantly, they like themselves. It is not a taboo to love yourself as some would like you to think, you and your body are one for life, care for it but love it - there is nothing wrong with that.

It's not easy to break free of how this feels, and for me it started to lead to anxiety that I'd never experienced before and it began affecting how I lived my life. Now, I'm so much happier in my own skin, I look in the mirror and I don't hate what I see. Most surprisingly, I can look at others and appreciate their uniqueness, be happy for their success, it's like learning to love yourself helps you to love others too.

Below I've wrote out some advice that I had to tell myself all the time to help me learn to like myself again -

Be Yourself & Accept Yourself
Nobody will ever be you. You are unique. Don't worry all the time about how you aren't unique when you just are! Trying to hard to maintain a pretence of how you think people would want you to be is exhausting and not good for your confidence. People will love you for being you, and if they don't then they aren't worth it, you know the drill. It's one thing to be say 'be yourself' but it's also important to accept yourself! Somebody once told me that if you wrote down all the negative thoughts you thought about yourself, you'd be shocked, you would never say those insults to another, don't do it to yourself either. Treat yourself kindly and with respect.

Take a Step Back &  Look Around
Scrolling and scrolling through social media, what is popular at this time is all the same. That doesn't mean its the only right way, the only measure of success. I had to take a step back from social media so I was not surrounded by things to compare myself to. By not being so involved and absorbed by my phone I was able to look around me and see that everybody is different, in a great way. I could see that people were happy and 'beautiful' yet they did not look the same as eachother at all. It made me feel so much more comfortable in myself to know that when people look at me they do not see all the bad things I think about myself.

Comparison is the Thief of All Joy
How many times have you heard this quote? It's so true. Do not compare youself to anybody. You may compare youself to somebody and think nothing you have is good enough, but that person could feel exactly the same way, you don't know how they feel. Learn to appreciate the things that make you 'you'. In the same vein, appreciating others beauty without searching for their flaws can help you see your own beauty. Sometimes when you're confidence is low, judging others and pointing out their flaws can help you feel better, but its not nice and the feeling is fleeting and does not last, it only serves to make you feel worse. When you can accept others success without feeling intimidated and jealous you're less likely to see flaws in yourself.

Take Steps to Make Yourself Happy
If you really want to make improvements to your life that will make you happy thats okay. If you're not treating people around you well or you're not treating yourself well its time to make some small changes to fix this. So if you are eating lots of junk and its making you tired and unhappy then sure change this, but don't let that define your success, you can always keep trying.

Define Success
This is important.  In most cases success is NOT numbers of instagram likes or retweets, they will not make you truly happy, do  not search for validation from social media. Success means different things to different people, maybe your idea of success is seeing your family more, or getting outdoors more. Define small goals and be happy when you acheive them, maybe its drinking more water, maybe its switching off your phone for an hour.

But Remember You're Allowed to Fail
Of course you are! You can't be successful everyday, nobody is, everybody has bad days. Do not put so much pressure on yourself for fear of failing. Life is about making mistakes and moving on from them. Don't let fear of failure let you feel like you're a failure. You have your whole life to keep trying, but don't expect to be perfect, nobody is.

Life is about making mistakes and moving on from them. Don't let fear of failure let you feel like you're a failure. You have your whole life to keep trying, but don't expect to be perfect, nobody is.

Don't Let the Opinion of Others Affect You
and don't try to please them. Everybody likes different things, thats the beauty of the world. When you let what people think of you become your main driver for the things you do, you won't be able to accept yourself or be happy. People have things to say about what everybody does, probably because they have their own confidence problems. You aren't being true to yourself if you try to make them all happy and like you, its not sustainable and it invalidates every other point I've made already!

Finally, I want to leave this here. It's always a good listen when you're feeling low and unsure of yourself, it helps you to learn to appreciate your surroundings and the beauty of life itself.


  1. This post kind of relates to how I've been feeling lately. I completely agree with the line 'Those who are the happiest in this world are those who have not given in to the pressures of society, who accept themselves for who they are and, most importantly, they like themselves'
    It is definitely important to step back, stop comparing and just concentrate on being happy and doing things for you not what people will think of you.
    I still really love to read blogs, and peoples words and think I'm going to take a break from Facebook and Instagram for a while.
    Great blog, keep up the good work xx

    1. Yes! it is difficult though as you want to be the best version of yourself and its so hard to not compare.

      I love to read blogs too! Especially smaller ones who are a line into the lives of a normal 9-5 girl or student. Sometimes with the industry today and the larger editorial style blogs sometimes it can give a false impression which we are comparing ourselves too - somebodys highlight reel. Of course this is unintentional.

      Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.


  2. I so agree with this, I had quite a long time out of blogging too and realised how much social media affects us. It's difficult because blogging can be such a great place for self expression but it can also be the place where self doubt / hate can consume us and fester until we lose passion for what should just be an outlet and something fun and creative to do. I try really hard to not get caught up in the Instagram versions of people's lives, because like you say, it's just an extension of of the media which is such a good way of phrasing it. We only see the reality tv version of people's lives and it's easy to become overtaken with how we want to portray ourselves rather than working on who we are in real life.§
    Great post Jayde!


I love to read every one of your comments and I will always reply to any questions, so please check back for replies! thank you!! Alternatively you can tweet me @rileyjayde or pop me an email at jayderiley@hotmail.com

Jayde / 22 / North West England


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