I have an important question for you – Are you comfortable in your own skin? If not, do you know how to be comfortable in your own skin? Perhaps you are comfortable but could benefit from being more at peace with yourself. Either way, hopefully, this post can help you feel more comfortable with yourself.
I won’t lie, I’ve taken the long and winding road to be comfortable in my own skin. When I was in my twenties and even early thirties (if I’m being honest), I wasn’t comfortable at all.
Over the years, I have been my harshest critic. I felt I wasn’t pretty enough, not smart enough, not lovable enough (whatever the hell that was supposed to mean!) I felt no matter what I did, it wasn’t good enough.
I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin at all.
Thankfully all of the work I’ve done on my personal growth and my self-worth has changed all of that. The same can happen to you.
So what does it mean to be comfortable in your own skin?
It goes without saying, that this expression might mean different things for different people but overall I see being comfortable in your own skin as meaning – Being comfortable with who you are and believing in what you are capable of. Being comfortable in your own skin means accepting all of the different sides of yourself.
To give you a bit of a heads-up, the beginning of this post will focus on our physical bodies because when it comes to being comfortable in our own skin, this is where a lot of us really struggle.
Once we have covered the physical side of things, we’ll then move on to the other aspects of our lives that make us feel uncomfortable in our own skin (though you will quickly discover that a lot of them tie into each other).
Disclaimer – This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking one of my links. Any compensation I receive does not affect the price you pay.
Let’s dive into how to be comfortable in your own skin.
1. Understand that you are a lot more than your looks
When you think about being comfortable in your own skin the first thing you may think of is how you look.
If you think being comfortable with yourself is all about how you look it’s important to remember that your looks are only ONE part of you. It can be hard to be comfortable in your own skin if you think everything about you is based solely on how you look.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that your looks won’t affect your life at all because in many situations they will.
Years ago I remember meeting a friend of a friend and I won’t lie she was one of the most beautiful people I had met in real life. I immediately felt insecure around her (let’s just say I was still working on my self-worth at that point).
But after spending some time with this girl, I discovered something. She may have been beautiful on the outside but she wasn’t a nice person. In fact, she was an unpleasant person. She talked down to everyone, expected to be treated differently because of her beauty, and was downright mean and rude to people.
In my eyes, she turned ugly pretty damn quickly.
Beauty isn’t everything. There is a lot more to life than just your looks. While I understand that people want to look there best, don’t let your looks alone define who you are.
Books that can help you be comfortable with yourself –
- How to Do The Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal From Your Past, and Create Your Self by Dr. Nicola LePera
- Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
- How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits That Are Holding You Back From Happiness by Andrea Owen
- You Are Not A Before Picture: How to Finally Make Peace With Your Body, For Good by Alex Light
2. Understand that you are a lot more than how much you weigh
I was going to include this one in the earlier point but then I realized it warranted its own section.
You are not how much you weigh.
You are not a number on a set of scales. You are not simply a clothing size.
Look I know this stuff can be hard. Over the years, between menopause and a dodgy thyroid, I’ve gone from a size 10 to nearly a 14 around my stomach. Do I love putting on all that weight – NO.
Would I like to get rid of it – Yes.
Do I sometimes look in the mirror and wonder who the hell is that woman? – Hell YES.
Do I hate myself? NO.
Because when you hate the person in the mirror, you set yourself up for heartache and misery. I know I don’t deserve to feel miserable. I know I am worth a lot more than that. So are you.
Getting older makes you appreciate one very important thing. It’s your health that matters not how much you weigh. If you are thin but feel terrible and have no energy to do the things you love, you need to work on your health. If you are overweight and lack the energy or the ability to do the things you love doing, then you need to work on your health.
Ultimately it’s about your overall health.
Respect yourself. Respect your body. Stop treating your body like it’s your enemy. Stop focusing on the wrong things – criticizing yourself, hating yourself, and focus on the right things which is doing what is best for your health and what is right for YOUR body.
This is about respecting yourself and in turn respecting your body.
Do you treat your body like a trash can, then expect it to be a beacon of beauty and health?
If you are drinking too much, doing drugs, starving yourself, or binging on junk food you are not respecting your body.
Sometimes we might think we like ourselves just fine but then realize that we are disrespecting our bodies.
Everyone is different, so speak to your doctor and get a professional opinion on what healthy means for you.
3. Appreciate and know your own beauty
Last Christmas I caught up with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time. As we were looking through old photos of ourselves in our twenties and early thirties we couldn’t help but notice how great we looked.
My friend was quick to comment – Why were we so damn hard on ourselves, we looked gorgeous!
Because here’s the thing. Back when those photos were being taken neither of us liked ourselves very much. We criticized ourselves constantly, never felt attractive enough, and were fixated on the parts of ourselves that we didn’t like.
What a huge waste of our precious time and energy that was!
Unfortunately, I can’t turn the clock back and change those feelings BUT I can make damn sure I don’t carry those toxic, negative feelings around with me now.
You should do the same. Appreciate your beauty right now. You are so much more beautiful than you know. I promise you that.
I’ve written a three-part series on this topic, so make sure you read through them as well.
Know Your Own Beauty – Part 1
Know Your Own Beauty – Part 2
Know Your Own Beauty – Part 3
4. Find some sort of peace with the aging process
This one is really hard. It’s also a work in progress because aging is about continual change.
As someone who is 58 and going through a lot of physical changes, this whole aging process can be hard to wrap your head around!
One thing I have worked out is that like so many other things in life, it’s all about your attitude.
Some days you look in the mirror and don’t recognize who is looking back at you and that can be challenging. Other days you feel great and wonder why you are being so hard on yourself. The next week you feel 25 but think you look 60!
If your first thought about aging is stuff that, I’m off to get some Botox and plastic surgery, you might be overlooking something important.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not against plastic surgery but it’s the reasons that people get it that concern me. If you hate yourself, it’s not going to make you love yourself because self-love is so much more than just the outside packaging.
If you hate yourself, no amount of plastic surgery or injectables is going to change that. Self-hatred is a joyless emotion that robs your life of happiness.
It’s all well and good to work on your appearance on the outside but make sure you are also working on your self-worth and self-love because regardless of what age you are, they are the things that are going to make the most difference in your life.
5. Make peace with your flaws
Ahh, our flaws. Let’s just say if you can rattle off a huge list of your flaws and weaknesses but then struggle to mention any of your strengths or positive features then you need to work on being more comfortable in your own skin.
Because here is the thing. Your flaws are not flaws. They are just you. And you are just fine.
Your hair or nose or teeth or whatever you want to substitute there might be different from someone else’s but that is a good thing. Who wants to all look the same anyway?
The minute we all looked the same we would find so-called flaws in some other way.
Besides what you consider your flaws might be something that makes you stand out and it might be something that someone totally loves about you.
6. Appreciate and nurture your amazing mind
Being comfortable in your own skin is appreciating and nurturing your amazing mind.
Your creativity, your intelligence, your knowledge, and your opinions all make up an important part of who you are. There are all important aspects of yourself to appreciate and nurture.
When it comes to nurturing your mind, start with what you consume.
Trashy magazines, Hollywood gossip, junk television, and reality television shows that promote bullying and humiliating people all have an effect on our lives.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for an element of escapism in life but it’s important to realize that if it’s constant junk in – you get junk out as well.
Expand your horizons. Read more. Read both fiction and non-fiction books. Be constantly learning with online courses and embrace your creativity.
Your mind is an amazing thing. Appreciate and nurture it.
7. Work on your emotional intelligence
What is emotional intelligence exactly? The Oxford Dictionary defines emotional intelligence as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
Let’s be real, emotions tend to get a bit of a bad rap.
We say we are too emotional, too sensitive, or too cold and distant. We take everything personally or we shut ourselves off and hide away from everyone including ourselves.
Working on your emotional intelligence starts with examining your emotions, feelings, and thoughts. It starts with how you think and feel about yourself.
Read books that challenge you, read books that really make you think. Take online courses, and watch documentaries. Don’t forget your local library can help so it doesn’t have to be a case of spending a lot of money.
Related resources that can help you –
- The Mountain is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery – by Brianna Wiest. I’m currently reading this book and it is a game-changer when it comes to understanding why you are self-sabotaging and how you can stop self-sabotaging. I am learning so much about myself from this book.
- 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think – by Brianne Wiest
- What They Forget to Teach You at School: Essential Emotional Lessons Needed to Thrive by The School of Life (This is a brilliant little book with some thought-provoking chapters.)
8. Stop labeling yourself
You are never just one thing, so you need to stop labeling yourself.
Smart, pretty, dumb, flirty, athletic, boring, quiet, shy, boisterous, party girl, whatever? We give ourselves these labels all the time.
Labeling yourself as one thing is not helpful and often incorrect. On top of that we change and evolve all the time, so who you were 5 years ago might not be who you are right now.
This can be the case even if everything in your life is still the same job. Same job, same partner, same house – but you can be a different person on the inside.
Don’t judge yourself so harshly.
You might be thinking, I don’t have to label myself, other people do plenty of that for me.
And you would be right. People will label you.
I wish I could tell you that you can make them stop but you can’t. People will think whatever they want about you and some of it won’t be kind. I’m not trying to be a downer here but it’s the truth.
Your job isn’t to try to talk them out of whatever they have labeled you as, or try to be something that you are not.
Your job is to ignore them and get on with being you.
Your job and it’s a hard one, don’t get me wrong, is to not let people define you and to follow your own path. Your job is to not let those labels rattle you.
It is a tough job but you are up to it because you are strong, resilient, and brave.
The harm is done when we secretly believe the labels people apply to us. Put it this way, if you know you are smart and someone calls you stupid, it’s probably not going to have much of an effect (other than generally ticking you off) because you know you are smart and intelligent. But if you pretend to think you are smart but deep down feel stupid when someone calls you stupid or dumb, it’s going to be upsetting because it triggers an existing insecurity.
Work on breaking down your own self-limiting labels and accept that you are a growing, changing, and evolving individual and you are a lot more than one thing. You are more than any label.
Related posts – 20 Ways to Stop Caring What People Think of You
9. Know yourself
To be comfortable in your own skin, you need to know yourself.
We often fall into one of two camps.
We either know all of our good points and completely try to ignore all of our bad ones (which means we don’t get a chance to work on our issues or grow as a person) or we go the other way and only focus on our bad points or what we consider our weaknesses and completely forget about all the amazing things about ourselves.
It doesn’t have to be a one or the other situation.
To be truly comfortable in your own skin, you need to know and accept the light and dark about yourself.
You can’t love yourself when you are hiding from parts of yourself.
While it is important to love yourself, it’s also worth mentioning that it’s important to like yourself as well.
Journaling can be a great way of getting to know yourself better.
I highly recommend a great little book Burn After Writing by Sharon Jones.
This book (it’s more like a guided journal since you will be writing in it) takes you through your past, present, and future and covers some fun and serious things along the way. I recently bought a copy of this for my niece and she completely loved it, so I bought another copy for myself. It’s a fun, private way for you to get to know yourself better.
10. Be Yourself
What the! You might be thinking that knowing yourself and being yourself is the same thing, so what is this chick going on about?
Unfortunately, when we aren’t comfortable in our own skin, we try to be more like other people. We desperately try to fit in. We bend ourselves into a pretzel to be someone we are not, instead of taking the time to truly know and be ourselves.
Be yourself. Be the best version of yourself.
Related post – 10 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Self-Worth and Self-Esteem
11. Forgive yourself
One of the reasons we are uncomfortable in our own skin is that we struggle to forgive ourselves for something we did in the past.
Here’s the thing. Everyone has a past and everyone has made mistakes, screwed up (sometimes royally), and hurt someone.
But here is the thing, we can’t go back and undo any of that.
What we can do is apologise to the people we have hurt. You need to forgive yourself as well as forgive other people. Remember forgiving people doesn’t always mean letting them back into your life. It’s about letting them go. It’s about letting those negative emotions go.
What it’s really about is letting that go and living in the present. Right NOW is the only moment you have any control over. Now if the moment you need to be focusing on. This moment is what you need to be grateful for and enjoy.
The past is done. I know this stuff isn’t easy but mindfulness and being in the moment is the way to make it easier.
Related post – 10 Life-Changing Quotes on Forgiveness
12. Believe in your ability to overcome problems
Life is going to throw some not-so-great stuff in your direction. No spoiler alert there folks, since you’ve no doubt already gone through some difficult stuff already!
When we are faced with problems and hardship, it’s our ability to work through those problems that give us confidence in ourselves. That confidence gives us the belief that when a problem does arise we have the strength and resilience to deal with it.
Without the belief that we can work through our problems or overcome them even if the worst happens, life can feel more challenging. We panic that something will go wrong and that we won’t be able to deal with it.
Need help with being more resilient? CreativeLive has an excellent online course How to be Bold, Resilient, and Better Than Ever by Tabatha Coffey.
13. Get comfortable with other people
Let’s face it, we humans are social creatures (even the introverted types like myself). We need to interact and socialize with other people, regardless of whether they are family, friends, or the people we worth with.
The point I am trying to make is that we don’t live in a bubble, so while it’s important to be comfortable in your own skin, you will need to take yourself out into the world and be comfortable around others as well.
And this is where many of us come unstuck.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that you need to like everyone or that you need everyone to like you. You don’t.
But you do need to be comfortable enough with yourself to be comfortable with other people.
You also need to be comfortable setting boundaries with people, not letting them walk all over you, and sticking up for yourself.
When it comes to other people, here are some things I think it’s important to remember.
- You can’t change other people (but you can change yourself – so focus on that!)
- You can’t make someone love you
- Not everyone will like you (and that is perfectly okay and normal – you don’t like everyone either so it’s all good) 🙂
- Some people will try to manipulate you, so you need to set firm boundaries with people and stick up for yourself
- Be kind
Want to improve your people skills? CreativeLive has an online course The Power of Body Language by Vanessa Van Edwards.
14. Stop comparing yourself to other people
This is where many of us struggle. We might be feeling confident and comfortable in our own skin but then we see someone on social media or meet a person face to face and our insecurities are instantly triggered.
First up there are a couple of important things to remember about this whole comparing yourself to other people thing. One thing to remember is that people have a way of putting a spin on their lives to make them sound better than they really are and what you see on social media is NOT what you get.
Here’s the thing though, all of the above may be absolutely true but ultimately comparing yourself to other people is about low self-esteem and self-worth.
If you can feel perfectly fine one second and look at a picture of a celebrity and instantly start hating yourself, that’s your self-worth that needs working on.
I’ve written a few posts about comparing yourself, so make sure you have a read through them –
- Don’t Compare Yourself to People on Social Media
- 10 Ways Social Media Can Affect Your Emotions and Influence Your Mood
- Stop Comparing Yourself – Uncover the Reason For Comparing
15. Learn how to self-validate
While we are talking about other people, one thing that is absolutely essential is your need to self-validate.
So what does self-validation mean exactly? You need to be your own cheerleader because if you are totally reliant on other people cheering you on and telling you how wonderful you are, you are in for a world of pain.
A lot of people may seem confident but their confidence is all based on external validation. This means that while people are constantly telling them they look great, they will feel great. The problem, of course, is when someone tells them they don’t look great, their house of confidence comes crashing down.
You will notice this with people who are always seeking attention. They are usually seeking external validation so they feel better about themselves. They need the rush of people telling them they are beautiful or smart or lovable or whatever it is that they seek outside validation for.
That’s why so many people crumble under the slightest criticism because their validation mechanism is mostly external.
To be comfortable in your own skin, you absolutely must learn to self-validate.
Related post – Stop Waiting for Acceptance from Other People and Accept Yourself
16. Enjoy your own company
When you enjoy your own company you feel comfortable spending time on your own and enjoy time by yourself.
Spending time on your own doesn’t send you into a panic to find people to do things with or make you immediately grab your mobile phone so that you can communicate with people on social media.
When you enjoy your own company, you feel happy and calm on your own, not lonely or anxious.
Related posts to help you enjoy your own company –
- 12 Ways to Enjoy Your Own Company and Make the Most of Your Time Alone
- Eating Alone – How to Eat Alone (And Actually Enjoy It)
17. Take an in-depth, honest look at your habits
Our habits have a huge impact on our lives. The more honest you are with yourself about your habits and the more you act on improving your habits (unfortunately just thinking about them won’t cut it you actually have to take action) the more comfortable you will be in your own skin.
Your day is often made up of a lot of micro habits all stacked up on each other.
Making changes to the small things you do every day can have a big impact on your life. You are what you do each day on a consistent basis.
Often the behaviors and thoughts that make up our habits are the parts of ourselves that we are most uncomfortable with.
Your habits are where you get to really change your life. So if you are not feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, your habits are the first place to look to make changes in your life.
It’s really important that we are honest with ourselves here. Lying to yourself won’t help, it’s just a form of self-sabotage.
An excellent book that can help with your habits is Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. This bestseller is an excellent read and is helping change people’s lives.
18. Know your worth
Remember earlier, how I talked about weight gain and getting older?
Do you know what helped me get through all of that? It’s the one thing I talk about all the time here at Write Change Grow.
It’s knowing your worth.
It took me a long time to know my worth and lord knows, I got here the long and hard way.
But I got here and that’s all that matters. 🙂
My self-worth is my core.
Even when the sh*t hits the fan and it has a lot over the last couple of years, I have my self-worth as my core. It’s like my internal sun that everything else within me evolves around.
It can be the same for you. But you have to choose it. You have to work on improving your self-worth. Is it hard at times? Yep. But it is so, so worth it.
19. Accept that you will have your bad days
Just like in life, we all have our down moments and bad days. We all have times when we don’t feel comfortable in our own skin. That’s normal and perfectly okay.
Having a bad day (or a bad week) doesn’t make you a failure. You are not a failure at being comfortable in your own skin if you have a bad day and feel crappy.
You are merely human (and being way too hard on yourself, which is also something most of us do when we are having a crap day!) Again all totally normal and human.
What’s important is that you know how to get yourself out of your bad mood and back on track. Get yourself back to feeling happy and comfortable in your own skin.
It’s all about the bounce back.
The more you teach yourself to bounce back quickly the happier and more content you will be in life.
Related post – 45 Inspiring Feeling Low Quotes to Give You Strength When You Are Feeling Down
20. Stop thinking you are broken
Unfortunately, sometimes we get this whole personal growth, self-love, self-worth thing upside down and a bit backward.
We jump to the incorrect conclusion that because we are working on ourselves we are somehow broken.
We think of ourselves as something that we need to fix. Something you need to realize is that you are not broken.
Working to improve yourself and self-love are not mutually exclusive.
You can love yourself and be a work in progress at the same time. I’m a walking talking example of that so I can assure you that is the case. You are not broken if you want to improve yourself.
More importantly, there is nothing wrong with you, if you want to improve yourself, so don’t go down that road of thinking there is something wrong with you because it will hinder your progress.
21. Take a closer look at the stuff that makes you uncomfortable
We have talked a bit about how to be more comfortable in your own skin but what about the stuff that makes you very uncomfortable?
Here’s the thing, you don’t escape your discomfort by pretending it does not exist. You overcome it by facing it head-on. You face it by being honest with yourself and dealing with the problem.
You deal with it by processing your discomfort.
What is it that is scaring you? What are you afraid of? Dig deep into what is making you uncomfortable. Then you will be in a better position to take action and move your life forward.
Be comfortable in your own skin
If you have just read that list and thought to yourself – well that’s a laundry list of stuff I’ll never be able to do. I totally understand that sometimes lists like these, that cover big emotional topics can feel a bit overwhelming.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to master everything on this list all at once.
That is where a lot of us come unstuck (including me). We have this big list and we try to do ALL the things at once and within no time we feel overwhelmed. We feel defeated and frustrated, and quickly go back to our old habits.
Then we feel worse and give up completely.
The key is to focus on one thing at a time. Focus on one item on this list that will help you the most right now! Think through what you need the most and start with that.
Being comfortable in your own skin is about love and acceptance. Love and acceptance of yourself. You are a complex, incredible individual with your own amazing beauty, emotions, feelings, and behaviors. Cherish that and treasure yourself.
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