After a conversation that I had last night with a beautiful, amazing, strong young lady, who like many of us, has been struggling to see all of those wonderful things in herself, I became inspired.

Why is it that we find it so easy to give compliments to others, to point out their better qualities and to ignore their faults and yet when it comes to doing that very same thing for ourselves, it becomes seemingly impossible.

We look in the mirror and we almost instantly pick ourselves apart. We find anything and everything that we dislike about ourselves and we highlight it. So much so, that eventually, it’s all we ever see. Eventually, without even realising, all of those beautiful things that make us who we are, are torn down and replaced with negative comments and terrible thoughts. Eventually, without even realising it, we lose sight of our own beauty because we’ve been picking apart our flaws for so long. Flaws that more often than not, the rest of the world can’t even see.

We tear ourselves down and at the very same time, we place the rest of the world so high up on a pedestal that it becomes almost impossible to reach them. We compare ourselves to others on a daily basis and we value our own self worth by how worthy perceive others to be, when quite often that perception could not be further from the truth.

On any given day, we could walk down the street and see a million girls with a million and one traits that we would kill to have. Girls with perfect legs, gorgeous hair, amazing skin, that beautiful summer glow, clothes that we could only dream of and a quiet confidence that somehow pulls it all together and yet chances are, if we stopped to compliment them on any one of those things, our compliment wouldn’t be heard because they too are just like us. Although they may appear in our eyes to be pure perfection, they too have their downfalls and their insecurities. Believe it or not, they too are just as self conscious as we are.

Although we may not admit it to ourselves, the odds are that we’ve all been there. We’ve all been that girl who doubts herself on more than one occassion and unless this issue is something that we’ve previously addressed and consciously changed, then I would take a wild guess and say that most of us are probably still there. Still struggling to see our own beauty, because we’re constantly clouded by our own negative judgements.

So why is it that we continue to tear ourselves down, day in and day out?

Why is it that we insist on comparing ourselves to others, who we know are doing that very same thing with us?

Why is it that we feel the need to base our own self worth on how worthy we believe others to be?

When did treating ourselves in such a negative way become something so accepted, something so universal?

When did beauty become more about the girl standing next to us than the girl staring back at us in the mirror?

When did beauty become skin deep?

That daily battle; the battle of self worth, it starts with us and it ends with us and if we can be strong enough to stand up and fight back, then maybe, if we’re really lucky, that battle can end right now. Maybe if we’re really lucky, we can turn things around and finally start to appreciate our own beauty.

We need to stop tearing ourselves down and we need to start lifting ourselves back up. We need to stop telling ourselves horrible things and we need to start reminding ourselves of the things that make us beautiful, the things that make us unique. We need to stop putting the rest of the world so high up on a pedestal, only to make ourselves feel inadequate. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and we need to start giving ourselves permission to be completely ourselves, flaws and all. We need to stop convincing ourselves that we are worthless and start reminding ourselves that we are in fact worth nothing less than the world.

Love starts with us; it starts within ourselves. Love starts in the mirror, with that person staring back at us. If we can learn to accept that person, then we can begin to accept anyone or anything. If we can learn to appreciate that person, then people can begin to appreciate us. If we can learn to love that person, then love can finally have a chance at finding us.

After all, it’s not the clothes we wear or how we do our make up, it’s not the car we drive or how we style our hair, it’s not how much money we make or how smart we are, it’s not how tanned or how pale our skin may be and it’s not how big or how small we are that defines us. None of that is what makes a person truly beautiful.

What makes a person beautiful is their heart and their soul, their personality and their uniqueness, their zest for life and the confidence that they have in themselves. A confident girl with a smile on her face, happy within herself and completely comfortable in her own skin; that’s the type of girl who is beautiful. That’s the type of girl who we should all aspire to be.

So the next time you find yourself standing there, tearing down that beautiful person staring back at you, please stop. Stop breaking apart that perfect little smile and instead, start doing everything in your power to slowly put it back together again.

Beginning today, start believing that you are the most beautiful, wonderful, precious gift that God could have possibly given to this world, because although you may not believe that right now, eventually, you will.

Eventually you’ll begin to believe in yourself again, eventually you’ll begin to love yourself again and eventually, you’ll begin to see the beauty in yourself again. Eventually you will win this battle of the mind, because at the end of the day, you’re far too beautiful not too.