Below is the complete transcript of the speech I have delivered for my Public Speaking class when I was in my first year in college. Allow me to share this and to remind you of something special.
Do you love somebody? Do you love your parents, your brothers and sisters? Do you love your friends, best friends or boy friend? What about yourself? Do you love your very own self? Have you ever looked in the mirror straight in your own eyes and said the sweet words “I love you”? To those who answered no, don’t worry I am here to teach you how to love yourself completely. To those who answered yes, just sit back, relax and listen to some ways on how you could learn to love yourself more.
Loving yourself is not an easy thing to do but it is worth the effort. According to Dianne Mastromarino, the author of The Girl’s Guide to Loving Yourself, “Loving yourself takes lots of confidence and very little self-criticism. It takes acceptance and understanding and more courage than you may feel like you have some days. It is challenging your mind, knowing what is best for your heart and taking tip to toe care of your body.”
Loving yourself is not about skipping meals with the goal of reducing your waistline. It is not about depriving your body of the food it needs to fit into some trendy outfit. It is not about wearing the clothes everyone else is wearing even if you don’t feel good with it. It is not about pretending to be somebody you’re not just to be inside the circle. It is not about following what your parents or friends ask you to do because you’re too scared to hurt their feelings.
Rather, loving yourself means being able to be just yourself in front of the people surrounding you. It means being happy with who you really are. It means creating good relationships with your family and friends. It means staying with your real friends who accept you for who you are and not with what you have. It means having the courage to be unique and to be “you”, not some carbon copy of the latest model on the cover of your favorite magazine. Loving yourself means knowing how great you are and not letting any person, any place or any thing ever get in the way of that.
The first step on how you could love yourself is to accept the fact that nobody is perfect. You grew up playing with Barbie who happens to be so perfect with her pink dresses, her astounding posture, her teeny tiny waistline and her perky breasts. You even wanted to be just like her when you grow up. Now, you’re old enough to know the truth. She is an unachievable ideal. She is just a product of man’s creative mind. Barbie is just a plastic princess and you are far better than her with cute imperfections. Be proud of who are and be the best you can possibly be. Check in with yourself and figure out what you can do to be the best “you”. If you stare at yourself in the mirror and aren’t happy with what you see, go get a haircut and treat yourself to a makeover. The best “you” is definitely not brought out by locking yourself in your room because you think you look fat in your party dress and feel sad when you look at your friends’ party pictures and you are not in them.
The second step in to loving yourself is to be confident. Having confidence is feeling good about yourself both inside and outside. It means that you are comfortable with your own skin, weight and height. It means that when you wake up early in the morning and look in the mirror, you are happy with the person you see despite the tangled hair and simple look. And at night, when you lie down and go to sleep, you really feel good inside. It means accepting compliments like, “You look great”, “You are amazing” and not by giving some ridiculous responses to the praises given by other persons. The best way to gain confidence is to praise yourself once in a while. At the end of the day, you should be able to name at least one thing you are proud of having achieved. Confidence is not always being right. It is about feeling good enough about yourself.
The third step to love yourself is to get along with your family – the persons who will never leave you no matter what happens. At any age, getting along with your family members is not always the easiest thing to do. You have parents who don’t understand exactly how it is to be at your age. You have siblings who compete with you in getting the attention of your parents. Though it is sometimes easier just to shut your door, turn your iPod on or play your favorite psp game, try to remember that family matters a lot. They are the people who know you best and will always be the ones who love you most. So learning the best way to deal with your family and with the situations you may encounter together is not just an option, it is essential. Bottom line: No matter how crazy your family seems or how crazy they make you feel, family always matter most. It is important to value the persons who will always make you feel good when the rest of the world can’t.
The fourth step in loving yourself is to choose the right set of people you hang out with. Get real friends who like you for who you are and who are not talking to you just because of the clothes you are wearing or the guy you are dating. Don’t waste time with people who don’t respect you or who really don’t listen when you talk. If you can’t be completely yourself in front of someone, then that person is not your real friend. Put 100% into friendships that matter and don’t be fooled by the people who give you any less. One lesson learned the hard way, when new people start paying you special attention after you get a brand-new Louis Vuitton bag or a boyfriend who happens to be the school’s basketball team captain, they are not real friends.
The fifth and last step in the ways to love yourself is to be the master of your emotions. You probably find yourself getting totally upset over something that may not even have bothered you a few months before like feeling your boyfriend is no longer the same guy you answered “yes” months ago. Perhaps tears well up in your eyes for no reason at all or the things that used to make you happy don’t anymore. It is scary to grow up and feel everything change and to know that you have no choice but to change along with it. Don’t tuck everything inside you. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Don’t let it eat you. Remember that you are in charge of how you are feeling, not the other way around.
The one person in your life who knows you the very best, who will always stick by you, and who will never leave you is “you.” You are the only person who know when you are having a rough time or when your confidence meter is falling below average. Only you know exactly what you need to get yourself back on track and feeling the superwoman you really are.
To truly live your life into the fullest, you have to fall inlove with the one person who matters most, YOURSELF. Take it from me, somebody who loves herself more than anybody could love her more. Thank you for listening. Remember: love yourself, each and every single part, from your little pinky toe to your great big mind and all other parts in between. You deserve nothing less.