I never really felt beautiful. In fact, I spent much of my formative years hating just about everything about myself. I was insecure about the gap in between my teeth, my tiny breast, being short and just about everything that I could think of.

I had very little confidence and quickly found jealously to be an easy ally. I envied the ‘pretty girls” with the the soft features, the perfect pearly white teeth and the long luxurious hair.

I spent years thinking, “Why can’t I look like them?”

This cycle of negative self-talk spanned for years up until my early 20’s until someone asked me a simple question, “Why are you comparing yourself to other people?”

That was a great question.

Why was I comparing myself to others? I was smart, funny charismatic and witty, but most importantly, I was enough, but for some reason, I could not see it until I decided to take some time to do some self-evaluation.

And here are three lessons I learned that changed my life.

Others perspective of me is none of my business

As I began to note patterns in my life where I’d allowed self-doubt to run rampant, I’d always find someone else’s opinion of me at the epicenter. Once I began to understand that it was not my responsibility to live up to anyone’s expectations but my own, my life became much easier.

Perfection is an illusion

No one is perfect and no one will ever be. Everyone has so-called flaws or things about themselves that they’d like to change, but why? Why do so many people believe they need to change? The unique idiosyncrasies make us who we are and when I began to embrace those things about myself, it made loving who I really am much easier.

Leave negative people behind

I truly believe that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. So I decided to make an executive decision for my life and remove people that only reinforced my negative beliefs about me and my capabilities.