It’s virtually impossible these days to move through life without being bombarded with someone else’s idea of what perfection is. We’re told, “You need this,” “You should wear this” and “You’re supposed to be this way or that way,” but no one ever tells us that we’re fine exactly as we are.

In this “whoever owns the most stuff wins” society, no one ever does.

The story of Madame Bovary is a good example of self-sabotage. It is a story about a woman who seems to have it all: a beautiful house, a loving and devoted husband, public standing and respect, wonderful children, and a family who loves her dearly.

In her youth, she went to a fancy ball at the luxurious home of a count, and after that experience she compared everything in her life to that one night. Nothing she ever had was enough anymore. She cheated on her husband and ran them into debt to fill the hole in her life that she, herself, had created. In the end, she brought herself and her family to ruin. All because she always wanted more and nothing was ever good enough for her.

We sabotage ourselves and make ourselves unhappy with negative thinking about our bodies, wanting more things, and trying to be something we are not. We read magazines and watch TV and we see perfection: the perfect romance and the handsome hero saving the damsel in distress – a world where everyone is heroic, beautiful, and perfect.

That is of course fiction. If we really want to love ourselves, we need to learn to accept ourselves as we are and enjoy the good things in our own lives.

If you are like most people, then here’s a few areas where you are probably comparing yourself to others. You will find out how to break free from the norm of society so you can move on to loving yourself for who you are.

Your Body Image

Hollywood seems to want us to believe that everyone is fit, skinny and tanned and has perfect skin, teeth and hair. But that’s all a facade! Do you really want to compare yourself to that imagined picture of beauty?

That which is truly beautiful about you comes from inside you. Make a list of things that you love about yourself. If you really feel that you’re overweight and are unhappy about it, then do something! Change your eating habits and get out and walk a little everyday. Remember that not everyone is a supermodel, nor is everyone supposed to be.

Your Career

It sounds too simple but if you are stuck in a job you hate, find a new one. It may not be easy, but it is possible. If your work is making you physically ill, then it really is time to move on. The misery that you feel will carry over to the rest of your life.

Take the time to find out what you love doing and then look for a way to get paid to do it. It might not happen overnight and it may not be easy, but if you love what you do, your entire outlook on life will improve dramatically.

Your Possessions

Wherever you look, you’re being bombarded with ads for stuff and it all looks so amazing. Everything is designed to make us want more and more things, but do we really need them? Possessions won’t fill the void in your life or provide you with true happiness.

What are you really missing in your life? Figure that out and then concentrate on filling that need, but be completely honest and realistic with yourself about it.

Relationships

If you are in a healthy relationship and truly in love for several decades or even years, then you are very blessed. It is important to realize that, as a relationship goes on for months and years, it may not always be a whirlwind of romance and passion, and it is not realistic to always expect your partner to be breathtaking.

No matter what you see on TV, it is not your partner’s job to make you happy – You are the only one who can make you happy. A good relationship also requires some work and creativity; Think of ways to make your relationship feel new and exciting, and, most importantly, take joy in the fact that you have found that special person who is right for you and loves you.

The Past

Remember that the past is just that – the past. There is nothing you can do to change the past and the only thing you can do is learn from it. Don’t let your life revolve around a singular past event, no matter how terrible or great it was. Don’t let something that happened in the past eat you up and destroy your future. Instead, think about how you can become better from it, and then let it go and make the commitment to move forward.

Loving Yourself

Lastly, realize that you are amazing, just as you are. The very fact that you are different from everyone else is what makes you special. Just think about it for a moment; no one in the world is exactly like you and that makes you unique and special.

Ask the people who care about you how they see you. You may be amazed about how their image differs from your own self-image, and this will help you understand why they love you and why you should appreciate and love yourself for who you are.

Follow these tips to find a new satisfaction in yourself, your loved ones, and your life. You will be happy you did!