Meghan Markle on how to build self-esteem

Actress Meghan Markle talks about how simple changes in perspective can help you build self-esteem and be comfortable in your own skin.

Meghan Markle on how to build self-esteem
Dove/George Pimentel
Meghan Markle, known for playing Rachel Zane on the TV show Suits, has become a role model for girls and women everywhere, speaking out as a women’s advocate with the United Nations and getting real about things like race and beauty in the media. Most recently, she has been working with Dove to promote self-esteem among youth. We spoke to her about how to refocus your perspective to build the confidence you need to conquer anything.

Listen to your inner voice.
“When I was younger, I found my confidence more from the outside, needing validation from friends or teachers to help remind me of my value and my worth,” says Meghan. But when you’re looking for approval from the outside, you’ll never be enough. “There comes a point, especially in this career, that there becomes so much noise from the outside that you can really put too much stock in it.” Now, Meghan says her confidence comes from a voice inside that tells her she is enough. “It is my barometer of how I feel about myself. It’s my inner truth.”

Make that voice a supportive friend.
Is your inner voice just a critic? Try to look at yourself as you would look at a friend. “If we were as kind to ourselves as we are to our best friends, think how much better off we would be,” says Meghan. Need help making that change? Surround yourself with real friends who are supportive and will remind you of your worth. “I think it’s really important that we make our squad goals to have those friends. They’re uplifting us no matter what.”

Look to role models you see every day.
“It’s really easy to get caught in this trap of playing comparison on Instagram and wherever else,” says Meghan. Unconsciously, we compare ourselves to the incredible lives and beautiful people we see on social media, in movies and on TV. Most of the time, those images we see are far from reality, but, she suggests, focusing on people we admire in our real lives can help ground our perspective. “It’s really about: Wow, this person is so inspiring and I feel that I can achieve the same sort of thing,” explains Meghan. She names Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, as one of her role models. “She had sort of taken me under her wing early on when I booked Suits and I just so value her work ethic and savvy and ability to find balance.”

Don’t expect perfection.
We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t expect perfection from our bodies, but the same goes for our body image and confidence. “It is such a journey,” says Meghan. “It would be a lie to say I just love everything about myself. It’s a process.” She admits that even looking back on her time at Suits, there are shots of herself that she doesn't like, but she’s made peace with it. “I don’t think your happiness is going to come from your body image,” she says. “I think there comes a point when you start to focus on the stuff that actually matters and that starts to become your truth.”

So where does happiness come from? Discover five routes to true happiness

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