learning about self love
Self love and self acceptance are 2 extremely difficult things to master, I indeed haven’t fully mastered either of the two myself. However, I am trying really hard everyday to practice little acts of self love and acceptance as I do truly believe this is key to living a happy positive life. I have been doing a lot of reading on this and I would like to share with you some things that I have learned in the hope we can all start becoming a little kinder to ourselves.
It’s so important to like who you are as a person. When you learn to love who you are and accept yourself the way you are, you will begin to receive the appreciation and love that you desire from other people, you will automatically be drawn to people more suited to you, and people who can satisfy you. I do believe that the better you feel about yourself the better your life becomes. I think the stronger you get as a person, the more enjoyable your day to day life is, once you have established a sense of self worth the people that bring negativity, sadness or stress to your life will slowly begin to disappear, because if they aren’t meeting your needs or their attitude / behaviours aren’t agreeing with your solid core beliefs, you have no struggle to let them go because you know you deserve better.
One thing that I think is very important with self love and self acceptance, is allowing yourself to take a pause from life. Its ok to need some space to go and discover who you are and what your core beliefs and values are. Take the time to sit alone and listen to yourself, your needs and desires. You must also understand and accept that who you are comes with good and bad, just like everyone else and this is totally ok, you are human! However when acknowledging the things that you aren’t so fond of about yourself, take steps in the right direction that will lead you towards improvement, if there are certain things you do not like about yourself that CAN be changed, go ahead and try and do it! I’ve acknowledged plenty of negative qualities within my self in the past few years, some of which I don’t have anymore because I took the time and energy to change and be better for myself. One thing I will say is, don’t be afraid to turn around to yourself one day and go yeah I look so beautiful today! Or be proud if you did a good deed that day, that doesn’t make you stuck up or self obsessed, its healthy to remind yourself of your talents and strengths!
Do not wait on approval from other people, you are the only person that needs to be accepted by you. You should never have to sacrifice who you are / who you are aspiring to be for someone else, this is your life. My mum always used to say to me when I was having a tough time in high school is no one has the power to make you feel small unless you give them the right to do so. Once you give up the desire to be perfect to others your life will shift completely, as I mentioned before in my blog post I did about my food addiction I know what its like to seek approval from other people, and constantly need validation from others to feel good about yourself, but I have learned that my life belongs to me and me only, this is my journey and I do not need permission from anyone else to simply be me. You lose control of your own life when you give people the power to validate / approve of you based on their opinions. One of my favourite quotes in the world is “someones inability to see your worth does not decrease your value” you are no less or more of a person based on how many people like or approve of you. You must let go of the idea that you need other peoples approval to feel good about yourself. I was constantly looking for approval from other people, looking for more and more people to tell me that I was worthy or pretty, and I would’ve continued to search for that for my whole life, and I would have never found it, because the only person you need to find approval from is yourself. Honestly, the moment in which you realise that you don’t need anyone else’s approval but your own is truly incredible. You become at peace with yourself and are free to be unapologetically you. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t take into consideration others opinions and never listen to anything anyone ever says, because genuine feedback is healthy however what I am saying is that your validity of yourself needs to come from you.
I also believe that you will continue to have relationships / friendships with people who do not fulfil you if you don’t have a sense of self worth because the way that you treat yourself or feel about yourself sets an example to other people about how they can treat you. One thing that I have really struggled with in my past relationships / friendships due to low self esteem is trying to test people. I find myself constantly pushing and putting pressure on a certain person until they reach a breaking point so I can see if they leave, because my mind expects that they will, and that just confirms my belief that everyone will leave me because I am not good enough. Now that I am establishing a sense of self worth I am learning that I do not have to do this, not only because its an extremely pressurising and unhealthy habit to have, but because I know deep down that I am not a bad person, sure I’ve done my fair share of bad things in my life time, things that don’t sit well with my morals, things I wish I’d done differently, mistakes I wish I hadn’t made but all in all I’m a pretty fab human because I’ve also done my share of really brilliant, kind, selfless things and like I said before its SO important to remind ourselves of the good in us rather than focusing on the bad.
I really do understand how hard it is, and if you are suffering from lack of self worth I am here for you and I really sympathise with you because I understand how hard it is to feel like you’re letting your life be controlled by other people and their opinions and views, but it is only us that can change this. I took some time today to do an exercise that I find quite helpful, I jotted down a few things that I dislike about myself and why I disliked them. I then looked at that piece of paper and said to myself, what can I change? The majority of the things that were on that piece of paper were things that I have the power to make different, and I began to write down how I was going to do about changing these things. There was a few things that were on the page that I could not change or were out of my control, which I am learning to accept by practicing my radical acceptance skills. Sometimes having things physically written down can really help you, as I can now physically see the things that I can focus on changing rather than the things that I can’t change.
Here I’m going to list a few little things you can do to help you love yourself a bit more, I hope if you are suffering from low self esteem that this post has helped you even just a tiny bit, but ultimately the change lies within you, and I know you can do it! <3
DEFINE YOUR OWN BEAUTY : Be willing to completely banish the idea that you have to change / confine parts of yourself or your style and beauty because of what you think other people or society will expect or accept. Be unapologetically you and learn to love it because you are wonderful! Be comfortable in your own skin, believe in yourself and start to love your individuality and you will be free to be who you are with no fear.
TREAT YO SELF: Take some time for you! Reward yourself if you’ve done something good. If you’ve achieved something your proud of, celebrate! Let yourself know you are important.
CHANGE YOUR SELF TALK: This is probably the hardest but most beneficial thing you can do, and I practice it on a daily basis. There is a little voice inside your head that often has the ability to drag you down or make you feel sad / upset when you’ve done something wrong or your just overthinking about something, this can be changed! You just have to break out of the pattern. Think of it this way, if there’s a small child and their parents have always let them stay up all night and had no bed time, one day when the parents turn around and decide they want the child to be in bed every night by 7pm, the child is going to struggle to adapt to that, because they’re so used to this routine. That is the exact same as our brain, that little voice in your head is so used to saying all these negative hurtful things to yourself, but now is the time to set new boundaries for that little voice in your head, teach it to be kind, learn to self soothe.
DO THE FRIEND CHECK : When you are beating yourself up about something, ask yourself would I say all of this to a friend? If the answer is no, why do you think its ok to say it to yourself? If the answer is yes, then you’ve probably done something that doesn’t sit well with your morals, recognise that what you’ve done is out of character / something that you don’t want to do again, if its something you can change, then change it and if its not, simply accept it and tell yourself you will be better next time.