It's about knowing it is okay and even highly recommended - to love yourself. It is okay to say nice things about yourself and to "toot your own horn." Doesn't make you conceited or a bitch. It makes you confident. It makes you your own best friend and not your worst enemy. Being okay and happy with you is part of what this journey through life is all about.
I was talking the other night to a group of women about learning to discover their authentic selves and discovering ways to hear the messages our soul has for each and every one of us. After talking for a while I handed each woman a blank piece of paper and a pen then asked each of them for the next minute or so to write out all the things they hated about themselves. What struck me right off was the look of relief that crossed each of their faces. Things they hate about themselves? Sure thing. They were relieved I didn't ask them about what they loved. Hate they could do. No problem. After a minute or so I asked them to turn the paper over to the blank side. The look of fear returned with a vengeance which was quickly followed by a look of shame when I said to now write only things you love about yourself. Every single one of them looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights as they paused their hands holding the pens. A few after a brief pause lowered their hands and quickly scratched out a few things, but most wrote nothing.
They could not bring themselves to write one thing they loved. Not one thing they were proud of about themselves. One lady mentioned her children, one that she liked dogs. What came next were a few excuses as to why no one wrote anything positive. "I would sound so conceited," "I would sound bitchy," "I can't toot my own horn," "I have nothing nice to say about me - I let others do that.” Letting the world validate them and determine their worth.
I can't say I was surprised. I wasn't really. I was the same way for a long time, though seeing it from the other side struck straight to my heart. I could list a hundred things I wanted to work on, change or make better. I didn't need the world to tear me down, I did it just fine on my own. Feeling validated when someone would say something mean to me because all they were doing was reaffirming what I already knew. Not realizing at the time all they were doing was mirroring what I was projecting back to me, instead taking it as a sign that all my hateful thoughts about myself were true and valid.
Look hard enough, long enough and you will see validation everywhere to what you are feeling bad about. Be it body image, social status, reputation, history, money, family or whatever - look hard enough and take the things you read or see out in the world personally and you will never, ever figure out how awesome and perfectly okay you are. What you will find are articles telling you how fat or too thin you are, how to get more friends by changing everything unique about you, how to get rich because then people will like you, articles saying that if you change everything about you doors magically open up and opportunities will present themselves to you. But first you must change into some creation another person deems acceptable.
The only thing one must change in order to become more acceptable to the world - is their OWN thinking.
You must change your perceptions of yourself and stop looking at the world to do it for you. It never will. However, change your attitude, change your way of thinking and learn to love and appreciate yourself, flaws and all, and watch what happens. All of a sudden when someone says something mean to you or you see an article talking about how awful you are because you are this or that, guess what happens - you get angry and protective... of YOURSELF. You fight back because you know your worth isn't determined by your weight, hair, money in the bank or friends you have. Your worth is totally determined by who you are and your attitude about yourself. Show the world your confidence, show the world how much you accept yourself as is and watch the world accept that. Learn to accept compliments, say thank you. Learn to speak highly of yourself and not automatically list your flaws. Walk confidently, shoulders back and head held high because it shows you are okay with you and ready to take on the world. It is all about attitude. It is all in how you think and feel about yourself.
It is about knowing it is okay and even highly recommended - to love yourself. It is okay to say nice things about yourself and to "toot your own horn." Doesn't make you conceited or a bitch. It makes you confident. It makes you your own best friend and not your worst enemy. Being okay and happy with you is part of what this journey through life is all about.
Remember this though – not every single person in this world is going to accept you, love you or give a rat’s ass about you. It’s okay. They don't have to. It doesn't negate you, make you any less worthy. It just means they lose out. People do not have to like you to make you awesome. You have to like you. It really is that simple.
You have to like you.
Feel bad and hate yourself, the world accepts that and gives you validation that you do in fact suck. Feel good about who you are and love the person you have become, the world accepts that, too. Because you accept it. It is in your attitude, your carriage and in the way you face your days and all you meet - head up, eyes forward and confidant.
You do not have to fit into any acceptable mold or be just like everyone else. How boring. You just have to be you and love that about yourself. Perfect right in this moment. Doesn't mean you don't ever change things about yourself, you must constantly be evolving into the best possible you. But, you must love yourself throughout the entire process. Don't let future goals you are working on today, dictate the love of you in this very moment. You don't have to wait until you lost 20 pounds to accept and love yourself now. You don't have to land that perfect job or go a month without eating chocolate. Your worth is not found in the goals you attain. It is found in all the steps you take to get there. It is found by getting up in the morning, accepting your humanness and looking yourself in the mirror proudly.
So what if you make mistakes? So what if you're not perfect? So what if someone has more success or more money than you? So what if someone else's kids seem to behave better? So what if someone is fatter than you or skinny than you?
Who the hell cares?
Stop comparing. Stop wishing for someone else's life, body, kids, money or job. Stop looking to the world to validate you and learn to validate yourself.
Say five nice things to yourself every single day. Write them down. Repeat them while looking in the mirror. Stop being a jerk to the one person in this world you know you can count on - yourself.
Figure this out and the world will too. Or maybe it won't but you won't care anymore because you are right with you and that's all that matters.
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