Wouldn’t it be nice to spend your entire life with someone that you love; someone who you know inside and out; someone you respect and truly care about? You can! They are waiting for you on the other side of the mirror! We will never spend as much time with a person as we do ourselves – so why do we spend so much of that time beating ourselves up? Let’s stop hating and hiding from ourselves and start a relationship with the beautiful soul that we have seen every day of our lives.
Us humans have a strange relationship with ourselves. We all have a voice in our heads that reads our thoughts aloud to us. Our inner voice; our consciousness. But sometimes, what we hear in our own heads is negative and mean about us! It can be like having your very own anti-cheerleader whispering in your ear at all times of the day and night. Or it can be only when you try to spread your wings and try something new. Either way, that voice…our own inner-dialog is completely full of lies. We can absolutely convince ourselves that we are worthless; or that we have no chance at attaining a goal we have set; or that we are not good enough or worthy of being loved. These thoughts are crippling to our self-esteem and feed into our greatest hidden fears.
So what can we do about it? How do we put a stop to a repeating pattern of pain that we place on ourselves? The long-term answer is: introspection. Take the time to get to know who you truly are. No more lying to ourselves or repressing emotions or hiding pains/fears or making excuses. Open yourself to yourself. You will find a soul who is good and kind and loving; it has just been beaten and quieted by mental health issues, societal pressures, addictions, and low self-esteem for a long long time.
But introspection and releasing the negative circumstances in our lives takes time. In the short-term, there are ways of gaining a bump of self-esteem, a hit of self-love. We can actually begin the process of rebuilding ourselves in positivity before we even breakthrough and release the negative! Here are a few ways to start improving and showing love for yourself right now!
1. Speak Kindly of Yourself
If you don’t have anything nice to say, well, say something nice anyway. You need to stop cutting yourself down; stop speaking negatively about yourself. You are a beautiful, unique soul. Treat yourself as such. Do not allow those negative thoughts to hold any power over your life. Turn them around into a positive and remind yourself just how special and perfect you are…just as you are. Speak to yourself the way you would speak to someone you deeply love.
2. No Comparisons
Do not compare yourself to other people. Everyone is different. Everyone has unique virtues and values, strengths and weaknesses. To compare one soul to another is like comparing a sun ripened, fresh from the tree orange to a crisp and sweet apple. They are both wonderful, but in their own way. So do not worry about holding yourself to a standard set by another individual. Live for your own standard because, at the end of the day, you are the only person you need to impress.
3. Learn To Say “No”
So many of us are people-pleasers at heart. We want to make those around us happy and absolutely hate the thought of disappointing someone. But listen, sometimes you just have to say “no”. People-pleasers spread themselves too thin, make decisions that are not in their own best interest, and allow people to use them. Well, no more. Set and stick to your boundaries. Boundaries help to show others in your life that you expect and deserve their respect. And it breeds a level of self-confidence that will serve you well in your self-care journey.
4. You CAN Handle The Truth
This one may well be the most difficult to master. We all have a tendency to lie to ourselves as a coping mechanism. We may minimize our role in an event; repress the memory of an event all together, or blatantly convince ourselves that the event never actually occurred.
Think of your self-care routine as a relationship builder. Your conscious and sub-conscious mind are going to be living together now in harmony. They have not really hung out together very much before. So honesty is going to be essential. Clear, truthful, concise honesty with yourself. There is no reason to hide who you are from yourself. So be honest and open with yourself.
5. Give Yourself Some Slack On Small Mistakes, And Forgive Yourself On The Larger Mistakes
Let me say it again for the people in the back, stop being so hard on yourself! We are all human. Humans by our nature are imperfect creatures. We make mistakes both large and small. Some of us (like yours try) are damn near mistake machines! And that is O.K. Small mistakes happen in the universe. A small fender bender? Not the end of the world. Accidently end up washing a blue shirt with your load of whites? Enjoy the new baby blue sheets. Small mistakes are just life’s learning experiences. Relax, it turns out you are just human.
For life’s larger mistakes, I suggest a vigorous scrub in the review and release tub. Perhaps you have made life changing mistakes in the past. If you haven’t, you probably have yet to risk very much on a single decision. Quite frankly, not everything works out in your favor everytime. Cheating in a relationship, developing an addiction, falling into financial crisis…all of these things begin with making a single poor decisionand then snowball from there; a big mistake. It is completely unfair to judge yourself for past transgressions using knowledge you have today. Hindsight is 20/20. Would you have made the same mistakes if you knew then what you know now? Of course not! So you have learned two lessons; the consequence of the big mistake and how to live your life after making it through the turmoil it caused. Now, forgive yourself for making the mistake in the first place, tuck the lessons into your back pocket and move on.
6. Life Is Supposed to Include Fun
This is often overlooked in our fast-paced, work until you drop society. Your life NEEDS to include fun! Don’t skip it, don’t delay it, don’t marginalize it. You deserve to feel good, to smile, to laugh. Schedule something that is fun FOR YOU every week. Not going to the arcade and watching the kiddos have fun. Something fun for you. (Wow, did I just date myself by using the word “arcade”!)
7. Show that backbone
Much like setting boundaries, standing up for yourself will show you and those around you that you understand your value and can effectively communicate your wants and needs. Users will use you. Bullies will bully you. That is what they do. Sometimes you need to plant your feet in the ground firmly and stand up for yourself. Being assertive will have a huge impact on your self-confidence level.
Learning your worth, raising your self-confidence and bringing only positivity into our internal dialog are extremely effective ways to change your perceptions of yourself, as well as the actions you take regarding your self-care. What you do is not who you are. You are a being of light inhabiting a meat suit for a comparative blink of an eye. Do not waste your time with negativity. Embrace yourself for all that you are and allow your soul to show its unconditional love. You are worth it. You DESERVE it.