At one time, I had expressed to a therapist that I had no self worth. I said to her, “I can’t love myself because I don’t know where to start. I’ve never experienced the feeling of loving myself before.” She replied “Well you see other people around you doing it… Do you think maybe you can learn to mimic their actions?”
It’s an interesting concept, one that I’d heard before, but I think widely misused by the general population. People seem to say that, and then a week later go “You’re no better than before, I bet you’re not even trying.”
And every time someone tells you “You’re not trying”, you look at your own progress and see how tiny it is in the grand scheme of things, and you begin to believe that you’ve made no progress whatsoever.
But I’ve realized for myself, and I’m going to say to everyone I know: Stop.
Stop believing you’ve made no progress.
Every person who tells you “I bet you’re just not trying” or “It’s so easy, I don’t understand why you can’t do it!” or “There are hundreds of thousands of people in this world who can do it, why can’t you?” is wrong, and I’m going to tell you why.
In fact, I’m gonna have you remind yourself why.
Every time someone says something like that to you, say “So can you speak French yet?” or “Can you speak Chinese?” And when they give you a weird look, say “Well hundreds of thousands of people on this earth can speak it, why can’t you?”
And when they respond with “I’ve never learned how!”, there’s your answer. If they respond “Well I was raised to speak English”, there’s your answer. If they respond with “I’ve never had a reason to learn,” there’s your answer.
You’ve never learned how to love yourself.
You were raised not to love yourself.
You’ve never had a reason to love yourself.
and that’s not your fault.
And it is not up to others to judge you by standards that do not apply to your life.
No one can be expected to learn an entirely new language inside and out in a week, or a month, or a year, or in five. It’s a process. It takes time. And if you learn something wrong, you need to go back and relearn until it’s right and ingrained into your brain as second nature.
The same goes for loving yourself. It’s hard. By the time you want to learn it yourself, it becomes a chore instead of an experience. Instead of learning from the people around you, you need to learn through books and the internet and by observing others. And it’s not something that’s easily practiced around other people in your life. The only people who really “study” it are the people in your same position.
So every time you feel you’ve made no progress in achieving self worth or self love, remember that it can take years. Remember that it’s not your native emotion. Remember that there are other people learning the same things as you.
One day you’ll speak it fluently, and that’ll feel like more of an achievement than anything else in your life.
and just do better next time
“Be yourself” has to be the worst advice ever. How can I be anyone but myself?
Never ever forget how great you are. You are something totally special to someone. It is 100% enough to be important to just a small little group of people. World domination is a really nice idea but an endless to-do list is not so nice. Someone asked me in an interview recently, what is the best advice that I would give to anyone. This is it:
Be you. Be the very best version of yourself that you can manage. Don’t spend your life trying to be anything else. You don’t need to change your face-your face is beautiful. You don’t need to dress like everyone else-I like you just as much in your pajamas and comfy socks. Life is simple if you keep it simple.
Do not fabricate or place expectations on anyone else but yourself. It will only lead to disappointment. You can only expect the very best from yourself, because that it the only thing that you can really control. Everyone else is a gamble. Save your money for buying loose leaf tea + good books instead. Give people love, but do not empty your bank- You have to keep enough love in your own heart to stay full. The people who are worth it will stick around- the people who don’t stick will stick somewhere else, and that is just the way it goes.
Look up! We are small and our time is short. You are so beautiful. I mean it.
If you’re not already following the calming manatee blog, do so now. I’m sure everyone could do with even more positivity on their dashboards! :)
bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions (via creatingaquietmind)
I believe this to be absolutely true.
This is absolutely at the core of who I am, and how I’ve become who I am. I made a decision years ago to be comfortable in loving myself before trying to use others’ love to escape my own self hatred. (via thelittleidiotthatcould)
Just gonna ad a few more
- Call a friend
- Look in the mirror naked—think only good things
- Watch your favorite childhood movie and take yourself back to that time
- Try on anything funky—your parents vintage, old costumes or even your own
- Write a journal, whether you plan to continue or not
- Blast music and dance like everyone is watching and you don’t even care
- Brush your hair 100 times
- Go for a run, or a bike ride, just get out and work out
- Try meditation—go to your happy place
- Anything else! :)
writing most of this down in my little self help book
Little self-help book? Brilliant idea.
A little self book is a wonderful idea! I have one. I decorate it with pretty things and write lists of happy things, and write down happy events. I recommend you make one! xoxo
1. Begin your day with love (not technology). Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Enfold yourself in light. Saturate your being in love.
2. Take time to mediate and journal. Spend time focusing inward daily. Begin with 5 minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of journaling each morning. Gradually increase this time.
3. Talk yourself happy. Use affirmations to train your mind to become more positive. Put a wrist band on your right wrist. When you’re participating in self-abuse of any form, move the band to your left wrist.
4. Get emotionally honest. Let of go of numbing your feelings. Shopping, eating, and drinking are examples of avoiding discomfort, sadness, and pain. Mindfully breathe your way through your feelings and emotions.
5. Expand your interests. Try something new. Learn a language. Go places you’ve never been. Do things you haven’t done before. You have a right to an awesome life.
6. Enjoy life enhancing activities. Find exercise you like. Discover healthy foods that are good for you. Turn off technology for a day and spend time doing things that make you feel alive.
7. Become willing to surrender. Breathe, relax, and let go. You can never see the whole picture. You don’t know what anything is for. Stop fighting against yourself by thinking and desiring people and events in your life should be different. Your plan may be different from your soul’s intentions.
8. Work on personal and spiritual development. Be willing to surrender and grow. Life is a journey. We are here to learn and love on a deeper level. Take penguin steps and life becomes difficult. One step at a time is enough to proceed forward.
9. Own your potential. Love yourself enough to believe in the limitless opportunities available to you. Take action and create a beautiful life for yourself.
10. Be patient with yourself. Let go of urgency and fear. Relax and transform striving into thriving. Trust in yourself, do good work, and the Universe will reward you.
11. Live in appreciation. Train your mind to be grateful. Appreciate your talents, beauty, and brilliance. Love your imperfectly perfect self.
12. Be guided by your intuition. All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll hear two inner voices when you need to make a decision. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.
13. Do what honors and respects you. Don’t participate in activities that bring you down. Don’t allow toxic people in your life. Love everyone, but be discerning on who you allow into your life.
14. Accept uncertainty. Suffering comes from living in the pain of the past or the fear of the future. Put your attention on the present moment and be at peace.
15. Forgive yourself. Learn from your mistakes and go forward. Use this affirmation, “I forgive myself for judging myself for __________ (fill in the blank i.e.: for getting sick, for acting out, for not doing your best.)
16. Discover the power of fun. Self-love requires time to relax, play, and create face-to-face interaction with others. Our fast-paced world creates a goal setting, competitive craziness that doesn’t leave room for play. Dr. Stuart Brow says, “The opposite of play isn’t work, it is depression.”
17. Be real. Speak up and speak out. Allow yourself to be seen, known, and heard. Get comfortable with intimacy (in-to-me-see).
18. Focus on the positive. Go to your heart and dwell on and praise yourself for what you get right in all areas.
19. Become aware of self neglect and rejection. Become conscious of your choices. Ask yourself several times throughout the day, “Does this choice honor me?”
20. Imagine what your life would look like if you believed in your worth. Dedicate your life to loving you. Make it your main event.
21. Seek professional help. Self-rejection and neglect is painful. You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be accepted and loved. If necessary, seek help from a support group, counselor, or coach. It’s the best investment you can make.