I honestly don’t know a single person who doesn’t wish they could change something about themselves, including me, and that makes me sad. Here’s a few thoughts and reflections on how I began to love me for me and began a happier life because of it.
We’ve all been there, we’re starting to go through the changes that make us who we are, and we start to notice things we never did before. It’s usually because someone else has noticed it and feels kind enough to let us know. Sometimes they tell us because they really don’t see the damage they may cause, but sometimes they do it because they want to cause damage, and that is when things start to change with the way we look at ourselves.
I, like many people, was picked on at one point in my life, and it’s a horrible period in your life where you question everything about yourself. You expect when you get older for this teasing and picking to stop, but sometimes it doesn’t. I was picked on at school, but I got over it when I matured and fell into a comfortable friendship group. Don’t get me wrong, it will always be with me, but that childish bullying was nothing compared to how I was treated when I was of an age where I thought this should all be done and dusted.
I started work somewhere I thought was going to be incredibly rewarding and I was so excited to begin my adult chapter of my life. It started with comments about how I should wear more makeup, I thought, ok I’m getting older now and becoming more mature, I could try a little cover-up or lipstick now and again. Then were comments about my accent, something inherently me. Again, I worked to better myself as I thought that’s what I should do. I really wish I’d noticed the danger signs like everyone else did, but I thought it was a part of the business I was going into and I should suck it up. Things became more and more about my appearance and the way I spoke and carried myself. Comments about my foot that turns in (you may remember I mentioned that in a post about getting trainers fit) was were my mind snapped back to me and I began to get more annoyed that I was being turned into a puppet. I love my turning in foot, my out of control hair, my lack of caring towards makeup… it’s 100% me!! Eventually it got to a point where I’d become a shell of myself. I am a strong, confident, independent woman and I am proud of my upbringing and who I am inside. I’m so lucky that my now fiance sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do… and I wanted out! He supported me through all of it and I’m so lucky for that… but to cut a loooong story short, this is the moment I decided I loved me, and I wouldn’t give that up for anything!
When the realisation hits…
I can’t quite pin point that moment I finally realised I loved everything about who I am, it just… happened one day and I suddenly thought… wow… I’m awesome ;)
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are things about me that are pretty rubbish… my short temper being my internal issue and my super pear figure and lack of stunning ginger hair being my personal external issues, but why should we be made to feel bad for being who we are? There’s no-one who can be you better than you. I read that somewhere and it really resonated with me. Nowadays there’s so much thrown at us about how we should look, how we should behave. As far as I’m concerned as long as I wear what I think I look good in, as long as I look after myself and the ones I love, and as long as I behave towards others the way I’d hope they behave to me, why should it matter to anyone else? As long as I am not hurting anybody, why should they try and hurt me?
There are a lot of people out there who will try and influence you to wear what they think you should be wearing, to be the size they think you should be, or to eat what they think you should eat. I want my readers to be under no illusions. I am not perfect! I will never pretend to be either. I LOVE chocolate, cheese, crackers, crisps, milkshake, ice-cream… NETFLIX!! I don’t spend every waking moment thinking about what I should and shouldn’t eat or thinking of new ways to get that perfect angle of photos (that doesn’t mean I won’t also discard ones I don’t think are nice). I’m just a person on a journey to try and be the best me I can be, without losing who I am inside.
There are loads more social media presences that are showing you how they actually look. I love the pictures of people sitting down showing that they, like us all, get a roll over their trousers when they holding it. This is making a positive change in how we view ourselves and is lowering that unreachable bar of perceived perfection.
When I pushed the negative thoughts out of my head, it opened me up to a whole new world of positivity. One thing I would highly recommend is taking up a hobby that helps you connect to who you are. For me, that’s yoga. It’s so grounding and really helps you focus your mind and body on happiness.
So… without further ado… my tips for learning to love you?
Step One: Try as hard as you can not to let the haters in.
Step Two: Treat yourself every now and then.
Step Three: Spend time finding out who you are, not who others want you to be.
Step Four: Try not to allow yourself to be warped by unrealistic media, social or otherwise.
Step Five: Surround yourself with people who love you for you.
Step Six: Tell yourself something positive about who you are everyday.
Step Seven: If you’re in a toxic environment – get out of there!
Step Eight: Find someone you can share your burdens with.
Step Nine: Take up a hobby that helps you connect to who you are.
Step Ten: Remember, you are you and that instantly makes you special.
I hope you found this refreshing if nothing else. I’d love to know if you have been on a similar journey for self love and if you have, what are your top tips?