This is going to be another one of those blog posts that I caveat with ‘bear with me’, isn’t it?
‘If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’
Self-love, self-care, self-respect, knowing your worth…they’re important. Knowing who you are, sticking to your guns, and not apologising, that’s important, too. We know this – it’s not new information.
But what are you supposed to do when you can’t do those things – when most days it’s a struggle to even shrug with indifference at the face staring back at you in the mirror? Well, I suppose your guess is as good as mine, when it comes to that.
Because, well, the thing is, I don’t like myself. I know I should, sure. I wish I could, even more. But the reality is, it’s not something you can just switch on. I don’t speak up about things because I worry that people will think I’m wrong – or worse, stupid; I constantly worry no one likes me, then hate myself whenever I say or do something to make that ‘worse’; I cry for no reason, I avoid opening up, I don’t try new things as much as I’d like to. And all out of this ridiculous fear that I’m as awful as I think I am, in my head.
Heck, maybe I really am the monster I feel like I must be.
Fake it til you make it, babe
So, what am I doing about it? Pretending. I figure it has to stick eventually, right? And, well, if not, at least I’ll be on the right track.
Here’s how you can do the same if you’re struggling:
Saying ‘thank you’
Instead of immediately downplaying every compliment or praise, just smile and say thanks – even if the voice in your head is calling you an impostor.
Whether it’s from a toxic relationship, or just a tense situation…in the words of Rachel Green ‘oh, and I can leave’.
Make a ‘happiness file’
Either as a folder on your phone, or a physical, real-life folder, make a place for you to save all the good things that happen in a day – all the things you’re proud of. Dip into it when you’re having a shaky moment.
Spend time with people who love you
I’ve said this before, I know, but I will forever believe that looking at yourself through the eyes of those that love you is the best way to boost your self-esteem. Those people love you for a reason.
Let it out
What do you dislike most about yourself? For me, it’s my personality, closely followed by the way I look – so, I made a list. All of the things I hate about both of those subjects. Then I tore it up. Then I promised myself that if I find myself thinking about anything on that list, I’d distract myself. The best way I’ve found? Turn on a podcast.
Are you on a self-love journey? And if so, please do let me know your secrets…!
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