Circumstances in life can leave us at times doubting our own abilities, value and significance. Rejection can make us feel undesirable, failure leaves that sickly taint of “I’m incapable” on our confidence and the picture-perfect life that the majority of users plaster all over our social media feeds may have you asking the question, “what on earth is wrong with me??”
Don’t fret readers. You’re not on your own.
I have for a very long time now listened to my friends (both male and female) and family speak damagingly of themselves. Until 18 months ago I was a veteran of that party. Somehow in our society it has become an accepted thing to do, especially when others compliment us. For example: Friend: “wow, you look amazing tonight! I love that dress!”, Us: “thanks.. I just wish my hair would calm its farm. I look like a blow-dried poodle, you know?”. Yeah.. Guilty!
18 months ago after a significant life change I can safely say I was at the lowest point of my life. One day as I was trying to keep it together (whilst grocery shopping of all things) I heard my inner voice quite simply and openly state, “I hate myself”.. Ouch.. Needless to say I had a mini breakdown (thank you good citizens for not gaping too much) and knew something had to be done. I promised myself that I would not leave this lesson life had gifted me with unwrapped or unused.
On my return to the Jodie safety cave (a.k.a. home) I began to investigate how I could possibly begin to love myself again. Not the egotistical, self-centred way. The inner peace, quiet confidence, radiating kind-heartedness sort. Let me share with you readers what I have found in my journey.
Be willing to allow yourself to feel pain and explore it:
I’m not talking about the physical kind of pain, I’m referring to the often, really quite messy internalised type.
I have learned that all of my feelings are informational. Whether it is frustration, disappointment or sorrow there’s always a reason for it. Often we can discern the origin of these feelings but sometimes it is subconscious. You may find yourself reverting to our “comfort” habits like eating, withdrawing or spending money on things you shouldn’t. We need to learn to recognise, appreciate and purposefully set aside time to specifically sort through these mysteries. Once you can understand the reason for your feeling you can proceed to design a way to overcome it. How do we do that? Read on!
Talk to yourself – the power of positive affirmations:
Sounds a little crazy, right? I thought so too when I first started doing it. Don’t fear, it doesn’t have to be a deep, soulful meditation and tremendous spiritual act. It’s just you. Talking to yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard about them at some point. An affirmation is, simply, positive self-talk. It’s a statement about ourselves, phrased in the present tense as if the statement is already true.
When I discovered this concept and got my head around the in’s and out’s of how it works I dove straight into one of my bug bears; anxiety regarding what others thought of me. My first affirmation you ask? “I am independent of what others think of me. Positive or Negative”. I stuck it to my bedroom mirror so that every time I stood in front of it I said that phrase out loud to myself. Within a week I noticed a vast shift. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and see.
Need to be guided for the first few? Try this one out – it’s only 3 minutes (warning: dramatic music and monotone voice coming your way):
Never, ever, ever speak negatively of yourself:
As we explored above self-talk (positive affirmations) is programming ourselves to believe that our statements are indeed true. So when we think about it, if we have such a constructive result from positive affirmations, what do you think negative ones will do? We literally program ourselves to believe that we can’t possibly run a mile, do math, talk to that super cute coffee boy, lose weight, overcome our phobias, etc. etc. Free yourself of that trap readers. This is something you will need to give full conscious thought to and stop as soon as it starts coming out of your mouth. Write it on your hand, put a note in your pocket, set a reminder on your phone, ask your family to pull you up on it – whatever it takes to remind yourself. Take control.
So, a quick step-by-step summary of this blog!
- Identify your negative self-talk and beliefs.
- Create affirmations out of those beliefs.
- Begin using the new affirmations (at minimum once daily).
- See the “magic” gradually unfold.
I’ll share a few more personal “love yourself” insights within the next week. Till then, go forth dear one and love yourself. You deserve it.