My self-esteem dabbles between two levels:
I’m drowning in cookies – crying at Pretty Woman – wondering if I will ever be as fabulous as Julia Roberts.
I find myself rocking up at restaurants, flamboyantly dressed, wondering why people are not curtsying upon my arrival.
‘Self – love’ isn’t a foreign concept to me.
But it certainly is a hard relationship to maintain.
I’ve tried convincing myself that I have the ass of Blake Lively, as I confidently walk towards a burger stand.
I’ve meditated (and fallen asleep).
I’ve gone for long peaceful walks on my own… And ended up hopelessly lost and hungry (thanks for nothing Bear Grylls).
I’ve pampered myself, studied 100 self-love books, eaten every ‘nourish bowl’ – and yet still, I find I am consistently smack talking myself more than Donald Trump smack talks, well… anyone.
And, quite frankly… I’ve had enough!
I want to love myself like Kanye loves Kanye.
I wanna strut like a Beyoncé.
Talk with confidence!
Walk with my head held high.
Falling in love with yourself is by no means egotistical.
It’s absolutely necessary.
But just like any love worth having – you have to put a bit of work in.
Now, of course – everyone is different.
We all need to create our own tool-box filled with practices that remind us of our worth. But – we also have to start using these tools everyday.
· Food, exercise, relationships, sex, careers, mental health, confidence…·
The relationship we have with ourselves affects how we approach our day, speak, think, communicate with others, etc… Many mental health issues stem from a lack of self-worth.
lets start at the core – with 1 month of lovely self-loving!
To kick-start a sweet, life-long romance.
Everyday, try these steps. Get uncomfortable. Find out what’s going on. Try it with a friend, or someone who can push you through when the unwanted – Bridget Jones -moments strike.
A lack of self-love affects everybody differently – so to remind you that you’re not alone – I have included words + advice from some wonderful sunbeams with the
♥ ♥ ♥
symbol next to them.
From moments in their life that they have found themselves feeling a tad lost behind the clouds.
To remind you, that you’re definitely not alone and everyone has their own way to help themselves feel fabulous.
Let’s get to loving…
– Tiny Tips –
‘Does my butt look big in this?’ : Stop asking someone else whether you look ok.
The only validation you need is from yourself. It doesn’t matter if someone else thinks you look ok. Q1. Do you feel good? Yes? Done. Work it work it!
Make a decision (dun dun dunnn) : Listen to your intuition.
Tune into what you want to do. Listen to your gut and go with that feeling. If it doesn’t work out – see what you’ve learned from it and give yourself a pat on the back for following your gut.
No regrets: YO to the LO.
Eat that cookie, drink that glass of wine… – The key is to sit back, listen to whether you really want it, take time enjoying it, and move on. It’s a cookie not a bomb. Eating a piece of cake – feeling worried / anxious the whole time – is pointless. If you wanted it – ENJOY IT – regret free and move along…
Blinkers on: Only focus on your situation.
Of course it is good to be there for other people, listen to them, support them, celebrate them! But, to compare or to put someone on a pedestal above yourself is a habit well worth ditching.
· Anytime you find yourself comparing your life to someone else’s. Pause – breathe – and write or say in your head – 3 amazing things about yourself.
♥ ♥ ♥
“When we are not confident. We become a vault. A black hole. We exhaust and strain those around us, those who love us. We pull them into our imagined limitations. To make ourselves feel better. That is no way to live. Instead of questioning yourself. Your capabilities. Your unique views. Try affirming instead.”
♥ ♥ ♥
The L word: Start with your heart.
Eat with love, move with love, drink with love, act with love, speak with love, think with love.
· Make a meal that you really want at home. Sit in a place that makes you feel happy. Be grateful for the food and take your time eating it.
· If you are killing yourself at the gym when deep down you really hate the gym. Stop. Find a way that you can move your body that makes you feel good.
· Take time to hydrate your body. If you drink alcohol remember – drinking should be there to make you feel happier – not used to get happy. If your intention to drink is coming from self loathing, the alcohol sure wont help figure out whats going on. It will probably only void it for a moment.
Toxic Relationships: Surround yourself with people who care.
Does this relationship bring out the best in me? Make me feel at ease? Happy? Does it make me feel like I can be myself? – If no, it’s time to let go…
‘IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO LIKE ME… IT’S MINE.’
Talk to the right person: No eye rolls buster.
There’s always that one person who may have vacant eyes and not really be listening to a word you’re saying – or – someone who instead fuels your negative thoughts, encouraging them into spiral. This can affect you more than you think – listen to your gut and if you can – talk to someone who you know really is taking the time to listen.
Do it every single day: Consistency is key.
The element I was missing from my self-love equation previously was – consistency. Even when you’re feeling great and having wonderful day. Make time for yourself. Just two minutes of writing what you are thankful for, a walk by yourself, painting your nails, etc…
♥ ♥ ♥
“I don’t like to speak when in a large group and I think this is because the girls at school used to ignore me completely if I asked a question, or basically said anything…
It’s still there in the back of my mind – a little voice saying it must be true. A recent metaphor that I came across the other day has really stuck with me….
These negative things are like a record playing in our minds.
‘No one wants to hear what I’ve got to say, it’s not important.’
If we start scratching this record with new memories – ‘I can share my thoughts with my friends – they’re not judging my appearance, they’re just listening to me.’ Then the old record will eventually not work anymore. So this is what I do each time, I remind myself of this.”
♥ ♥ ♥
Forgiveness list: Let that shit go.
How you treat yourself / react to others – whether happy or sad – always reflects something that you’re feeling on the inside. Some unkind thoughts can come from previous comments that others have said – that have stayed with you. Comments that have gossiped in your brain and convinced you that you are unworthy is some way.
Hurtful comments stem from an individuals own insecurities / something affecting them in their own lives. So, try practicing letting go of these comments with a forgiveness list…
· Wherever or whoever these comments have come from – Forgive them: Write a list of the words that have been said and the person who said it. Start with ‘I understand – and I forgive’… – You’ll be surprised as you begin to write to see the unexpected ‘harmless’ comments that you are still holding onto. It’s time to let on go…
Flip it: Sweet talk yourself!
If somebody asks you to say something nice about yourself now – and then – something negative about yourself. You may find it easier to whip out the negative (and the one positive you choose is often a comment someone else has said about you in the past). What do YOU love about yourself? One thing. Say this everyday – then by the end of the month, you may even find your ‘nice list’ easier to get to.
♥ ♥ ♥
“I have learned that pushing myself out of my comfort zone and doing something that I maybe don’t want to or I can’t be bothered doing – often makes me feel really good and proud! Whether it’s going to a party where you might not know many people or going to an interview – even though you’re not qualified! I love surprises, so when I surprise myself – it’s always pretty good”
♥ ♥ ♥
Accept the flipping compliment: No ifs or buts – Scary, I know…
If someone throws a compliment your way. Accept it. No beating around the bush. YOU’RE A 10 ALWAYS! ACCEPT IT!
Letting go of ‘perfection’: Fabulous flaws.
Confidence – is someone saying you’re wrong – but then doing it anyway. Holding your head high. Standing by your beliefs. What gives YOU confidence? If you’re wearing a yellow catsuit with cowboy boots and you feel great – Work it! ‘Perfection’ is an impossible and well, really quite a boring concept. Enjoy your quirks!
♥ ♥ ♥
“Some days I have ‘non – days’. When you just wake up and feel nothing. No zest for life no passion about anything you’re doing in the world or anything that’s happening around you. On these days – I find it really hard to see any good in myself. I compare myself ruthlessly to people and friends around me.
But, I think everyone feels like this sometimes and it’s okay to accept it when you are feeling this way. Having a good chat to a friend can really pull you out of these days or even just some meditation taking the time to completely clear your head of any thoughts.”
♥ ♥ ♥
Peaceful – you – time: Pause…
Life can be busy. You may be a parent, juggling heavy work loads, training for the olympics etc… But 5 minutes of peaceful time dedicated to you is all you need. Try to tie time into something you will be doing in your day anyway. E.g…
· In the shower: Did someone say Shania Twain sing-song?
· In the car: hook up a podcast you haven’t had time to stop and listen to.
· Moisturising before bed: give yourself a quick foot massage.
‘OH NO SHE DIDN’T?’: Gossip…
I’m all for a season binge of Gossip Girl, but try to leave the drama on telly. Unnecessary negative thoughts / talking won’t really bring any loving back into your life.
ADAPT: Channel your inner Chameleon.
With age / time / moving countries / moving jobs etc… Your passions will change. And what makes you happy will change. Listening to your gut and learning what makes you happy is exactly what you need to do to show yourself some self-love.
So let go, listen and move as you need to. Friends may still like to do the things that you did previously, but respect your intuition. If previous go-to’s don’t still make your heart sing – look at what makes you happy now.
Age 4: cheese sandwiches cut into squares and Tom and Jerry were my happy go to’s…
Age 11: Glitter eyeliner and sleepovers
Age 18: Fake tan and jager bombs (Ah, class at it’s finest)
Age 24: Yoga, reading and being outdoors (the nana life hit early)
Find a cue: ‘YOU FINE GIRL’…
Find a cue in your day that makes you stop. Every time you put your socks on, when you see the sun, when you turn your car on, etc…
(Obviously don’t pick something you’re never going to see. If you live in the North Pole, probably don’t choose – Elephant sighting).
When you hit your cue – take a moment to describe 1 lovely thing about yourself.
♥ ♥ ♥
“A person can succeed at anything of which they have unlimited enthusiasm.
Lead yourself, without doubt, to your personal content and happiness.
Amazing things happen when you unravel these inbuilt lessons and open your arms to the unexpected beauty that is.
You can only rise as high as the strength of your foundation.
Allow yourself a strong one.”
♥ ♥ ♥
Phone obsessed: Facebook-less
Try leaving your phone:
– When you wake up in the morning
– At meal times
– A few hours before heading to sleep
It’s easy to get sucked into other people’s worlds and forget about how wonderful your own is. If you’re a sucker for comparing yourself to others – give your brain (and poor scrolling thumb) a breather.
Self love can be confronting. Taking on your fears and insecurities. Not seeking validation from others…
Every single persons happy / peaceful place / joyful moments – are personal.
Unique to you – just for you
Joy – for me at this moment of my life comes from: Making time for myself, toasty toes by the fire, stretching, making yummy meals, taking a moment to sit down and really enjoy the food I’m eating, extra thick jumpers, a beer in a snuggly pub and crunchy snow under my feet.
♥ ♥ ♥
“When it comes. It floods through you. it releases you. You may cry with happiness. Dance around. Feel your hands shake. That’s celebration. You have found joy. Through your hardship.”
♥ ♥ ♥
It’s going to be hard at times.
You wont follow these steps and magically turn into Julia Roberts (trust me I’ve tried). But you sure will learn one heck of a lot about yourself.
Other people are always going to have opinions.
Life is always going to send challenging times…
But a serious dose of self loving – can change how we take on these challenges and how we respond to comments / uncomfortable moments.
You may have spent a majority of your life up until now hating a part of yourself – and that’s going to be a hard habit to crack.
But, just think…
What have you got to lose?
(Thank you to the lovely ♥ SUNBEAMS ♥ who shared their stories so openly for this piece. I hope their experiences and words help shine some light into your life, as they have mine).