“The hardest person to love is yourself”
I think we all go through stages in life when we relentlessly compare ourselves to others, regardless of how many times we hear that we’re good enough.
On a daily basis, I meticulously tear myself down looking for any shred of evidence that I’m worth something and that I’m living my life to the fullest potential.
There is a lot of pressure today to perform. If you’re not married by a certain age, make a certain income, belong to a large social circle or lack a certain way, people are quick to judge those “shortcomings.” This list could unfortunately go on for days.
I feel that in the middle of all the pressure we are experiencing that it’s easy to lose sight of all of the unique and wonderful things about ourselves.
It’s easy to get stuck and we can tear ourselves apart and our self-esteem takes a hit as a result.
There have been times that I have lost sleep because I feel inadequate. I feel unworthy. I feel like I’m lacking as a parent and wife. Am I good enough for them? Am I good enough for others? Am I helping others and changing the world? That’s what I want out of life. I want to legitimately make a difference, and sometimes I don’t feel that I’m doing that.
Then there are days that I receive messages from those that follow my blogs and they tell me how I helped save their marriage or helped them conquer infertility or abusive relationships. Those days, I’m on cloud 9 because I feel like I have genuinely helped someone.
Such messages and comments help me to open my eyes and truly take a look at the things I am so quick to beat myself over for that don’t truly matter. I don’t need to have perfect hair or look like a Sports Illustrated model in a swimming suit. I don’t need to have the perfect smile or wear the most expensive brands.
Lately, I have been beating myself up for getting down on myself. Maybe it’s because I’ll be 30 this month, and I’m slightly panicking. Mid life crisis maybe? I try to remember that I am human, and every human makes mistakes from time to time.
My self-love journey is on-going, but here are a few things I try to remember when I’m tempted to break myself down:
The people you compare yourself to are also comparing themselves to other people
We are all guilty of comparing ourselves to other people, but rest assured that they’re also doing it. When we judge less, understand more and show more compassion, we are able to see them as what they are: human beings.
We are all perfectly imperfect human beings dealing with the same challenges from time to time.
Failures are lessons to be learned
There will be times when you will fail, but always enjoy and value the journey you’re on. The detours were put there for a reason.
Focus on the progress you have made and the distance you have come
Stop striving for perfection and success each and every day. There will be times that we will all fall short, and that’s ok! Keep in mind that when you put yourself out there, you are making progress and moving forward.
Give yourself a big pat on the back for pushing forward when times were hard, for not giving up and for making it as far as you have!
You are so much stronger than your current situation
Use each disappointment or setback as a cue to push onward and upward with more determination than ever before. Don’t let something bad define you and what you stand for. Don’t let it destroy you-let it strengthen you. Ultimately the choice is yours.
You are stronger than you think. You might not be where you want to be yet, but keep going.
The mind can be a very convincing liar
Don’t believe everything you mind is trying to tell you. Thoughts are just that-thoughts. It’s unhealthy, unnecessary and exhausting to give so much power to the negative ones.
Your scars are symbols of strength
Don’t be ashamed of the scars you carry. A scar means that the hurt is over and the wound has closed. You conquered it, learned a valuable lesson or two, grew stronger and moved forward. A scar is a tattoo of victory-of triumph! You might not be able to make the scars disappear completely, but you can change the way you see them. See that scar as a sign of strength, not pain.
Accept love even when you don’t feel worthy of it
Sometimes it’s more difficult to accept love when you’re in a state of anxiety, depression, anger or sadness. Accept love even when you don’t feel worthy, because you deserve it most when you are struggling.
The good far outweighs the bad
Remember that there is more right with you than there is wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn says,” Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you.”
Let. that. sink. in.
Even when we struggle to see the good thing we possess and tend to focus only on our self-perceived flaws, it’s important to remember all of the great things about yourself. Write them out. Hang them on your bathroom mirror. Visibly display them in your home where you will see them each and every day.
Accept and make peace with this moment
Before you can feel satisfied with the “now” you must accept the “past.” It’s hard to move forward without accepting where you came from and where you are in the present. Appreciate where you are. Appreciate the challenges and accept them for what they are. Only challenges and nothing more.
Once you make peace with where you are, your journey towards something new will come with more rewards, more peace and overall satisfying results.
You cannot hate your way into loving yourself
This may seem like common sense, but those who are struggling with accepting themselves need to understand that by telling yourself that you’re a failure will not result in yourself being successful. Same applies when you try convincing yourself that you aren’t living up to your full potential. You won’t suddenly start reaching higher potential. By telling yourself that you’re unworthy suddenly won’t make you feel more worthy of love and acceptance.
The biggest way to achieve-self love is to love yourself. Love yourself regardless of who you are and where you stand even if you know that you yearn for change.
Remember that you are enough, just the way you are. Self-love will come a bit easier once you start reminding yourself of that.