Hey and welcome back! This week we will be going deeper into self-love, which I think the majority of people struggle with, so let me start by asking what is self-love? Self-love is the practice of being grateful for ourselves, who we are!
In the society we live in today, it is actually easy to forget how to be kinder to yourself, how to tell yourself that you are beautiful, it’s actually shunned upon a little bit. You worry that people may think you are too into yourself or self-absorbed, but we just want to say that you are not selfish for wanting to love you. Can I also say that there is nothing wrong with you, there is just something wrong with society, so don’t ever dull your light and keep being that amazing human that you are.
We’re in an era that is obsessed with media, social media and celebrity. We have this social expectation to look our best and to have this kind of standard of life where everything including ourselves has to be perfect. From the way you look, to how clean your house is, even how your child dresses. We have to be perfect outwardly all the time and we are focusing on the wrong thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to do my hair, I love getting my nails done and making myself feel good on the outside but, I am also aware that this is just a mirage of who we are.
It is nice to do self-care, the feeling once you’ve had your hair done is amazing! And its important to make yourself feel good, so I’m not telling you not too but if you’re not working on the inside too then all of this is kind of, pointless, isn’t it? If you are not working on the core you, then you’re just working on the outer shell! Which won’t work long term.
I think, we forget that, and this may sound, corny but hear me out. What makes you beautiful, is just being you. Your true authentic self. That’s it.
What we have forgotten is how to just be ourselves, how to just be who we truly are, not what society wants us to be, but who we want to be.
I can honestly say, that for years, maybe until 2 years ago? I didn’t know who I was, who I wanted to be and what I what I wanted to achieve in my life, I was pretty much lost, I also believe that I had body dysmorphia, which is still something I am still to this day working on. So let me go deeper into this just in case someone feels the same way.
I grew up in a household which was very much focused on how you look, which was just how my mum was brought up too. Like my mum was plucking my eyebrows in first school, so I must have been like 10-11? I actually think I was one of the first in my class to get highlights too, just stuff like that really, focusing more on my outer appearance and forgetting about how I’m feeling on the inside.
Anyway, as it was always focused on appearance, my family used to say things like ‘oh it’s just puppy fat, she will grow out of it’, you know the basic stuff that people think is a polite way to call you overweight.
So, I started life with an unhealthy view of my body and who I was and very much believed that if I was overweight, I was unworthy of anything good coming into my life.
Can I just say though, looking back at me in photos, I was never big, I was just bigger than my cousins, so I do laugh now because in my head I was massive but in reality, I wasn’t.
So, this went on for over 20 years and I would look in my vanity mirror after I’ve done my makeup and go, I look really good today, then I would walk past my full-length mirror and I look completely different, like I didn’t look as good as I thought I did. Then I would take a photo of myself and go actually I look alright and then someone would take a photo of me and that’s where it got bad, that’s where I start feeling very insecure because that’s a photo, I see of myself from someone else’s point of view and that is not the person I see when I look at me.
What I’m seeing is the worst version of me and then insecurities would kick in and I’ll be calling myself ugly, no wonder no one wants me and just being mean to myself, which is such an unhealthy way of thinking, I am only validating myself when I look good, if I am having a bad day and I’m not looking my best, then I’m unworthy of love.
Since I found Spirituality and the power of self-love, I am a much kinder person to myself and a lot more patient and as I’ve aged, I’ve realised, who cares! Am I good person? Yes! Then I am beautiful.
Let me just say I know it’s not that easy, I know there is an internal part that is telling you things that may not be true, that it’s not as easy as saying am I a good person? Then I am beautiful. I know that, but a healthy self-esteem will allow you to have a more positive outlook on your life, it will change how you look at everything in your life. This is why it is so important to be kinder to yourself and to change the way your internal dialogue speaks to you.
Basically, your self esteem is based on how much you like and appreciate your self, it is how you assign your personal value. If you have low self esteem like I did then you worry that others are better than you, so you always feel you have to compete with others. You might also have difficulties in expressing who you are and expressing your needs, you might even have an extreme fear of failing or failure. One of the things I struggled with was accepting a compliment from other people, as I felt I wasn’t deserving of it, and they were lying to make me feel better.
Before I go into ways of helping you love yourself more, let me go into the differences between self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.
All three are similar but they are different, self confidence is more about trusting in your own abilities. Self-esteem has to do with our sense of self, how we feel about ourselves. Self-worth is knowing that we have value inherently, outside of our own abilities and sense of self.
So, we have some methods that we have personally used which helps with our self-confidence, helps us to be who we truly are in life, and they really work, so give them a go if any resonate with you.
One of the ways I am kinder to myself is by doing affirmations in the mirror, I am a big fan of affirmations. I have really found they have changed my life for the better and I can’t stress enough how amazing they are.
So, when I’m in the bathroom and I’m washing my hands, as you do, I will look at myself in the mirror, regardless with how I look, and I will say ‘I am beautiful’, ‘I am smart’, ‘I am funny’, ‘I am kind’. Really simple affirmations but powerful when saying them to yourself. You will feel stupid saying it at the beginning, but they work, they really work, so keep at it. Keep repeating it every time you look at yourself, there all true! You are all of them things but the more you say it to yourself, the more you repeat it, the more your subconscious will take it all in and you’ll start believing it, your confidence will grow, and you will start seeing your true, amazing self-more clearly. Its already in you, but life and society and social media grind you down in your daily life and it gets harder to believe it as we are taught to compete, to change, to be like everyone else. But you don’t need to be. Your perfect as you are, you are who you’re supposed to be in this moment.
Naturally, I’m a giver and if you’re reading this you’re probably one too. It’s natural to want to help people and not to say no because you don’t want to appear mean and abrupt but setting boundaries is hugely important for your mental health. I know you don’t want to seem like a person who is rude or maybe your worried someone will be mean or not like you, but your time is just as important as their time.
This is harmful behaviour because when you don’t set boundaries you are causing yourself excess stress and worry, your going to be more tired and maybe even burn out from fulfilling more than you physically or mentally can. A few ways you can help yourself by setting boundaries start by saying no, just start small. The moment you say no to something you don’t want to do; your confidence will boost! You will feel instantly more powerful, and this will help with your self-esteem. So, say no, you can do it! If you don’t want to do something, then don’t!
A very important method is to trust your body, your mind and body work very closely together to keep you functioning, listen to it, trust it. If it makes you uncomfortable in any way then remember, say no. If it doesn’t make you feel uneasy then go for it!
One of the hardest parts for me personally was letting go of what people think. Can I just say, people will have an opinion of you whatever happens, and it is instinct to care what people think but some people are just not going to like you and that’s okay. We don’t like everyone and that’s completely fine, that is a part of life after all. If a person doesn’t like you because you don’t want to do something, then are they a person you need in your life right now? Remember, to grow and move forward without worrying about their opinion because their opinion is not the big picture in your life. So, say no if it doesn’t make you happy, who cares what they think.
Trusting your Gut Instinct
People have probably told you to trust your gut before, gut instinct, or your intuition is your immediate understanding of something, you just know.
Your intuition comes on as a feeling in your body that you only experience because the feeling is so personal. Trusting your gut is the ultimate act of trusting yourself.
Listening to your intuition help you avoid unhealthy relationships and situations throughout your life.
So, how do you start to trust your gut instinct? For someone who had low self-worth, I know its not easy to just trust your gut because your mind is powerful and can tell you things that are just not true. You have really got to defeat your overthinking, slowing down, calming your mind. Meditation is great for this and will help to focus on being in the present moment. Slowing down helps you to recognise and process information you receive, not only in your mind but also in your body. Stepping away from a situation until you received further clarity. Slowing down means purposefully making space for your intuition to occupy. The slower pace helps to shift your perspective and clear away distractions so that you can see and feel what truly does matters for you. Try meditation, or Yoga, I am also a huge fan of mindful breathing as this helps you to focus on the present and stops your mind from going through 100 different thoughts, into a deeper sense of calm and centred focus within yourself.
Allowing Your Creativity to Shine!
Did you know that only 25% of people think they’re living up to their creative potential? So how do you unlock your inner creativity? We as humans are born to create, it feeds our soul and is huge for our self-confidence. Ways you can unlock your creativity are by inspiring yourself first, (I know, how do I do that). Learn habits and small rituals that make you happy and enable you to work at your best. Get used to being uncomfortable, you have to get out of your comfort zone and try something new! Never painted? Try it? Want to dance? Do it! You never know what you will be good at if you don’t try and the moment you find your passion, something that makes you truly happy, your self-confidence is going to be huge! You will have a purpose other than being there for someone else.
Letting yourself feel pleasure
When you don’t have self-love, your confidence is down, you don’t think you deserve to feel good, but this is such a harmful way of treating yourself. You are allowed to feel pleasure. Say it out loud- I am allowed to feel pleasure. Some really simple ways to help you in making yourself happy, is by deep breathing, meditating, appreciating yourself even if its just for making dinner, go outside and feel the sun on your skin and the fresh air in your lungs, (I promise you will feel so much better after). Exercise is another great way of improving your mood.
My favourite and simplest way of making myself happy, is by putting on my favourite 90’s tracks and just dancing and singing away, it always brightens my day!
Forgiving yourself if you do end up treating yourself poorly
It will happen, sometimes we don’t even realise it but when it does happen stop, breath and forgive yourself. Imagine what forgiveness feels like, write yourself an apology and what you will do different next time. It will get easier with time and know that this thought doesn’t define who you are! You are amazing!
In summary, you should always listen to your gut and always remember no one on is you and that is your superpower! You are an amazing person and the more you repeat that to yourself, the more you’ll start believing it and when you believe it? Your life will change, it will change for the better! I hope that you got some good information from this post, it’s been a pleasure writing it!
Love and Light
☾ The Spiritual Mamas x