Wow, ya’ll it’s been a LONG day … and on long days I can drift into the dark side of negativity if not careful. Know what I mean? Anyway, today’s topic is a good one and one I struggled with for many years. I know you’ve heard me or someone else say that if you can’t like yourself and always speak negatively about yourself, you attract that behavior from others toward yourself. After all if you don’t like you, why should anyone else? Well, let me tell you right now … there are loads to like about yourself.
When was the last time you complemented yourself? Really looked in the mirror and said “Awe you look drop dead gorgeous!” Don’t laugh! You are beautiful whether you believe it or not, tell yourself you are. What features do you like? For me it was my smile (at first), then I decided my eyes were a very nice color … and so on. Focus on what you do like. Come on, try it. Find one thing, then another, then another. As you do, say out loud what you like about it.
When you focus on negativity, it feels impossible to find something nice, but you can with a little change in your mindset. Remember I’ve talked about posting sticky notes all over reminding you of positive things you like about yourself. This is another excellent time to do this activity. Spend a few minutes each day studying yourself for the attributes you like. Who do you know that has the same characteristics? Why do you like those in particular?
It takes practice, for me it took years. You see I grew up with a very critical mother. She was never satisfied with what I wore, criticized my choice in careers, my husband, and then when the kids came along … I’d rather not go there. Growing up in this environment, my opinion of myself was based on her, not on me. Are you in a similar situation?
Begin by getting to know your true self, your likes, dislikes, favorite foods, movies, or music … what do you like about yourself. Turn off the negative voice in your head or at least turn down the volume. Replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts. This is a great place to start. Every time you have a negative thought about yourself, stop and immediately think of something positive. Perhaps tell yourself the exact opposite of the negative thought.
I didn’t jump straight to saying “I love myself!” because that would have felt fake. It took years but I softened things a little bit right away. For instance, if I thought “I am terrible at my job” I would then think “but there are some things I”m really good doing.” For the first time in my life, I started to look for things that I did right, and to acknowledge my own efforts. It was a strange thing to do, since I hadn’t done it before, but as time went buy I started to feel better and better.
Do I still have negative thoughts? Sometimes, on really LONG days and I’m tired … I can start to feel the negative voice start up. But, even on these days, I stop and immediately look for something positive. If that doesn’t work, I call my best friend and she sets me straight (laughing) … sometimes I need a reminder to stay positive. We all do, so take heart and start somewhere. Begin your journey in learning to love yourself. You will be so happy you did!
So get busy looking for those characteristics you love about yourself. I know it will feel a little awkward at first but you’ve got this. I know you do!