All humans have things they dislike about themselves. I’m going to say that again. All humans have things they dislike about themselves.
Everyone. Maybe it is something serious and unchangeable, maybe it is something silly and trite. But everyone has them.
Wanna know a secret?
Okay, maybe it’s not that big of a secret. You can’t make fun of someone for something that they have already dealt with. If you get to know the skeletons in your closet, then people can’t hurt you or scare you when they point them out. And yes, it is hard to get to that state. But it feels so good once you get there.
I was always very self conscious of my body. I don’t know at what age it started, but I don’t remember a time when it wasn’t there. My body was where it started, but soon it was everything… all choices that I made I got negative about. I was so critical of my flaws, and I saw nothing but flaws.
Step 1: Hey Brain, shut up!
The change that needs to take place in order to accept yourself is a mental change. It is a tough change, which requires you to reprogram the way your thoughts sound, and the way your brain processes what your eyes see. This journey for everyone is different, as we are all different, and we all have differing perceived flaws.
At one point, I was kicking the crap out of myself mentally once every 6 seconds it felt like. I was so positive on the outside and toward others, but I didn’t save any goodness for myself. So I started making small steps. Every time I would think something about myself, I would then correct the statement with only things that were true and positive. Note: This will make you seem like a crazy person, because you are battling a war in your own brain.
Ugly thoughts: Why did you say that? No one cares! What, you think you’re some expert? You aren’t. You don’t know anything about this. You need to shut up.
Good thoughts: Uhm, YOU need to shut up, you liar. I am intelligent. I don’t know everything, but I do know some things, and some people value my opinion.
This took a long time to break. Honestly. And it can make you feel insane and exhausted. But now, things look a lot different when those moments do creep up:
Ugly thoughts: You are not–
Good thoughts: I am enough. I am good, I am caring, I am strong.
The Good is now speaking more than the Ugly, and speaking longer responses, and is cutting the Ugly off before they even get to finish their sentence. It feels amazing.
Step 2.) Because hey, you’re awesome!
Once I got my head under control, I started to focus on all the things I love about my body/self. I am a genuine friend. I have awesome boobs. I like my eyes.
Then I became intentionally grateful for the things my body/self is capable of doing, rather than the limitations. I am grateful for my arms, which allow me to give hugs. I am grateful for my ability to empathize. I am grateful for being able to laugh easily.
And it gets so much easier. So much better! It allows you to focus on what is happening externally rather than internally.
Step 3.) Remember, it’s a process
I am not saying that I look at myself every day and am 100% happy with myself. But now I look at it as areas to improve, not parts that I hate.
Some days are harder than others. When that happens though, I am much more conscious of it. I am able to correct and remedy right away, rather than allowing the downward spiral. These days are now very rare for me, and I count that a huge victory.
Step 4.) Battle the haters
And by battle, I mean laugh. Because you’ve dealt with your issues and your flaws and your insecurities. You know the whole story, they know a little. You are sure of who you are, and they are talking out of an insecure and judgmental place. So go ahead, that thicker skin looks really good on you!
Getting to a place where you accept your flaws and your self is amazing. It allows you to live as your whole self, not a muffled version of you.
Acceptance is an agreement with yourself to appreciate, validate, and support who you are at this moment.
And you, my friend, are very worth accepting.
Part of the A to Z Challenge… A post a day except Sunday for the month of April to cover topics beginning with each letter of the alphabet.