I’ve been on a serious self-help kick lately. Like, major. I’ve been reading endless amounts of articles, listening to every self-help/mental illness podcast under the sun and exploring every corner of the web to research this topic of “self-help”.
I’ve come to the conclusion (based on forums, comment threads, etc.) that people begin reading these self-help blogs and books because they’re questioning or doubting their self-worth. They are also lacking this little thing called self-love. Not always, but many times. They are wondering “How can I be perfect?” or maybe “How can I fix my flaws?” They’re already dissecting every little thing wrong with themselves rather than celebrating what they have to offer.
So let’s just talk about self-love for a moment, k?
Self-love isn’t narcissistic or selfishness. It’s simply remembering our worth. And the more we can love ourselves, the more we can pour love into others. Funny how that works, eh? We cannot give someone else what we don’t have, or receive from someone else what they don’t already have.
Basically, if you don’t love yourself how can you expect to love anyone else or allow others to love you? Also, the fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself.
Self-love is forgiving yourself, prioritizing your needs, recognizing your worth and doing what brings you pure joy. It is acknowledging your shortcomings but not allowing them to be a source of internal hatred. It is embracing your perfectly flawed self, and understanding that no external factors make you any less valuable than someone else. Your weight. Your clothes. Your hair color. Your quirks. There is not only one way to be beautiful, and loving yourself means realizing your own beauty for what it is. Your self-worth does not waver depending on how you look compared to someone else, or what you have compared to anyone else.
Comparison is the thief of JOY.
Comparison has two roads: one that leads to depression and feeling inadequate & another that leaves you feeling full of pride and arrogance. (Both horrible options, right?)
Humans naturally struggle for acceptance and recognition. It’s normal to want affirmation from others, but be weary of where you’re turning for that affirmation.
As both a blogger and having social media in my job title/description at Vineyard Brands, I am forced to submerge myself in this wonderful & terrible world of social media. Where everything is a facade and everyone’s lives are twenty times cooler online than they are in real life.
It’s the “look at me” mentality.
We look, and then we begin to love ourselves a little bit less.
All because we don’t have that car, we don’t have those clothes, we don’t have that body, we don’t have that vacation home, we don’t have that job, or we don’t have that perfect family. Instantly our minds are flooded with thoughts and reminders of our shortcomings.
Negative self-talk is a challenging little voice to fight, but the moment we accept and embrace each aspect of ourselves that we don’t care for, that voice begins to lose its power over us.
So, I want to challenge you to stop turning to social media, celebrities, magazines or even the seemingly perfect girl you work with to give you affirmation. You already know you’ll never find it there.