Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It is sanity.Katrina Mayer
If you had to name ten things that you love, at the drop of a hat right now, how many of you could truthfully say that ‘yourself’ or anything related to that would be on the list? If I’m being brutally honest it wouldn’t be on mine, nor do I suspect it would be on the majority of your lists either. While we are taught from an early age how to love, respect and be kind to the people around us, my burning question is why is the relationship we have with ourselves not held in the same high regard? In today’s post, I’m going to share why I’m attempting to embrace the act of self-love more and the reasons why it’s so crucial.
In a modern world where our quest for likes, follows, attention, being endeared and this whole concept of instant success and gratification sits very much at the forefront of our brains, often without realising,is it any wonder that our focus has shifted from loving ourselves to feeling like we need acceptance off others to create a life where we feel happy about who we are? While I undoubtedly agree that the people with interact with and friendships we nurture play a key role in make our lives more fulfilled and enjoyable, it seems as though our increasing infatuation with other people has become rather ‘artificial’ and dangerous. Dangerous in the fact that for so many of us, our happiness is almost solely based on the opinion of others. Whether they like or dislike us. What they are thinking. And even people we sometimes don’t even know or care about. Particularly in the realm of social media, the opinions or expression of others is often disingenuous anyway!
What I have recognised, particularly from my own experiences, is no matter how many likes, comments, compliments or whatever you receive, it will not take away your problems. In that very moment you may get an endorphin release, feeling of satisfaction or sense of self-importance, but what I have found is that soon disappears. A fix comparable to a drug/gambling addiction.
Everybody in life is searching for a sense of purpose, importance and appreciation in one way or another, however it’s vital that we are not overwhelmed by it. For more times that I can remember, I’ve sat on my phone waiting for a text or been clinging onto the hope of somebody acting a certain way, yet all that has done is create a litany of confusion, frustration and self-doubt. All that time spent looking for approval, annoyingly, could have been put to better use being productive or doing something to improve my own life. Sadly, this is also the case for so many other people out there!
Here are just a few examples of activities I now do in order to better myself:
- Working-out at the gym: Helps build confidence, releases stress
- Reading books: Allows learning of new techniques, provides inspiration
- Journalling: Can put thoughts on paper and rationalise them more
- Meditation: Brings a sense of calm, encourages present thinking
- Motivational Podcasts: Gives hope, can repeat positive affirmations
Although I appreciate adopting an attitude of ‘self-love’ is far from easy, especially as I have a long road ahead myself, I truly believe that accepting who we are as people can only benefit us as we navigate through life. If you think of all the instances you felt disappointed, angry, frustrated, helpless etc. at yourself, somebody else or even a situation, wouldn’t it be great to be in a positions where silly things we previously viewed as significant pale into insignificance. Whereby although something has gone wrong, we accept that not everything can go to plan but we are strong enough to deal with the consequences. Where we say ‘I can do this’ and ‘everything will be okay’, not ‘what’s the point?’ and ‘I’m not strong enough’.
After all, if we as people embrace who we are and what we stand for, wouldn’t we be better equipped to cope should something go wrong? Particularly in our desire to please other people, the big problem is that we have no control over how they act. It’s fantastic to have people around who care and love us, however it’s also important that we do not become reliant on others to make us happy and feel secure. By starting to feel happy and content within yourself, it’ll be a massive boost to the various other aspects of your life too. Whether it be your job, finances or interpersonal relationships, happiness breeds success.
Take it from me- if you are stuck in a place of worthlessness and feeling of no return- you are so much less likely to get what you want. While making positive changes is far from ‘plain sailing’ and ‘down days’ are perfectly natural, my advice to anybody reading would be to prioritise your own mental health. By no means should you neglect the people closest to you, however you should undoubtedly consider your own needs more. Doing that doesn’t make you selfish- it makes you human. Let’s stop making people feeling guilty for it! Being kind to ourselves is vital.
Repeat after me: I am the most important person, I accept who I am, I am worthy of love.
What I continue to say is it’ll be worth all the hard work in the end!
Thanks for reading,