This question was asked to my one of the ladies that attended Time to Shine.
When I first this question, it made me sad, because the person who asked it must be struggling with how to love themselves.
Then I really had to think about what got me to a place where I can actually say “I love myself”. And trust me, there are still some days that I don’t really like myself, but I think that’s where it starts – in order to love like ourselves, we have to like ourselves first.
But how do we get there? The first step for me was becoming the person I wanted to be rather than the person I thought the world wanted to see.
For many years, I didn’t love myself at all. Those looking on from the outside would’ve said I looked so happy and like I had my ? together – a loving family, great friends, going on great holidays, nice home, well-paying job, etc. I was the person who was laughing and smiling, but inside I was an insecure mess.
You see, I was also that person who
wanted needed to be perfect and to be liked by others. I was living my life for other people because, as ridiculous as it sounds, I thought making others happy would make me happy?! But it just left me feel empty.
I wanted more for myself, but it’s hard to start doing just for yourself when you’ve spent your whole life living for others.
So I had to find out who I was. I mean really find out. Fnding what I liked and didn’t like; my passions and fears; who I was and wanted to become; and how I wanted to present myself to the world. Sounds easy, right? Lol!
And that wasn’t even the hardest part – the hardest part was figuring out why I felt the way I did about these things. This was hard for me because for the first time I had to come out of others’ shadows and own everything I did and thought. I no longer allowed myself to do things just because so-so “had done it and it sounded like a good idea”, I did it because I wanted to.
I felt so guilty at first, but the more I did it, the more my confidence grew. And the more my confidence grew, the more I took pride in myself for being the person I wanted to be. I also gained more self-respect.
I wasn’t doing things just to be ‘perfect’ or win the approval of others anymore.
Here are some things I do to love on myself:
- I regularly treat myself. Whether it’s going for an amazing massage or buying that lovely expensive dress, I make sure to do something nice for myself.
- A friend taught me to “be kind to myself.” I’ve accepted that I make mistakes, but instead of blaming myself and feeling guilty, I remind myself that it’s okay (I’m only human after all) and recognise it’s an opportunity to learn from my mistakes.
- Making sure I treat myself the same way I treat my loved ones simply because I am worth it.
- Maintaining healthy boundaries ensuring that those me around treat me with same the respect I treat them.
- Taking care of my mental and physical well-being, and making time to de-stress and relax. This includes doing things like: going on short walks, practising mindfulness and dancing to great music.
- Living on purpose – using my skills, talents and strengths to pursue my passions gives my life purpose.
- I enjoy being of service in a variety of ways including donating to charity, running workshops, helping out my family, friends and sometimes even perfect strangers.
- Being daring and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. For example, I did a charity abseil down the Orbit last year.
- Being unapologetically me – standing up for what I believe in and doing what I want…period!
I now live my life on my terms and it feels awesome!