Some of us are born with the goods.
No matter how much money they have, degrees or no degrees, attractiveness or charm, some of us were born with the gift of self-love. And no matter how bad the world gets they can always separate themselves from what they see and hear. They can always say, I love me!
Then, some of us had to work on it, work hard, overcome and fight indefinitely. There are so many levels to self-love and so much secrecy behind the true self esteem you may never reach the end of the journey. My word today is to STOP!!
Stop pushing, pulling, attempting to love yourself. Stop staring in the mirror saying you love yourself, that you’re beautiful… etc. Simply refuse to hate yourself. I know, I know, affirmations work, well. The exercise of looking at yourself in the mirror and deciding to love what you see is very positive, but here’s an idea. I believe that self love is your nature. Loving yourself is not always an action but a state of being. Loving oneself is as natural to the human being as feeding yourself. The work that needs to be done is to stop the tendency to hurt yourself. That includes the following:
15 Signs You are Hating on Yourself
(a.k.a. 15 targets to defeat)
- Criticizing Yourself
Do you mull over every mistake you make? Do you beat yourself up for not being a perfect ______. Do you watch your every move, word. Are you seeking perfection or some type of finale? Do you keep your expressions to yourself out of fear of criticism? Do you deny compliments and brush off praise? Stop! Everyone has an inner critic but if you aren’t careful, it can grow from a thought that kindly looks for space to improve, into a monster that keeps you up at night, or a hateful thought that picks you apart in the mirror. Often the standard you hold others to, is a reflection of how you treat yourself. Are you demanding of others? Do you lack forgiveness? Be kind to yourself and tell that inner critic to have several seats.
- Downplaying Your Accomplishments
“Oh it was nothing.” When someone says “Thank you!”, you say, no big deal. One of my greatest challenges to this day is receiving applause after I sing a song. The audience could be full of tears and I know in my soul that I’ve given something beautiful but I nod and walk. No, stand there and take the applause. Receive the gratitude for giving your gift.
- Harshly Judging Your Body
Do you constantly work out for fear of getting fat? Do you poke at every dimple, pinch every fold? Eat extra food trying to be – what we call in my hometown- “thick”? Your body is a blessing that is listening to every thought you have, every word you speak. Tell her you love her, tell her thank you for getting me up those stairs. Tell her thank you for nursing my children, being huggable, being beautiful because newsflash! women are naturally beautiful. Just as men are given more strength per square inch, you are given beauty. In Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, inanimate objects are called he and she based on their beauty. If a chair is pretty, it’s called she. If it’s boxy and plain, it’s called he. Think on that…..
- Constant Fixing, Picking and Pruning
Are you addicted to self-help? Therapy? I am a recovering self-help addict. I have issues, we all do, but I can love what is good, pray for what is less than and say thank you for it all. Read the books, speak with your therapist, pray as often as you need but remember, you are human and you will always be a work in progress. Those tools will help but the perspective you have on your enoughness will change because you decide to be your best every day. That’s all that’s needed to grow and heal at a healthy rate. I’m not saying call your Therapist and cancel (I’m not) but I would suggest trusting what, “The Lord has made.”
- Spending Essential Money on Beauty
Are you maxing out your credit cards on beauty products and fashion? Are you a “Product Junkie” ? Do you miss bills buying things that will make you more attractive? Girl stop. You’re kicking yourself in the you know what. You’re beautiful when you’re healthy and happy. The inner glow you’re looking to create with those external items will never show. Until you look inside, you will continue to miss that glow. Doing what makes you truly happy is what makes you beautiful and unless you’re a make up artist at heart, all the money used to cover your inadequacies should be used to reveal your spirit.
- Spending ALL Your Money on Essentials, Saving & Investing
You are going to be ok. Don’t be afraid. You can spend a couple dollars on yourself. You should absolutely not be last on your list. Try a dance class, massage, pedicure, hair do… you have to do something for yourself! Whether you buy the supplies and do it yourself because you have a tight budget or whether you go all out and have a nice, “I Love Me” weekend ever so often, you must do for you. Fill your tank so you can carry yourself, maybe even a couple others from time to time.
You’re always late and ill prepared. You procrastinate and “forget”. You act on suspicion and create problems out of nothing. You think no one gets you or no one likes you when a relationship doesn’t go as you will it. You deserve to succeed. What separates you from someone who does? You. Prepare early, meet your own expectations first. Keep yourself in the light of worthiness. All the time. Even when you’re low and blue. You are always worthy.
- Staying in a Culture of Deprivation
Are you refusing to acknowledge that its time to leave this place, this way of thinking, behind. You know you’re in a culture of deprivation when everyone around you is a victim. When everyone is proud of pain and sorrow. Have you ever heard someone brag about pain? This is especially true for African Americans who descend from enslaved Africans. Our identities as victims of heinous crime is only PART of who we WERE. Some of us bought their own freedom or escaped. Some moved on to become professionals or landowners. Many of us took our lives into our own hands and fought for dear life and won (Google: Haitian Revolution). Why are you any different? The pain and psychological damage of our past is not who we are. We are victorious survivors. We are a people who survived and in some ways thrived in a state of institutionalized insanity. Leave that culture of sorrow and strife behind.
Seeing her makes your blood boil. She’s got this, that, something else that you dreamed of. Stop it now and go get it. Stop being envious, look at those feelings as a sign of your hunger for something and acknowledge the fact that YOU are responsible for manifesting your SELF. Your hating is not about family who have more _____than you, your cousin who has more ____ than you or your Uncle is is more _____ than you. It’s about your hunger and your passion to be in a better, more desireable place. Go for it. Your kids will sacrifice but they will admire your drive. Your family will have to miss you at a few dinners but they will respect your accountability. You want more money? Create another job. You want more beauty? Create more health. Stop hating and start participating in your own creation, your own rise to success.
- Putting Others Before You, ALL the Time.
Helping others should rarely involve hurting yourself. We all make sacrifices for people we love but when you are depleting your own resources, when you don’t even think before giving your last, you’ve lost something, your sense of separation. We love the proverb Ubuntu, “I am because we are” but when “we” stop “I” from being able to survive, “I” needs to take a step back. There is no “We” if “I” is dissolved into oblivion, there’s only “you guys” or “them”. Yes, help your family, give to your community, contribute to the larger body but remember, YOU are the body as well! YOU are a part of the community. YOU are a part of the family. YOU have to be healthy to help someone else. A wise woman told me when you enable people they will resent you. Why? Because you did not empower them. You saved them but left them in the same condition that brought them to that place in the first place. They will be back for more help and if they can’t reciprocate the favor in some way or another, they will grow angry with you because they haven’t changed and now they owe you something they haven’t learned how to produce. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first.
11. Refusing to Stand up for Yourself
Do you let people tell you who you are? Do you allow them to talk over you or tell you what to do? Do you allow a “group” to define you, determine your movement and value? STOP! You are not a mean person if you say, no. You are not going to lose love from anyone who truly loves you. You are not going to be annihilated if you have to spend time alone. If you’ve surrounded yourself with people who “push you around”, you have to go through the process of reestablishing yourself. This may be with a new group, or you just might be surrounded by people who love you and not the dynamic of your relationship. They just might be waiting for you to speak up. Be brave and be strong.
- Believing No One Will Like You, Accept Your Input, “No one cares what I ……”
Newsflash: You don’t need permission! No one has to tell you you’re awesome. Van Gogh died poor. Edgar Allen Poe died in a mental institution. Their greatness was never validated by people on the outside. Even without validation, someone will love you! It’s the nature of human existence. You, as you, authentic and self loving, will be loved by others. It’s natural law. Love yourself. You were permitted to “be” when you arrived on the planet. They say , if someone invites you to a meeting, it’s permission to speak and contribute. You’ve been invited to life on the planet. Permission Granted.
- Using a Lover as a Badge of Acceptance
We all love being loved but what happens when having a lover, or being with a certain type of person, validates you? What does it mean when it gives you your sense of belonging or worthiness. What happens is you give this human being- flawed and perfect- power over your worth. They become the market and their demand for you determines your value. You fear being alone because when you’re alone, you’re nothing. You fear being with someone who is less than ______ because then you are less than. What a burden for a lover to be responsible for how you feel about yourself. Free them and free yourself. Accept yourself!
- Attributing All your Accomplishments to God.
This is a sticky one. This is sticky because I thank God for everything but God gave me, me. My abilities, my gifts and I use them. While thanking God, acknowledge the part that you play in the plan. When God blesses you with an opportunity, you still have to show up. That’s you. That’s what makes God proud of you! You are worthy of praise. Perhaps not grand praise as The Creator, but you are something more than an empty vessel. You are the vessel!
- Looking for your Compliments and Accolades from other People.
After receiving a good grade on an assignment, my daughter at times asks me, “Mom, are you proud of my work? Are you proud of me?” I want to say “YES! I’m so proud of you, honey! Mommy is so so so proud of you”, instead I ask her, “How do you feel? Are you proud of your work? Are you proud of yourself?” She always says yes… of course I then pour on all the reasons why I agree with her, validating her pride in herself. We all seek approval from our peers, family and friends but first, value and treasure your own approval. I’d even go so far as to say, work for it. If you don’t approve of your attire, change it. If you don’t approve of your command of the English language, study harder. If you feel you aren’t attractive, take care of yourself and get healthier.
We blame ourselves for the world we were given, for statements others made that had nothing to do with us, for a culture we were born into that told us, you are supposed to look like, be like, think like, act like, etc. We learn self-hate just as we learn language. Depending on your family, you grew up with varying levels of love and acceptance. Well today, you are yours and you can decide what you allow in your heart from here forward. I challenge you to refuse the self-hate.
List 5 things your inner-critic says to you and 5 snap-backs to destroy her logic.