The way we see ourselves is a compilation of the circumstances we grew up with, the people who influenced our lives, and the experiences we had. All these factors have in small increments shaped the lens through which we view ourselves and define our worth.
Our parents and teachers, however well-meaning, may have said something that really stuck with us. For those of us who have experienced trauma, we may find the experience has changed the way we view ourselves, our abilities and our worth.
All of us have been defined by these factors in some way. Perhaps it shows up in the form of not applying for a job because you think you may not be good enough or that you don’t know enough. Meanwhile, had you taken the chance to apply, you may have been the best and most desirable candidate. Perhaps you have not allowed yourself to be fully happy or go after a dream because a past experience has you believing that you do not have the right to be happy or that you will not do the dream justice. Yet, it is the belief you currently hold that stops you.
We often sabotage ourselves without realizing that we are doing so. The beliefs that have shaped us, cause us to unconsciously create excuses, limits, and barriers – the result is that we find ways and reasons not to fulfil our desires.
What would your life look like if you didn’t limit yourself? Other people and circumstances may have shaped our beliefs, but we can choose to either keep those beliefs or change them. We can let go of the beliefs that no longer serve us, and replace them with empowering beliefs instead.
- Take 15 minutes and make a list of all the things you love about yourself. Next to each item, write down who the belief came from, where you heard it, or if it came from you.
- Now make a list of all your perceived flaws. Next to each item write down who the belief came from, where you heard it, what experience this belief arose from, or if it came from you.
Have you found that many of your perceived flaws stem from the expectations of others or from society’s definition of what life should look like?
Each of our journeys is unique. Where we are, what success looks like to us, what our bodies should look like and what we desire for our lives, is an individual choice.
On your second list, those perceived flaws, have you found that many of them are not how you really feel about yourself? Next to each of those items, write down what your real belief is instead. Move these items to a new list of things to love about yourself. Perhaps there are a few beliefs left that you actually think are true flaws. What would you rather have those beliefs be instead? Can you, in small increments, change the way you feel and think about those beliefs? Visualize what it would look like for you if each of those beliefs was something you could love about yourself. Keep holding that vision until it feels true for you.
We cannot control the external circumstances, but we can control how we see and feel about ourselves. Love yourself with the same depth and forgiveness with which you love those around you.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? Share in the comments. List at least one thing you love about yourself, first thing every morning, to remind yourself what an awesome being you are.