Today I thought I’d give you three short notes about self-love. Self-love is truly one of the most important qualities one can have and it takes a lot of work sometimes. It’s not about thinking you’re perfect or being a complete narcissist, but it is about accepting yourself, giving yourself permission to focus on you, and allowing yourself to be your own critic.
This week as I was searching for photos to print for my new apartment, I came across a video from the fall. It was a video of the first time I heard myself on television singing anthems (stay tuned for a throwback Thursday soon). As I listened to the video, I couldn’t help but giggle as I enjoyed the running commentary.
It was a combination – the good and the “needs work”. I could recognize the funny little quirks that I needed to work on, but also realize when I did something great. There were comments about how the players were giving me full respect (according to my co-commentator) and also how I could work on my American anthem a bit more.
You see, that’s the joy of having balance in personal criticism and self-love. With the balance, you are able to own your strengths and your weaknesses.
Text War…For the Win?
Last week I mentioned a texting war in my blog post. Sadly, I can’t begin to tell you how many juvenile texting wars I have had with this individual over the years (and they are shockingly 15 years older than me). Regardless of the timing or the situation, it’s always the same on their end; they come at me with insults like “fat” or “ugly”. Are you wondering why I haven’t just blocked this person? The reason is simple – because I don’t care.
You see, if I didn’t have confidence in myself or self-love, her empty insults would probably hurt. Do I have a few pounds I could lose? Sure – most of us do, but do I like what I see in the mirror? Yes. Not just because I like my exterior (although there are many things I do love about my physical self), it’s because I love to see the happiness sparkle from my eyes. I don’t look in the mirror because I’m shallow and like my exterior, I look in the mirror because I like me – all of me. And when you like yourself, the shallow, superficial insults of others won’t get you down.
The Strength of CliftonStrengths
A few weeks ago now I had the pleasure of doing the CliftonStrengths assessment. While I received my individualized results to my email, I found myself in a room surrounded by my peers and their assessments shortly after. You could feel everyone looking around at each other’s cards that listed our strengths, looking for similarities. Like in many things we wanted to find commonalities or “belonging” perhaps.
On my card was self-assurance. It was the only card in the room that had self-assurance on it. According to the website, self-assurance means this:
“Self-Assurance is similar to self-confidence. In the deepest part of you, you have faith in your strengths. You know that you are able — able to take risks, able to meet new challenges, able to stake claims, and, most important, able to deliver.”
Sitting there, I had a twinge of a little something inside. A feeling of a sense of accomplishment. Not because I was “unique” and the only person in the room with this strength, but because I have worked extremely hard to be as self-assured and self-confident as I am now. The road has been a winding one.
It’s Not Always Easy
Self-assurance, self-love, confidence – whatever you want to call it – is not easy. It’s not easy to love our flaws or criticize ourselves with the focus of improvement, not just judgment. Looking in the mirror and saying, “you’re enough” is no simple task. Literally going back to the school days of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” seems almost impossible some days. However, it is possible.
Applaud your successes. Surround yourself with people who pick you up. Realize that you really should be your biggest critic, but also find solutions to the things you really want to change for yourself. Find ways to be grateful for all that you are and will become. Personally, when I’m feeling down, I turn to the daily affirmations on Instagram with Third Eye Thoughts. Whatever it is – you do you.
If you can’t realize how awesome you are, how will you ever be able to share your awesomeness with the world? Be awesome, because you are awesome. Each of us in our own way. 🙂