A clichéd but necessary change in perspective: My journey to loving myself

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Self love:// def. Regard for one’s own wellbeing and happiness.

I reckon Google’s definition is pretty spot on.

Self love…Ha! What a concept. It’s one that I thought I had ahold of. It’s one that I thought I was one of the few people who didn’t have to worry about working on that aspect of myself because it just came naturally to me. Boy oh boy, was I wrong about that. After having a chat to someone who has been an immense help in helping me manage and overcome my anxiety, I realised that self-love was really a concept I only had the barest of ideas about. I mean sure, I knew what it was. I knew the concept. It was just my practice of it was a little, let’s just say, rusty and misguided.

This revelation came at a good time for me. I was having one of those moments where I felt like my self-worth was non-existent. My anxiety was at its highest in months. Part of me was kicking myself for letting the trigger event that sparked it (that’s a story for another time), to actually allow it to make me take a step back in the progress I had made. However, after these conversations, I realised a major issue that I had.

Even though to others it seemed like I was confident-it was really actually a facade. It just wasn’t as obvious to people because I didn’t dwell on it consciously. Subconsciously though, my anxiety would be annoyingly high and it would transpire into anxieties regarding other things- most notably, my health. Yes,  I joke to people that I am a hypochondriac, but it’s something that has legitimately affected me. Again, that is a story for another time. My inability to properly love myself without any inhibitions made it more difficult to cope with my anxiety.

Since these conversations, I have noticed the drastic change that has taken place in my mindset and it’s one that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I realised that with self love, I had been preaching something I didn’t correctly practice and now that I have been working on this art for almost two months, I have a whole new understanding of how effective and important it is for you to love yourself.

Feeling grateful, confident and realising all the brilliant qualities you have is the most unreal feeling. You feel invincible, unstoppable. Well at the very least, that’s how I feel. I feel like I can handle anything, no matter what life throws at me. I know my strengths and nothing can tear me down. However on that point, it’s totally fine to not feel as up to scratch as you hope to be. Everyone has their ups and downs. It’s about how you let the downs affect you and whether you let them. It’s all about the way you react to things.

In life, you’re going to meet a range of people. The good, the bad and the ugly. The good are the ones who will only help you flourish, they’ll love you for you and just their presence and their vibes allows you to just naturally love yourself. Then there are the bad, the negative nancies who, even when they don’t mean to, bring your vibe down. It could be a friend, a relative or just someone you encounter. Sometimes you can avoid them, sometimes you can’t- but the main thing is to be able to have the confidence within yourself to recognise that their problems are their personal problems, not yours. Self love allows you to focus on yourself without any worries that you’re being selfish. And then of course, there is the ugly. The ones who go out of their way to make your life miserable and try and bring you down. They’re the ones who try and suck the energy out of you, drain you, take your confidence away from you. They use your weaknesses to their advantage and try and twist your words around to suit them. It’s usually their way, or the highway and think they’re God’s gift to you and everyone who comes into contact with them. As soon as you’re doing better than they are, they do whatever they can to try and bring you down back to their level. Another thing they do is compete with you, trying to make themselves superior when you stand their, somewhat puzzled and thinking “U ok m8?”. These are the people who will ultimately test your ability to love yourself and have the confidence to see passed whatever issues these people might have that would make them miserable enough to try and bring you down.

I’m the type of person who is pretty switched on to my perspectives and the way I feel, but sometimes I need a good kick up the backside and a face to face conversation that makes me realise something that I knew wasn’t right, but couldn’t exactly put my finger on what it was. Since these conversations, I’ve been able to change my perspective on life. It’s not like I wasn’t positive and optimistic in the past, it’s just now, I can be even more positive and optimistic. I’ve become more at peace, feel like I can cope with different stresses better, and most of all, I can do so with more confidence.

So this is what I want you all to do: buy yourself a really pretty notebook with bright colours and cute pictures (corny, I know, but trust me, it’ll work) and in this notebook, write down every single thing you love about yourself and why. Write down these traits, maybe 3-5 a day for a week or two and at the end of that time, read over that and take in everything that you’ve written. These are the individual, unique, amazing things that make people lucky to have you in their lives and that make people need you in your life. Another thing I want you to do is start a gratitude journal. Write down 3-5 things that you were thankful for that day and write down why. Within no time, you’ll see your perspective change. You’ll take your focus from the bad and place it onto the good- both about yourself and your life.

Realise that you’re worth it. Because you are.

Watch as the importance of dramas seem to just fade away and hardly faze you, if they do at all. You’ll realise what’s important and what’s not. Who’s important and who isn’t. It’s a somewhat small step to making the biggest change of your life and living the life you really want to live.

Love yourself,
and you’ll be unstoppable.
You are invincible.

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