More and more, my eyes are opening to how reversed many things should be to cultivate a world more healthful and less stressful. For, it’s an illusion that so many of us accept as truth to the detrimental point of rejecting the truth about ourselves simply because it doesn’t fit the definition of society’s standards. According to the illusion of the images in magazines, billboards, television, and not exclusive of the opinions of those around you; you fella don’t believe your true height is acceptable, or the job you hold is respectable. And, you girl friend, don’t believe your carrot top hair and freckles count as much as having blonde hair and spotless skin. Speaking of spotless skin, I had someone come up to me the other day, a man, who boldly yet in a kind disposition expressed that I need a new boyfriend because I have too many spots on my face. I laughed it off, cast it down, and thought to myself, “What kind of pickup line is that?!” (Please read through til the end, as I’d like you to help with something fun regarding this!)
In all actuality, what he said didn’t bother me. Now, about 22 years ago it would have sent me into a downward spiral of insecurities. What makes the difference in not spiraling down, but having a steady stance anchored in feeling secure with oneself is in loving yourself as the true unique and gifted person you are. Yes, and doing so even with all of your flaws and foibles. To help you do that here are five ways to give yourself grace to love yourself more.
#1: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
We live in a world filled with a melting pot of different people. We’re shaped different. We like different things. We function in different ways. Yet, though it’s actually normal for us to be different, we often compare ourselves to others and think less of ourselves because we don’t measure up the same as what we perceive others to have. Truth is we ALL have things about us that is BOTH better than others & less than others. And, if you continue to compare yourself against others based on what you’re insecure about in yourself, you’ll often find what only would grow your insecurities because there are always some level of differences.
#2: Take a Love Inventory of Yourself
Often we can focus so much on what we don’t like about ourselves that we forget to even look at & keep in mind what we do like about ourselves. One most important aspect of doing this is: don’t focus on the physical, but on your virtues, integrity, strengths, & how you treat others. Unlike physical features, these are admirable features that can increase in strength and beauty as you gain more wisdom as the years go by, and they don’t change constantly like shifting winds.
#3: Give Yourself a Gift for Being Human
As you take inventory of yourself, sifting through everything about you to excavate the best, there will be some things you’ve done that you may regret. This is often a place where many forget that an aspect of loving yourself is in gifting yourself forgiveness. Know that we all make mistakes. We all encounter mishaps and missteps. These experiences don’t have to define you, and can refine you as you look at them without punishing yourself with self-disdain. But instead, look at them with curiosity to understand what you can do better next time because once you know better, you’re equipped to do better in a similar situation. And, it’s doing that, that can contribute to growing your wisdom.
#4: Cancel Unwarranted Competition
This may seem similar to #1 but different in that after comparing, some feel the need to “prove themselves”. Know, whether you’re the one who tends to start unwarranted competitions, or others start them, you have “nothing” to prove. Just be & do you, boo!
One process that can help you to appreciate the gifts talents and strengths in others is to remember that we’re all different because we’re created to fill different roles that requires different skills and handling. So, for example, if you work for a news media, a creative and compelling writer may be less strong, like I am, in statistics. Yet, your co-worker is better at slinging numbers off the tip of his tongue than writing stories with the tips of his fingers. In this scenario, you’re not useless, and neither is your co-worker. Nor are either of you less valuable than the other. Together, instead of competing with each other your complimentary giftings completes each other in that you form part of a great team that can work together to get things done, and done well because you both are operating in the elements of who you each innately are.
#5: Let Criticism Cultivate You
In inevitable events of meeting face to face with criticism, either destructive or constructive, you can allow it to build you instead of break you. Destructive criticism is the kind that is unfair and unloving. It’s just down right mean. Constructive criticism is, though at times hard to receive and accept, a correction or conviction for something you may truly not be doing well. Truth is, sometimes even destructive criticism can have an element of truth, especially when constructive criticism is delivered destructively. So, evaluate any kind of criticism to understand if it’s a brick being thrown at you that you can catch and build your next level’s foundation upon, or if it’s just dirt that you can walk away from and allow it to fall back to the ground.
With these five grace-filled steps, that don’t have to be done in any particular order, only according to what you feel is most needed for you, you can embark upon opening and keeping clear a passageway to love yourself more. You’ll relieve yourself of unnecessary stress as you stop comparing yourself to others, and find greatness within yourself as you take a love inventory of yourself. You’ll be freed to stop beating yourself up for mistakes as you give yourself a gift of being human through self-forgiveness. More will get done when you decide no more competing and more completing as you cancel unwarranted competition. And, you’ll spring forward in bloom as you let criticism cultivate you!
Now, I’d love to hear from you!
~~ As you take a Love Inventory of yourself, what is one of the best things you’ve discovered about yourself that wasn’t apparent before?
~~ And, the FUN activity regarding that pickup line, think about some of the BEST pickup lines you’ve gotten over the years, and then help others out by —-> Posting Yours Here!
Love You to Life!
Coaching to Cultivate the Abundant Life on an Unshakable Foundation!