To say, “I like me,” isn’t something that comes naturally to most women. We are, by nature, our very worst enemies. We are self-critical, self-loathing, and at times, downright discouraged about who we are. The way you speak to yourself is likely among the cruelest words you’ll ever hear. “You’re ugly.” “You’re stupid.” “You’re fat.” “No one likes you.” “If you were this or that, you’d be a better person.” Things we’d never say to a stranger, yet we layer ourselves with one harsh phrase after another until we are so buried by trash talk, it’s all we see. We can’t believe a sincere compliment from someone else because we only see the ugly negatives.
Here’s a challenge. By the end of 2018, make it your goal to say, with complete honesty, “I like me.”
It starts with a decision to stop comparing ourselves. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Unfortunately, the decision to end comparison is as difficult as giving up carbs. Opportunities for comparison are everywhere, but sometimes, cold turkey is the best solution. If you need to take a break from social media to get out of the comparison game, then take that well-deserved break. We are all different and unique. There is no one else in the world who is exactly like you, so the comparisons are always going to be skewed! It’s like going through life trying to compare apples to oranges everywhere you go. They are always going to be different. And different doesn’t mean better. It means different!
It also means accepting that the way you look on the outside isn’t nearly as important as how you look on the inside. There are many physically beautiful people who lack kindness, compassion, gentleness, thoughtfulness, and selflessness. Those are the qualities that are what constitutes a truly beautiful heart. And if you have a beautiful heart, a few extra pounds won’t matter. If you want to lose weight to feel better, then go for it. But don’t do it because you think it will make you happier. The truth is – it won’t.
Saying, “I like me,” also means letting go of past hurts and anger. There are some wounds from which we don’t heal, but there are some we hold on to out of bitterness and anger. Those two characteristics infect who we are. They prevent us from nurturing ourselves. As the saying goes, “Holding on to anger and bitterness is like eating poison and hoping the rat will die.” It doesn’t work that way, and the only person it hurts is you. Forgive, and forgive often.
Adopt the phrase, “What other people think of me is none of my business.” It’s tempting to assume others are looking at you and waiting for you to mess up. But it’s more probable that they are worried about what they are doing and far less concerned with what you are doing. And if someone doesn’t like you – don’t worry about it. You don’t like everyone, so it’s unreasonable to think everyone should like you. Move on and focus your energy on people who do.
Make a list of things you’re good at doing, and refer to it often when you’re tempted to trash-talk about yourself. Keep it nearby, and if you need a little prompting, ask a close friend to help you get started. They already love you; they won’t laugh at you.
Take yourself out to eat with no phone, no book, and spend some time in your own company. It’s not that scary, and no one will think you’re weird. As previously mentioned, they aren’t worried about what you’re doing; they’re focused on themselves. Spend some time thinking. Sightseeing. People watching. Just you and your own company. Don’t be afraid to spend quality time with you. You’re one-of-a-kind and worth the investment of energy.
But also make time for face time (the real kind of face time) with family and friends. With phones put away, find ways to talk, share, and laugh. Play games. Go for a walk. Spend time with people who enjoy your company. They like you. Why shouldn’t you?
Make it a goal this year to learn to like yourself. Without question, you’ll find someone pretty special in there.