L- Live freely
O- Openness is key
V- Verify who you are
E- Express yourself
I have learnt over the twenty years of my life that society will whisper about you, make judgements about you, swallow you up and spit you out.
I have also learnt that the world is not always going to love you, no matter how perfect you may think you are.
Yes, you can have the most beautiful hair, most flawless skin and even the most high-end clothes but when it comes down to it at the end of the day, the only thing you can count on is yourself.
Of course, don’t forget God… But that is for another blog-post.
At the beginning of the week I decided to do something different and let you guys pick what I write about this weekend. I gave all of you the choice on my Instagram between two topics:
1. How to be you?
2. Loving yourself
After a couple of hours went by, I checked the results and it looked like ‘How to be you’ was in the lead. Honestly, even though I was more than happy to write about this topic, deep down inside me I wanted to write about ‘loving yourself.’
I don’t know how, but I think my followers could sense that, because within the next two hours ‘loving yourself’ was in the lead and by next morning it had been declared the winner.
What my followers didn’t realise is that both topics actually go hand in hand! You can’t even begin to learn how to love yourself if you don’t know who you are. Being yourself is the first step to loving yourself, because you have begun to accept and be proud of the version you see standing in front of you.
It is almost like you have drawn an image on a piece of paper and you don’t feel the need to erase it or make any changes.
The question is however, how do you begin to accept that image?
I feel like to answer this question I need to tell you guys a little story about myself…
Most people see me as this confident and loud girl, someone who doesn’t really care if people like her or not and as my mum always says, I have always been this consistently happy child.
So, as you can see there are a lot of positives.
I bet you are thinking to yourselves, where are the negatives?
Well… in the past, I used to suffer from low self-esteem, I think I have talked about this a little bit on my previous blog but I didn’t really go into the details of it.
The cliché view of ‘low self-esteem’ is someone that doesn’t think highly of themselves, someone who pays attention to all the criticisms made about them and someone who needs approval.
While, on one hand, this definition is somewhat accurate, my case of low self-esteem was coupled with anxiety.
I would always overthink, for example, small things like, when my teacher wouldn’t comment on my work or when my friends wouldn’t tell me that I looked nice, to big things, like when I would actively think I was a failure because I didn’t know what I was doing with my life.
Who would have thought that the girl who created this blog used to cry to herself and ask God over and over again why He created me. I didn’t really know what my reason was for being on this earth.
I know that some of you are probably thinking why would I ever think this deeply? But it was a recurring thought in my mind. Playing like a never-ending record.
Then I thought to myself, even though I don’t have it all figured out and even though I had no idea who I was supposed to be in this world, I did know one thing for sure, I knew I needed to look at myself as a jewel. I needed to start seeing myself as a treasure.
An individual who values themselves that highly shouldn’t be easily swayed by the notions of the world.
So, how do you accept the image you see in front of you?
You start to see that image as the most beautiful image in the world. You can laugh at that sentence I just written, but it is true!
One way in which I love myself is to believe that there is nobody else like me out there.
The fact that God decided to create me must mean He saw something special in me, I shouldn’t hold myself back simply because I’ve placed the negatives I think about myself on a pedestal.
If God chooses to not think less of me then I have to believe I am good enough. I am the unqualified that has been qualified by the Most High.
For those that may not believe in God and may not see sense in the things I have written above, you may notice an acronym I created at the beginning of this blog post.
Before I delve deeper into this acronym, you have to be absolutely sure that you are ready to make a change.
Make sure you are ready to go on this journey.
The first letter is L, which stands for 'living freely.' This means living without any limitations, the biggest limitation could be yourself.
When you start doubting yourself, you are setting yourself a limitation. There may be that little voice at the back of your mind that tells you will never be good enough or you will always fail no matter how hard you try.
Whenever I hear that voice, even if it is a little whisper I picture myself with a hammer, hammering it down and throwing it in the bin.
This way you start paying less and less attention to those negative voices and begin to get aggressive with it, like the example I mentioned above.
Another example could be screaming NO! Whenever that voice pops up.. I know this may seem very weird, especially if you are in public, but trust me it works.
Reject the negativity and you begin to live freely!
The next letter is O, which stands for 'openness is key'.
Being open and transparent with the things you are suffering with can really help you discover yourself and eventually learn to love yourself.
For example, once I started to realise that I have tendency to be an anxious person, instead of seeing this as a flaw, I started to look for things that would calm me down and once I did this I began to love who I was.
I began to love the individual inside me who overthinks, simply because it means I may notice things that other people don’t, yes, I can do it to the extreme, but at least now I have accepted this is who I am.
However, I couldn’t have accepted this side without opening up to someone else.
Open up to someone who you trust and someone who won’t judge you, this is very important because if your ‘friend’ judges you, then you can slowly start to judge yourself, especially if you hold their opinions quite highly.
Talk to someone who knows you well, someone who supports you (this doesn’t mean a cheerleader) but, someone who has your best interests at heart.
V is for 'verify who you are.' This isn’t what you think, when I say verify who you are I don’t mean ask other people who you are.
Instead, I mean discover yourself and overtime you will begin to notice the things that you do like about yourself or the things you don’t like. When this happens it can be much easier to make a change.
I said that you shouldn’t have others verify who you are for a reason, it is because other individuals can make their own qualifications and if you take their qualifications seriously, there is no room to make your own.
BEWARE of relying too much on other people’s opinions.
The last letter is E, which stands for 'expressing yourself.' This simply means not holding back!
Let the whole world know who you are and what you stand for! Don’t be afraid to show your true self just because somebody may not like it? Be happy to show yourself because YOU like who you are!
I used to be embarrassed because everyone referred to me as the ‘loud’ girl or the girl that doesn’t know when to shut up. Now I am more than happy to be loud and I am more than happy to keep talking, because guess what… THAT IS WHO I AM!
I always say that I am like marmite, people either love or hate me. If you hate marmite, you won’t take a taste will you? I’ve learnt that if this is true, some people won’t want to get to know me.
This is okay.
So, how do you love yourself? Put yourself on a pedestal, don’t give anyone the chance to remove you and be yourself ALWAYS.
I was provoked to write this write this blog-post once I realised that most people do not see the importance in loving yourself.
This is especially true when you are alone and have no significant other.
In a society where relationships are so highly talked about and sought after, learning to love yourself is so key because I don’t believe you can have a successful relationship if you have not developed a successful relationship with yourself.
Have your heard this saying: Date yourself before you date someone else?
I cannot stress this enough, if you don’t love yourself firstly before someone begins to love you, that individual and their qualifications becomes necessary and their opinions/validations becomes your everything.
I believe this is dangerous because who knows if their qualifications, opinions or judgements are right?
You will only know if you are confident in yourself and have so much love for yourself, no boyfriend, girlfriend or even friend can take this away from you.
I hope this blog-post has opened your eyes!
Until next time, please share this post with all your friends and family… x