Lessons in loving yourself
Since moving overseas and leaving much of my old life behind, I realized that I had not only cluttered my life with material things but that I had also filled my life with obligatory relationships that were no longer serving me how a friendship should be. It can be a very powerful moment to re-evaluate the people you have in your life and realize that it is okay that your not friends with everyone. It is not about being nasty or exclusive but it is about self-respect. Consider the number of relationships that you strive to maintain, only to find very little effort exerted in return. Appreciate that friendships needn’t end but developing boundaries it can actually reinforce connections.
When you begin to value yourself and your time, you rise above obligatory relationships and you enter a place where you are able to love and give generously. In return, you will find yourself surrounded by a supportive network of people who will do the same to you. Beyond this, you will find yourself feeling happier, not only for increasing your productivity but for looking after yourself and enjoying the company of only the highest quality people.
As someone who has always lived by the ‘yes-man’ manifesto, I find it very difficult saying No. This was something that I became confronted with recently when I realized I had neglected myself in order to please others. You should never front the expense of others just to please them. Honoring yourself is the first step in self-preservation and you should never feel guilty saying no.
We live in a fast paced society and it is easy for us to clutter our days with things we don’t want to do. Agreeing to do things out of obligation can breed resentment. Take control of your time and ensure you leave at lease two hours in your day to do as you please. Not only will this build your self-confidence, but it will also show others that your time is valuable.
Be selective in what you do for others and ensure it supports your own belief systems and your personal wellbeing.
Just as you would invest time in a friendship or helping a family member or prioritizing work, you need to do the same to yourself. Sometimes when our lives get busy we need to set reminders to do this, but a great way to make it autonomous is to make it a part of your routine. It might be as simple as taking a walk in the morning, or having a bath at night. It might be snuggling up with a book for an hour or doing some drawing of an evening before making dinner. Some people find fulfillment in getting into nature and going hiking and others love hitting the cinemas on their own. Find what it is that you love and invest in it like you would a friendship.
By taking time to be along you will get to know yourself in other ways and you will realize your dreams. Allow yourself time to recognize your direction and correct yourself if you need to. Reflect on things that make you happy. Consider and change the things that don’t feel fulfilling. Being self-reflexive can help you to realize negative habits you have created and this is the first step towards personal growth.
As a friend, a parent, a sibling or an employee, you hold space for others to be creative and you encourage others to challenge themselves in new ways. You support friends in their journeys of self-discovery and you don’t cast judgment when friends experiment with new ideas, careers or even personalities. You let their imagination run wild and encourage them to leap into the unknown by providing comfort in knowing you are there to support them. Admirable leaders don’t control or deny self-development in others, nor should they in themselves.
Embrace your inner child and allow yourself to explore new pathways. Push yourself to experience new things and you will learn how to live a fulfilling life. Allow yourself to fail and be encouraging when you pick yourself back up. Cheer yourself on and you will achieve greatness.
Embrace the gift of imperfection
The thing about imperfection is that it is the best thing about a person and defines you as a unique being. After working in a rehab and watching people make incredible recoveries or discovering a skill they never knew they had post injury; I wholly believe that imperfection can be the key to finding your greatest gifts.
Don’t rob the world of your incredible talents or the rare contribution that only you can make by trying to be someone else. Learn to love your individuality and channel it and you will feel happier within yourself. Self-acceptance is an admirable ability and those who have mastered it have made some enormous breakthroughs. Who would have thought Jessica Cox, who was born without arms, would become a practicing pilot? Or black belt in the America Taekwondo Association? Refusing to use prosthetic arms, Jessica has channeled herself to look beyond her physical limitations and achieve the incredible.
Take control of your life and instead of looking at everything you might lack, look at what you could have.
Be unapologetically brazen in being You. Having the courage to see all of yourself, with what you might feel are your imperfections, makes you a potent human being. The ability to be authentic and see yourself with kindness, like you would others, enables you the power to create change in yourself and your life. And upon this you will inspire growth in others to follow your trailblazing ways.
Ask for help
Knowing yourself and understanding your own limits stabilizes you but reaching for support when you need it is the key to self-preservation. Knowing where you can find support when and if you need it strengthens you as a being, and should reinforce your wellbeing
Originally published at www.katedarmody.space on December 13, 2017.