February, traditionally the month of love.
A month our thoughts turn to hearts and flowers, secret cards and engagement rings!!
We think about the people we love and show them how much they mean to us but why do we find it so hard to show ourselves Love and to tell ourselves on a regular basis how much we love us?
I think for women it’s especially difficult.
If you tell any woman that her hair looks nice or that you love her dress chances are she’ll answer you with something like
‘ Oh gosh no, my hair needs washing /cutting /colouring.’
‘ This old dress? I’ve had it ages, it was really cheap / I bought it in the sale or I think it makes me look fat’.
It’s very rare that the first response will be, thank you so much that’s really nice of you to say. And also at the same time for her internal voices to say, Yep, they are SO right I do look amazing, I feel amazing and am amazing. I LOVE ME!
(I imagine you cringed just reading that last sentence?)
Honestly, how many times have you said that to yourself in the last month?? week….day….EVER???
Compliments seem to be hard to take, we put ourselves down, we feel embarrassed as we think that if we accept the compliment we are somehow becoming egotistical, show off’y or big headed.
But why shouldn’t we accept the compliment?
Surely people say these things to us as they genuinely mean them? Why do we think that they are just saying these things to tease us or make fun of us and don’t mean it all?
When you offer a compliment to someone do you generally mean it or are you just doing it to for effect?
(OK, now I know sometimes this does happen and you might ‘feel’ like you need to give a compliment but there’s a whole other story going on here and this article isn’t about that!)
What’s really going on is our lack of Self-Esteem and what we believe to be true about ourselves.
We might believe that we’re a strong person, a determined person, or maybe that we’re a lazy person or a far too busy person.
We might believe that we’re not a confident person, that we’re not intelligent; we’re stupid or a bit daft.
But what is the real truth here?
If you were to ask your best friend or even someone that you’ve just met to describe you, what would they say?
How about if you were to take yourself out of your body and look at yourself from the other side of the room what would you REALLY see? Be honest now.
None of us are perfect; indeed nothing is perfect.
Don’t believe me then just go out and pick 2 leaves from a beautiful tree and compare them. They will be very different, beautiful and wonderful but perfect? No.
The thing is if we start to uncover what we believe about ourselves and then question if it’s really true, we can start to change those beliefs and learn how wonderful we really are. Life, then becomes easier.
You no longer have the ‘ need’ for compliments to make you feel better, you can just accept them with a smile.
You no longer worry about the judgment of others. If you love yourself and believe in yourself then it won’t matter what others think, all that matters is what you think.
You no longer spend time comparing yourself to others or putting yourself down. (That takes up so much energy and just not doing it anymore has to be a bonus!!)
You’ll accept your good bits and your not so good bits as just who you are ( a unique and wonderful person) and if others don’t accept them, well then they are not the people that you need to have in your life.
Take time this month to look at YOU and learn to love you.
You could start by writing a list of all the wonderful things about you. Maybe start with all the things that you have achieved in your life, such as having children, building a career, creating a home, passing exams, speaking on stage, singing in a choir, passing your driving test…..
Then write down all the words to describe the true you, Here are some to get you started:
Shall I go on???
Read this list out loud to yourself over and over again and start the sentence with I AM….. and finish with the words I LOVE ME.
YES it will feel odd and weird and uncomfortable and eventually it will feel normal and you will believe them 100%
I would love to know what changes for you when you do.