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My Four Truths

By jeff 0
I’ve struggled with self-worth and self acceptance my whole life. I often felt that I wasn’t charming enough, graceful enough or smart enough. Over time it turned into a body image issue when I somehow got it into my head that I could have a right to take up space as long as I looked good enough. That people would overlook my awkwardness and clumsiness as long as I was pretty enough, skinny enough, or whatever.

There were a few flaws in my plan, though. First of all, most people aren’t really that shallow.

Secondly, I was not as important as I thought I was. See, I was constantly haunted by the thought that everyone was staring at me, judging me, sizing me up. In reality, most people have more important things to do with their time. They aren’t spending worrying about what I’m doing.

The third, and biggest, flaw, was me. Well, not me, per se, but my mindset. As much as I disliked certain things about me, I didn’t care enough about myself to change. Change takes work, and I was not worth the effort. And even if I had ever managed to  attain the impossible standards I had set for myself, my lack of self-worth would have never allowed me to recognize it. I was constantly berating, doubting and second-guessing myself. I certainly couldn’t accept a compliment from someone, much less give myself one.

Someone told me once that if I spent half the energy I used trying to get others to notice me, and invest it in appreciating myself, it wouldn’t matter anymore what everyone thought.

It took a few more years of me torturing meyself before I finally took that advice.  I spent the past few years getting to know myself and learning to appreciate and embrace all of my qualities, including the ones I consider flawed. This is an ongoing, lifelong process. But, over time I’ve come to realize, and accept, these four truths:

  1. My value is not dependent on the approval of others. Actually, it doesn’t even require my approval; even when I screw up (happens a lot) and get mad at myself, I still have value.
  2. While it’s important to surround myself with positive, loving, supportive people, it is not their responsibility to show me my value. Expecting others to remind me of my worth is unfair to them.
  3. I’m flawed. I’m not perfect, never was perfect, never will be perfect, and it’s okay, so relax.
  4. I always have a right to take up space, period. I don’t need to wait for someone else to tell me it’s okay to be present, or that my feelings and ideas are important. What matters to me, matters.
Reminding myself of these things on a daily basis keeps my expectations of myself and others realistic, and frees up head-space so I can appreciate what I have and focus on more productive things.
For example, I can go the gym and focus on my workout because I’m not worrying about how I look in spandex and a tank top. Bonus, I can also stop at the grocery store on my way home from the gym because, same reason.
I can have conversations with strangers and actively participate because I’m not worrying about saying something stupid. Bonus, I can enjoy a good laugh when I inevitably say something stupid.
I’m able to try new things, appreciate and learn from my failures, and have an overall more positive outlook on life.
If you’re stuggling with something similar, I encourage you to give yourself a break. Take time to get to know yourself, appreciate and nurture yourself. And, realize it’s not just about figuring out all your good qualities, it’s about being honest with yourself that you are flawed and loving yourself anyway.
-Coach Christa

author: jeff


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