Growing up I was very self-aware and knew if I was going to accomplish anything in life I would have to be my own #1 cheerleader. Yet, despite knowing this, I struggled when it came to validating my own self-worth and truly loving me. I simply did not have the tools to practice real self-love.
Instead, I was extremely hard on myself when I could not conquer the smallest of fears when it came to my big dreams. This thinking led to years of negative self-talk and self-restrictions. My inner dialogue was a constant loop of “you are not smart enough, you are not pretty enough, you are not skinny enough, you are not good enough”. And, as a result, I came to face an internal battle that took me years to overcome. Instead of walling and crying over how I felt I wasn’t good enough, I really accepted my responsibilities, became an adult, sucked it up, and started getting shit done.
So, how exactly did I come to realize that my inner dialogue was harmful and false? How did I come to finally understand that I am amazing and that my true essence is soulful and beautiful? By pushing through my fears.
I am of the school of thought that in order for me to believe it, I must first experience it— and that is what I did. If I was going to test who I really was and prove myself wrong, I had to make a move and I felt that going away to college was the perfect opportunity.
Here I was in strange town with strange people and I had no choice but to figure it out. Guess what happened? I had to learn to trust myself and my gut and know deep inside that I was more than capable of going on this journey alone. I let myself explore passions I always had but held myself back from because I feared being ridiculed or criticized. I started to break out of my shell and embark on my journey of self-discovery.
My journey led me to massive life changes that shook me to my core (some positive and some negative) but ultimately guided me to a place that I fully respect, appreciate. and fuck yeah love myself. I experienced becoming a mother, worked with incredible role models, went through a traumatic divorce, completely started over at age 32 while being a single mother, and launched my own company. I allowed myself to be tested and knew that on the other side of each experience I would discover what I was made of and after each experience I began to see myself beautiful in so many ways.
I learned that I am unbelievably strong, I am resourceful, I am soulful, I am resilient, I am empathetic, I have an incredible work ethic, I am loving, I am silly, I am funny, I am sexy, I am beautiful, I am creative, I am smart, I am nurturing, I am a great mother, …The list could go on and on. Why? Because I finally know that my body, mind and soul can accomplish anything.
So, start taking stock of what you have endured and accomplished and you will come to fall in love with you, too. More than that, you will allow others to love you and appreciate you for who you really are.
What I know now is that if you allow yourself to go through all the experiences life throws at you, only then do you learn what you can do, who you are, and why you were created. Those are the “tools” you need to find true self-love and admiration for yourself.
The more you challenge yourself, the more you will develop a love for yourself that is so profound that nothing and no one can shake that. You will become unstoppable.
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