You want to know how to like and even love yourself first? Start mastering the self-talk.  

I am one of those people who can very easily talk themselves into and out of an idea. Very often I can get stuck on the hamster wheel for days, until I decide it’s enough and I need to shut up that inner maniac I am locked in with for most of my life.

If I kept listening to that voice inside and all the arguments it gives me, I might never progress in anything. I’d never hold my head up, my shoulders straight, and just feel good about myself.

The thing is, some time ago I unearthed a secret:

I can choose not to listen to that voice and the world will not end. In fact, I may even feel much better about myself questioning some of my own thoughts.

So let’s talk about what it really means to like yourself. Let’s start with this: I am a forty-something woman who, for as long as she remembers, has been trying to be somebody else — for her parents, her friends, her neighbours, her teachers, and her boss. I did it out of fear that they might not love me, befriend me, or think I am smart enough (ouch). I’ve tried desperately to belong for a very long time (i’ve moved to a new city & countries more than five times in my life). So long that I’ve even forgotten what it feels like to be my own self; how to speak my truth, and even what my truth is.

So for the last few years I’ve been trying to find out who I really am, as it seems I’ve never actually had the chance to get to know myself. And as soon as I found out this and that about myself, I immediately decided that I like it. It wasn’t as hard as you might think; I looked in the mirror and I liked me. It suddenly felt easy and natural to be me. I didn’t have to exhaust myself any more, trying to be someone else!

Liking yourself is not that hard when you think about it. You just strip down all the expectations you have of yourself.

You stop thinking of what you should and shouldn’t be doing and you close the door to that little mean voice in your head.  You will be surprised how lighter it becomes to breath in and out. You will notice that you won’t shame-talk yourself any more. You won’t self-judge. You won’t kick yourself when you’re in pain. Instead, you will say to yourself, “Oh, why are you crying, honey? What’s wrong? Let me hug you and you can cry as much as you want. That’s completely alright.”

What happens next is that you slowly begin to trust everything you are feeling — you aren’t ashamed of being emotional or expressing your emotions. 

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The second great thing about liking yourself is that you attract good people into your life — people like yourself, who are honest to you. It’s pretty simple, because you’ve become honest with yourself, too.

Third, you have clarity regarding when to say “yes” and when to say “no”. Because you’ve grown a strong sense of self. 

You walk out of toxic relationships without worrying you may be a bad person, or that you’ll die alone one day and nobody will visit your grave. 

You start feeling more and thinking less. And you are not afraid to feel it all one day. You slowly let the world in through the tiny cracks and you let feelings come and go without being hurt by them.

You stop reading self-help books, because you understand no one can dictate the rules of your life. And you’ve had enough of following other people’s rules.

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When you like yourself, you stop putting your needs and wants aside and making room only for others. You start owning the role model in you and show your kids that choosing to have a family means choosing to love yourself. You nurture your kids and yourself, and you all thrive.

Finally, if you really like yourself, you understand your purpose is to live life in full without making excuses for who you are, and for your wildest moments.

Parting words for those who know what I’m talking about:

Mindfulness is great and all, but sometimes, nothing beats being mindlessness. 

“When the kids are yelling, tantrumming, or whingeing, the last thing I feel like doing is anchoring myself in the moment and soaking it all up. I’d much rather Teflon that stuff — let it slide right on over me”, The Graces Tales

Mindlessness allows me to do just that.

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