I remember a sunny afternoon a few years ago when myself and a young woman, not yet out of her teens were preparing horses for exercise. It was a beautiful day, the radio was playing in the background, and I was feeling good. Well, I was feeling good until I noticed her stress at forgetting some equipment. Without realising that I could hear, some words snuck out. “Jesus, you’re so stupid!” Hearing someone so young, being so mean to herself, over a minor mistake sparked anger in me! How could she be so unkind? Were we all doing this to ourselves? I decided to find out how common it was for us humans to speak so cruelly to ourselves and how many of us actually liked who we were, so I started asking the questions;

“What do you like about yourself?”

“What are you brilliant at?”

“What do you say to yourself, when you make a mistake?”

I asked children and adults, and the answers were staggering and upsetting! Not a single person could confidently look at me and answer. I understood this difficulty. I know what it feels like to have such high standards that you’d never meet them or to have a feeling of just not being good enough. BUT IT’S RUBBISH!

Now is the time to start seeing all of the good in you, to start embracing your inner fierce strength and beauty and here’s why!

  • We are all role models. Whether we realise it or not, someone is watching you and learning from you! When you speak cruel words to yourself, they hear. When you criticise yourself, they hear you. When you look in the mirror and feel such negativity, they feel it too. Not only do they hear it and feel it, but they learn from it. Imagine teaching a child or even another adult how to hate themselves? This is what we are doing when we use such cruelty towards ourselves.
  • You gain reason and motivation to fuel your body with the very best! When you love your brain, you want it to receive the nutrients it craves and needs! When you love your skin, you want it to receive constant hydration with pure water. When you love yourself, you want your body to feel powerful, healthy, energetic and capable, and you will not accept anything less! The greatest thing about this is the positive circle that begins! The more you love your body, the better you fuel it, the better you fuel it, the more you love what you see and feel!
  • You begin to realise your capabilities. If you were to look at a best friend or child right now, you could see what they were capable of! You’d encourage them, inspire them and support them to achieve their dreams! What if loving yourself, led to you treating yourself in the same way? Constant support, inspiration and encouragement!
  • You start wanting to live a whole and fulfilling life. It makes you reach further, gives you the desire to travel to new places, meet new people, read new books and experience everything possible in this short life! The limitations that you once placed upon yourself gets shattered, and new horizons seem possible.
  • You begin to appreciate what your body has had to cope with over the years. You remember the stress, injuries, sleepless nights, trauma, fear, upset, rubbish foods, alcohol and addictions it’s had to cope with. Your gratitude grows, and you start to appreciate it and want to take care of it. Strength, mobility, loss of excess fat, muscle development is the beginning, and this grows into a fierce determination to love your body like nobody ever has.
  • You create boundaries that not only stop you from hurting yourself but stops others from doing it too. You notice how the people around you, treat you, and when they cross your boundary, you make the essential decision to step back from their lives and free yourself. You remain full of love, and this love makes your boundaries strong!
  • You begin to plan for your future. Five-year goals, ten-year goals, retirement plans, vision boards, big dreams and fantasies. You talk to friends and family or a partner about what you want and start to believe that you can control significant elements of your future. Not only do you plan for your future, but you really want it. You want a long and joy-filled life!
  • You learn to rest without guilt. In fact, not only do you learn to rest without guilt, but you learn to do anything you love without guilt. Sitting in the garden, drinking a coffee and watching the birds, having a bath mid-morning or going for a run at 10pm. When you love yourself, you give yourself permission to feel great joy, as often as possible!
  • You will stop looking for the approval of those around you and realise that your own peace of mind is all that you need. Whether you are alone or in company your self love will make you realise that you are enough, just as you are! You don’t need different hair, expensive clothes or a braver character! You will care less and less about the opinions of those around you, and you will start living for your own peace of mind.
  • When you commit to loving yourself like you’d love a daughter or best friend, you suddenly become your most authentic self! You become the real you! Beautiful through and through and untouchable because you know that you are enough, just the way you are!

Share your thoughts and experiences. Email me at [email protected]

Image courtesy of Jeremy Cai
Cover image courtesy of Jared Rice