Loving myself is delusional. At least, that’s what I thought five years ago. I couldn’t tell you what or when I started to ‘change’ but I definitely see myself and the world with a different eye now. I see that the reality is not ‘the world against me’ but rather ‘I will survive in this world no matter what.’
Let me start with me loathing the self-love trend.
Over the past few years, people have evolved to want to be different than others rather than following a certain trend. Believing the notion that everyone is different, everyone starts to search for something within them or about them that distinguishes them from others. But how does one can recognize their difference is something unique, not odd? Self-love.
Brands, influencers and media captured this trend and use it to promote themselves, while at the same time spreading positivity. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that loving yourself is important and it’s a good thing to practice.
It’s just that I felt overwhelmed with tips, advice and social experiments that encourage people to love themselves. Sticking notes to the mirror filled with positive adjectives, changing your home screen, verbally telling yourself in the mirror that you’re beautiful, complimenting each other, yoga, meditation, etc.
People keep boasting about self-love while ignoring the fact that sometimes we cannot escape negative emotions and we need to acknowledge its existence, not dodging away through ‘positive mantras’.
I tried all those self-love practical tips and failed so many times. Well, I wouldn’t consider them as failures now, but back then I was discouraged. I thought I could never love myself no matter how many sticky notes I put on my bedroom and how many times I tell myself ``I'm beautiful; I’m smart; I’m fabulous; I can do this.’’ The truth was: I hated how my dress couldn’t hide yesterday’s dinner belly, I missed the target, and most of the time I feel tired but did a lousy job at the same time. And now I’m failing at attempts to love myself too.
Devastated, I decided that (can’t remember the turning point exactly) I don’t care anymore about how I should love myself because another target missed means another disappointment on my side. I can’t risk another bad mood day. I have daily, mundane responsibilities to take care of.
So, instead of focusing on how I can love myself, I focused on how I can tackle life problems at an optimum level.
I didn’t pressure myself to be Miss World-ish 24/7. I didn’t work 23 hours a day. I just try to make wiser choices, meaning that I don’t see the short-term effect, but long-term.
For example, I used to take long lunches with my colleagues and pulled an all-nighter to finish my reports. I realised that I could’ve used the hours I spent going out and waiting for the food and the chit-chat to finish my job. That way, I could go home early without the burden of an unfinished task. In other words, better sleep. Meaning, improved mood, productivity, controlled emotions and more energy in general.
The small changes I make in my daily routine has proven to improve the way I handle my life and (bonus!) how I see myself. Being able to take care of my responsibilities, having it all together, has increased my self-esteem. Not being disappointed at what I do results in not being disappointed in me. I no longer feel like a failure. I feel capable. I feel powerful.