Today I am looking at Mariel’s blog and seeing almost 7,500 beautiful, talented, accomplished women from all over the world who frequent this site (from Facebook) as we come together in our womanhood to share, explore and grow together. Probably many more of you are reading and haven’t clicked the Facebook follow button. Either way, today I want to talk about YOU.
I could look at this fabulous page and daily be discouraged that I am not you. Do you ever do that? I’m not going to lie, I am sometimes a little jealous that I’m not as smart, crafty, creative, gorgeous, etc, etc, as all of you. It’s easy to look at life from that perspective because there is so much greatness among you…but guess what…I think you’re awesome and I’m honored to feel like I get a sneak peek into the lives of women from around the globe and that I get to learn from and be inspired by them! I know that I am not alone in sometimes wishing I were the “she” that wrote that day. So today, I want to talk about why I am grateful that I get to be me, and why and how you should do the same for yourselves!
As women, we are easily discouraged by other people’s accomplishments. A very good friend once advised me that someone else’s talents do not diminish my own. While in reality I know that, I needed to hear it! I remember that often when I start to compare myself. So, that’s the first thing that we as women need to remember; just because someone else is good at something, does not take away from our own talents and contributions to the world! Once we begin to free ourselves from the constant and harsh critique that we place on ourselves, we open ourselves up to be able to both give and to receive love. I think that’s why people often say that in order for others to like you, you have to first like yourselves.
Knowing that you need to love yourself doesn’t always solve that problem though, right?
Sometimes it makes me more discouraged, thinking it’s just one more thing I have to try to do so that others will accept me. It’s a silly thought but I know that I’m not alone in it so I’m putting it out there. Over the last few years however, I have learned just exactly what this means and how to accomplish such a seemingly daunting task at times.
I am going to share a few of my rules for loving yourself and hope that they help you to see exactly who you are and why that is such a great thing!
Rule #1 Make a list of 25 things that you love about yourself.
I am reading a book that I will share more about next month but in the first chapter the author advised the reader to make such a list. We focus often on the negative but there are good things about each of us, so list them and post them somewhere where you will see them often and be reminded of your good features instead of your bad.
On a recent road trip with an old college roommate, we listened to one of our favorite songs from back then and I was reminded why it’s so great to be me. I love this from India Arie
’s song, “Video:”
“When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where it’s suppose to be
And I know my creator didn’t make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my Lips, my eyes, I’m loving what I see
I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally,
Because I am a queen
I not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
India.Arie” (Insert your own name)
Rule #2 Do something nice for yourself!
We spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about all we need to get done and all we should be but sometimes it’s important for us to step back a minute and take some time out for ourselves. So, try to find time at least once a week to do something for you. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. You can get a pedicure or give yourself one. You can read a book, go for a long walk by yourself, go get a treat (that you don’t have to make), watch a movie…something that gives you time for you. I personally like to do things to make myself feel more beautiful but sometimes just giving our brains a break is enormously helpful!
Rule #3 Do something nice for someone else.
I know we are busy so this doesn’t have to be big. I just notice that when I find opportunity each day to seek out a little service, it makes me feel good about myself. It can be the smallest thing but I promise, it will bring a smile to your face. Many of you already serve your families but do something a little extra and see how it boosts your own self esteem in the process.
Rule #4 Be a little healthier.
I’m not saying to go on a crazy diet or to do anything extreme but making small changes for good in your diet and exercise make such a difference. You’ve heard of runners high right? Well, exercise increases your endorphins and makes you happy. So, just get up and go for a walk…fall is a beautiful time for that! Also, the more healthy foods you put into your body, the less it thinks it’s starving and craves unhealthy foods so just try adding a little more fruit and vegetables to your diet and see how you feel. Making good choices makes you happy!
Rule #5 Make a daily list of things you are grateful for.
At the end of the day, look back and write down five things that you were grateful for that day. This keeps your attitude positive which makes you happier both about yourself and about your life. We’ve all heard this one before so nothing new….just a reminder to do it!
Rule #6 Achieve the Impossible!
Yes, that’s what I said. Last year at the beginning of September my brother asked me to run the Halloween half marathon with him. My entire life, well since high school anyway, has been spent denying any ability that I might have to run. I have always had some sort of block up keeping me from running any kind of distance at all. Earlier that summer however, I had accomplished my very first 5k. For some reason this gave me confidence that I could do it. He sent me a training plan and for eight weeks I trained faithfully.
The day the race arrived was huge for me! While I was feeling pretty sick after mile four, I finished the race in a respectable time. At the beginning of September I thought it would be fantastic just to finish the race. By race day I wanted to do it in under two hours. Considering my lack of sleep the night before and not enough food that morning, I was pretty glad to have finished in two hours and seven minutes. I was close to my goal and most importantly…I finished! Why do I tell you this? Because this has ALWAYS been impossible to me! I knew that I would NEVER be able to run a half marathon. Something inside me changed though and I ran and told myself I was a runner…and I kept on running. I am now training for an all women’s 10k at the beginning of October so maybe I will see some of you there!
(My brother and I at the finish)
As Charles R. Swindoll said, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” Audrey Hepburn adds to this argument saying, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself is ‘I’m possible.’” So remember that “impossible” is relative. Set your sites high and achieve something that seems just out of reach cause man it feels GOOD!
What’s left after you’ve achieved the impossible? Nothing really…except for choosing to love yourself because you are fabulous! I love the saying by Abraham Lincoln, “Folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Bad things happen it’s true, but do your best to look on the bright side and find the good in you and the world around you! You are beautiful. You are unique which makes a perfect contribution to the world. You are smart, talented, and exactly who you should be, so go on and love yourself!
For more posts like this, check out the ‘Self-Improvement‘ category!