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Today’s society inundates us with images of who we should be, how we should look, and what we should think. Liking yourself is both condemned and esteemed. Both sides prey upon people, especially woman. We’re told by the media all the reasons you shouldn’t like yourself and what you need to change/buy so people will like you. The Self-Help industry is constantly coming up with new names to sell you the same old information, most of which you already know.
Be Your Own Media
Don’t let anyone else tell you who you should be. Take the time to decide who you want to be. Assess yourself. Identify all your strengths, and find areas where you would like to improve. Use a journal to keep track of all the reasons you are likeable. Put sticky notes with things you like about yourself in key places. Start and end everyday with a positive thought about yourself.
Not Everybody is Going to Like You (and that’s okay)
If you like yourself and strive to be the best you that you can be most of the time (see my post on being kind to yourself for those times when you feel compelled to criticize yourself). If somebody doesn’t like you, that’s their issue, not yours. Focus on finding people who do like you, just as you are.
Liking Yourself is Not Egotistical
Liking yourself is not the same thing as thinking you’re better than other people. It means you know who you are, warts and all, and are able to understand that you are good enough. In fact, people who are egotistical or who have high self-esteem, often don’t like themselves or are only able to like themselves if they feel that they are better than others.
Caring for Yourself is Not Selfish
What would you tell a friend if you noticed that she was suffering from depression or anxiety or stress? If she only had negative things to say about herself? Would you tell her that she deserved to feel that way? Or that she didn’t deserve time to relax and to take care of herself? Or that taking the time to go to the spa or curl up with a good book and a glass of wine was selfish? Of course you wouldn’t. So why would you tell yourself that it’s not okay?
Change Because You Want To:
It’s all right to like yourself and still want to make changes. You may want to learn ways to be more positive or more outgoing. You may want to lose weight or dye your hair. Or maybe take a class to learn something new. But it’s important that you make these changes because you want to. Not because anybody else tells you that you should. Or that you aren’t worth being liked if you don’t make these changes. That’s not a voice you should ever listen to, even if it’s your own.