“We accept the love we think we deserve” – The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Steven Chbosky
Michael “Air” Jordan, who in this writer’s opinion is the greatest basketball player ever, has become a beacon of mine when thinking about self-confidence, perseverance, and determination. The man got cut from his 6th grade basketball team and became the greatest player ever. If that doesn’t show that hard work trumps talent, I’m not sure what does.
The most inspiring fact about Mr. Jordan was that he believed he was the greatest before anyone else knew it. He knew he would score even before the play was over. He knew he was going to make the game winning shot before he took it. He certainly knew he could fly with the lyrical sensation of R. Kelly playing in his ears.
We don’t need to tell “Air” Jordan he’s the greatest, he already knows.
We would never have to tell Muhammad Ali either; I’m almost certain he’s copyrighted the phrase “I am the greatest!”
We don’t need to remind Santa Claus that people love him for bringing presents, or that rainbows are beautiful because they have more colors than we can see, or that even the ugliest puppy is still adorable!
But, when we look at ourselves, we don’t see presents and rainbows and ugly but still cute puppies. We see our past mistakes and our failures. Our problems or issues. We criticize ourselves. We judge. We condemn.
What we don’t realize is this negative self-image of ourselves, or even a small negative thought we have about who we are or how we look, can affect our careers, our actions, and, most importantly, our relationships.
How we see ourselves and how we treat ourselves is directly connected to how others will see us and how others will treat us.
This goes with work. This goes with friends. This goes with love.
Why do good people waste time chasing after bad people? Why do bad relationships last? Why do people allow themselves to be hurt or mistreated?
Why do people, when someone good hearted and truthful suddenly comes along, sabotage the relationship because it seems “too good to be true” or “surreal”?
Bad Self – Image. Poor Self – Confidence. Low Self – Esteem.
And that sucks! And it sucks when I say “people” and I start to realize that I, at one point, fit in every one of those categories. The truth is…
The most beautiful trait in the world is for us to know we’re beautiful and never let ourselves forget it.
It sounds like something out of a children’s book or a Nickelodeon show but this statement is so important. Anything less and we risk ruining our pursuit for love and happiness.
Accepting the love we think we deserve is 100% about knowing who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we are worth.
We deserve to have our cake and it eat too. We deserve the first pick of the litter. We deserve greatness and everlasting joy and prosperity.
Now I’m starting to sound like a young Mel Gibson rallying his troops in Braveheart!
But seriously! We do!
But only if we believe that we do and only if we believe that we’re worth it.
With that said, here are a few ways we can improve our self – image and/or reaffirm to ourselves that we’re worth it!
- Use self – affirmations daily
Our life doesn’t have to be perfect for us to wake up and remind ourselves how great we are.
A trick I used was writing down as many accomplishments, big or small, that I’ve had throughout my life. At first I was like “Damn, I haven’t done anything!”, but once I got thinking, I was able to come up with a whole boatload of accomplishments.
Or, sometimes I just hit myself with some finger-guns in the mirror and say “You da man!” in the morning. That works too!
Taking our accomplishments and reminding ourselves of what we’ve done well and what we love about ourselves will bring positivity to our core and strengthen our self – image.
- Ask our trustworthy friends
Don’t we all love when we’re hanging out with friends and someone has something good to say about us? It’s like hell yeah I’m actually doing well and I didn’t even know it!
If we can’t think of some great accomplishments or positive attributes about ourselves on our own, it helps to have a homie you trust to remind us of them.
Schedule a dinner date and ask them to help us out in remembering our past successes and our present highlights. A little positive talk can do so much for the soul.
- Fake-It Until You Make It
Yes, I know it’s a big cliché but it’s honestly the most helpful information one could receive.
Have you ever met the person at work or at a party who just acts like they know everything and people really start to believe everything they say?
Yeah, we all have, and half the time I’m sure they’re just making stuff up. But, the fact remains, that acting like we are confident can actually transform us into confident people.
Raise the head high and smile, you got this!
Exercise not even to look sexy but to just feel great! The endorphins released in the brain are scientifically proven to make us feel more relaxed and, in turn, more confident.
Not to mention doing a squat here and there can really get the ol’ glutes going. Or maybe some curls for the girls. Whatever we need, the gym can help!
- Celebrate everything!
This is my absolute favorite and why I saved it for last.
Serious statement: whenever I pay my bills, I celebrate with some dark chocolate.
It might not be the healthiest hobby but it reminds me to feel good about paying my bills each month.
Celebrating everything involves taking all of the little stuff that we take for granted (having a week of eating healthy, getting a compliment from our boss, not cursing at the grandpa driving too slow in the passing lane) and reminding ourselves that we’re doing well!
The quote I’ve been living by the past week has been “Success is nothing more than little disciplines, practiced every day” – Jim Rohn.
So, for all of these little successes we have, celebrate! Give ourselves a pat on the back and remind us that we are worth it, we can do it, and we do deserve to be happy!