Maybe you hear that a lot: “You are worth it.” But what exactly is IT?
As you’re giving thanks this holiday season, remember to wrap your arms in a tight self-hug and think deeply about the many reasons you have to be grateful. Some days it feels easier to love ourselves than other days, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When we choose to focus our thoughts on what it actually means to be LOVABLE, instead of feeding the fear that we don’t measure up, we begin to understand and feel our self worth. Trust me… when you learn to think this way, you will see how you measure up!
Here’s a tip on learning to love the true you (a new spin on feeling lovable that perhaps you haven’t considered). GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Learn to embrace the unique person that you are becoming and notice how amazing it feels to simply accept yourself. I know it’s HARD, but not loving yourself is actually HARDER on you. You’ll need to let go of who you think you should be, and instead, feel grateful for who you are, inside and out.
When you can fill up your own “love tank” and stop waiting for some magical sign to validate that you’re enough, you will convince yourself that you deserve love and respect from others … but you have to believe it! Believe in the truth of your lovability and that it doesn’t depend on things you DO to try to be lovable. Trust that lovability cannot be found in the perfect outfit… nor is it found in a posted selfie… or even in a fabulous new shade of lipgloss. Self-worth lives within us and can only be fully experienced when we truly believe in IT. That’s right, IT is not a tangible thing… IT is a belief (an awareness that you are already enough).
Think of a person in your life that you love. Is that person “perfect?” I bet you don’t love that person because of his or her hair, weight, grades, complexion, athletic abilities, or trendy looks. I bet if you think honestly about the people you love, qualities like humor, compassion, honesty, understanding, and kindness come to mind. Practice giving value to those qualities in yourself, and it will change your belief in your own lovability.
Here are some tips on ways to practice treating yourself with kindness and compassion:
- Stop being judgmental of your imperfections.
- Nurture yourself with positive energizers (water, adequate sleep, healthy foods, exercise and relaxation).
- Create a sacred place where you can “unplug” from your phone and focus on your thoughts (learn to journal, play calming music, enjoy soothing candles, etc.).
- Practice being STILL and finding calmness in your own presence.
- Stop comparing yourself to others (especially celebrities).
- Laugh more… and don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Set healthy boundaries (let others know what’s ok with you and what’s not ok with you).
- Reassure yourself that hurtful feelings will pass (don’t overreact or carry a grudge).
- Empower yourself to make positive changes when you have control (and stop dwelling on what you can’t control).
- Forgive yourself when you do something you regret.
- Visit nature (change how you define “beauty”). This big world has so much natural beauty to offer. Walk to the edge of a lake or ocean, walk barefoot through the cool grass, sit in awe of snow on the mountains or a colorful sunset, enjoy the colors of fall, or count glowing stars.
What are some other things you do to treat yourself with kindness and compassion?
“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” -Oprah
Alison Conner, Ph.D.
Dr. Alison Conner is a Psychologist in Fresno, California who specializes in behavioral and mental health for teen and young adult girls. Her knowledge, compassion, clinical experience, and willingness to share have made her a special friend to Girlology.
Dr. Conner is a member of our Expert Panel and provides consultation and content in the area of mental health, particularly the intersection of mental health, healthy relationships, and healthy sexual development.