*Disclaimer* I realize that this post isn’t related to the mental health series I highlighted in my last post, but due to an experience that occurred this week I’ve decided to share the story below with you. I felt in my heart it was necessary. Also, I’ve been slacking lately in posting due to a million things going on, I hope ya’ll can understand and trust that more is coming! Okay…on to this week’s post:
I don’t know if this happens to other people, but whenever I go to places like the gym or the grocery store, strangers seem to start up conversations with me. Personally, I look at these interactions as an opportunity to possibly learn from someone or the experience itself. Well this week in the locker room at the gym, a lady using the locker next to me seemed to feel compelled to start a conversation by stating, “don’t you just hate coming here?”. I laughed and said, “well sometimes, but I actually enjoy taking some time for myself”. She responded with a simple nod and stated, “I only come here because I need to shrink this fat ass of mine”. I kind of chuckled (seeing as though this woman was maybe a size 4/6 and I’m much heavier than her) and said, “I understand, I used to be the same way. I used to only come to the gym because I didn’t like my body and I wanted to lose weight, now I come here with a more loving purpose”. She asked me what I had meant by that. I went on to tell her that I now go to the gym because I love my body and want to do something good for my soul, rather than coming because I hate my body and wish it were different. She looked at me like I had six heads and had little to say in return. I then said, “self-love is something I’ve had to work hard for (and still work towards daily) but I promise you it’s worth it and it will change your entire life”. She stopped dead in her tracks, looks at me, and says, “but how do I even start?” I kind of stuttered over my words and really didn’t know how to answer. Ultimately, I told her that a culmination of practicing taking care of herself and finding things that build confidence in her life would help kickstart her journey. She thanked me and then left the locker room.
I’m not going to lie, this conversation really stuck with me this week. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t articulate how to start the journey of self-love to this woman, let alone leave her with no resources to help her through self-doubt. I mean…this is my passion in life, how could I not know how to answer her??
After much thought, I wanted to share with you all the steps I have personally taken to begin cultivating self-love and confidence in my life. I understand that the process of finding self-love looks very different for each person and I’m truly no expert on the topic, I just want to share my personal steps in case there is someone out there stuck in the “how do I start?” place.
Here’s a few ways you can encourage a life rich in confidence and self-love:
1.) You MUST be mentally and emotionally open to wanting self-acceptance in your life. Just like anything involving change, you have to be ready for it.
2.) Find your words of affirmation. Find words that uplift you, practice them, and say them every chance you get. Personally I enjoy morning affirmations which include something like, “yassss girl, you are strong, beautiful, empathic and ready to change the world”. Say what makes you feel good and what compliments your strengths. Because really? Life’s too short to wait around for someone else to say kind words about you, compliment yourself honey!
3.) Choose your group selectively. Surround yourself with people who are good in nature and also good to you. Healthy relationships can really encourage an environment of positivity and confidence.
4.) Seek opportunities to build self-confidence. Essentially, work towards finding hobbies, talents, and adventures that build you up and make you feel good about yourself. For me, yoga is my hobby that provides me the opportunity for personal growth and self-appreciation. It could be something as simple as cooking yourself a bomb grilled cheese; soon after you’ll be saying, “I’m freakin’ Beyonce in this kitchen right now”.
5.) Set attainable goals and honor your word. I continue to work on setting small goals throughout the week or month that I know are pretty attainable and achievable. The confidence that comes from accomplishing a goal feels pretty amazing. Also, strive to honor your word by following through with what you say you’re going to do. This is also another huge confidence builder as it demonstrates that you have made yourself a priority and loved yourself enough to follow through with what you said you would do.
6.) TREAT YO’ SELF. Do something at least once a month that you love and is completely dedicated to celebrating YOU.
Finding self-love is the most rewarding experience, you begin to talk differently, socialize differently, work differently, and think differently. My hope is that these steps provide small ways for you to start to incorporate self-love and acceptance into your daily thoughts and life, because let’s be real, you deserve to love yourself.
As always, be good and do good in the world.
Thanks for reading loves!!