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Who are you, really? A lot of times we spend so much of our lives focused on the things we want to do or achieve, the places we want to go or experience and, ultimately, the person we want to become. Of course, it’s great to have a general idea of your desired destination or purpose in life, but if we’re not careful, many of us will actually lose sight of who we are today simply because all of our energy is focused on becoming someone different tomorrow. This constant comparison of who we are vs. who we want to be every time we look in the mirror carries a universe of negative side-effects, as studies have linked this behaviour to expressions of jealousy, shame, and depression. The truth of the matter, is that who you are right now is all you have to invest in who will become, and how you love yourself today is the key to truly understanding who you are.
I remember when I was about eight years old in the car with my Mom and my sister. We were on our way to church when “what I want to be when I grow up” became the topic of discussion among us three. Immediately I cried aloud, “I want to be rockstar!” Not a single trace of hesitation could be heard in my response. To this day, that is still all I really ever wanted to be, however, growing up in a more conservative christian community such as the one I was raised in, you’ll find that there aren’t many open doors to individuals such as myself when it comes to stepping into the reality of such dreams. You see, even at a young age, I realised that in order to achieve my success, I couldn’t obsess over anyone else’s opinions. There have been so many thoughts and recommendations that were formed with a purpose to kill my drive, but what actually happened is that the more they rose, the more I understood the unique power of my ability to walk in my own path of life. What I’m really trying to say is that the unique power within you is not necessarily to change the minds of naysayers/haters, in fact, the power in you is to be you.
Even as someone who is at times seen as a troublemaker of sorts, I find that the qualities that make me unique from others are in fact the ones that make me most beautiful. I understand that there is a world of difference between each person’s experience of life, and the opportunity to appreciate the many ups and downs I would like to think is a blessing. After all, isn’t it those same circumstances that guide us as we progress as individual beings through the process of life? Really stop and think about it for a moment- Who are you really, and how do you express love for who you are?
Maybe you follow a daily routine, where you wake up in the morning and recite a declaration of self-love, or perhaps you make it a point to have a solo dance party before the sun goes down each day. I know I express it in as many ways as possible. From the way I wake up in the morning, check myself in the mirror and get dressed for the day, to the way I connect with family, friends, and colleagues. If you’re reading this right now and you feel unsure about the ways in which you make a conscious effort to love yourself, then I truly hope that you find support in what I am about to share next. When I sat down to think about my own process of self-love at the start of this year, I came up with three simple steps I believe are essential in loving yourself and being successful in the truest of ways.
STEP ONE: Love Yourself
As I previously mentioned, it is so helpful to implement some ways in which you consciously take advantage of the opportunity you have to love yourself. For some, it is as simple as adding that statement of positive affirmation in the morning as you prepare for your day, and for others it may be a bit more involved with elements such as an increased consistency to your commitment in faith, work, or education. Here is a post I think is really helpful for giving yourself that extra dose of self love. Read it here.
STEP TWO: Know Yourself
So often, we as humans are afraid to engage with things and people in this life that we don’t fully understand. We know this to be a huge factor in the perceived inability of some to believe in higher powers, we see this fear in the way people interact with others who look and sound different from themselves, and perhaps someone may be reading this and realising how real the effect of this fear has been on their own personal relationship with themselves. That is why step one is to love, and step two is to know. Regardless of how you manage your external relationships, the one person you must live with until you die is you, so before you dive into your perceived “best and worst” qualities, take a moment to let yourself know that you are loved, and that you have a friend- yourself. Once you’ve done that, here is an article that I recently found helpful on the journey to a true knowledge of one’s self- one that takes into account some real life obstacles that we face along this path. Read it here.
STEP THREE: Grow Yourself
Chances are if you love yourself, then you want the best for yourself. Likewise, if you want the best for yourself, then you’ll probably make the effort to get to know how to manage optimal results from your behaviours. Finally, if anything makes sense in this life, you probably understand that the result of your efforts to continuously progress as an individual has made a way for you to experience quantifiable growth in certain areas such as your core values, your interpersonal relationships, and your concept of self. Now, it remains true that no one is perfect, but imagine for a moment what could be if everyone took a hold of their own unique power, and used it to produce positive growth in the conscious development of self.
Who are you, really, and how are you expressing love for who you are today?
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Peace, Love + Light. KI.
When Comparing Yourself To Others Turns Self-Destructive, by Kathy Caprino
Stop Letting Other People’s Opinions Control You, Dr Ashlee Greer
13 Things to Do Instead of Comparing Yourself to Others, Maria Stenvinkel
8 Ways Successful People Overcome Setbacks, Patti Johnson