Many of you know my personal story from having read my best-selling book “Man Shoes.” For those of you who don’t – the early years of my life were spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, settling in with Jim and Edwina Watson who were an elderly retired couple living on a farm in the northern parts of Alberta, Canada. For some reason, Jim and Edwina decided I was their retirement project.
For years after I arrived in their home, I unknowingly hated myself. I don’t think I would have been able to verbalize to anyone that I hated myself – but in the end, that is precisely what I did! I hated myself because I felt like I was that unwanted child who didn’t deserve to be loved. After all, you can’t go through 13 foster homes if you are loveable, can you!?
Negative thoughts you have about yourself reflect your feelings about yourself. But realize that these are just your feelings — they’re not the actual truth. Most people began to have these feelings and thoughts in childhood. That’s exactly what was happening to me. The fact that I bounced around from foster home to foster home made me believe I was not worthy of love – I was unloveable. As an adult, you’re ready to understand that those types of thoughts are not necessarily an accurate picture of reality and that you can change them into more positive thoughts. These are the methods your mind uses to deceive you into believing you have little worth:
· Reading other people’s opinions to put yourself down
· Predicting a negative outcome will be inevitable
· Thinking only in extremes — “always,” “everyone,” “never,” “forever.”
· Blaming yourself for things that aren’t your fault
· Labeling yourself in a derogatory fashion — “loser,” “failure,” “ugly.”
· Focusing only on the negative and disregarding the positive
· Telling yourself you “should,” “ought to,” “have to” do or be something
10 Principles To Build and Maintain a Friendship With Yourself
One of the most powerful ways to build your self-love is to be your own best friend. Practice these ten principles to love and support yourself:
1. Look inside to see what you believe about yourself
2. Speak only positive things about yourself, being patient, loving, and gentle with yourself
3. Treat yourself fairly and with integrity
4. Trust that you will be good to yourself
5. Be satisfied with yourself but realize you can change for the better, too
6. Choose what you do and the people you are with to celebrate who you are
7. Make decisions that create the life you believe you are worthy of
8. Treat yourself like you’re special and do things that make you feel good about being you
9. Check-in with yourself every day about what’s happening
10. Be aware of your needs and respond to them
As the end of summer sneaks up on you, I hope that you realize that inside of you a fantastic person is waiting and wanting to be unleashed! The best gift that you can give to anyone in your life is the gift of the best you!
Be persistent and know it takes time to work through your insecurities – but I know you can do it and deep down inside you, there is a little voice that knows you can do it as well!