Figuring out who we are is a process and one that becomes much easier when we’re kind to ourselves. Here are the last three tips of this series.
7. Break up with your ideal self
How many times do we say things like, “if I could only lose 20 pounds, I’d be happy,” or “if I could only look like her, I’d be happy…” As we grow up, we set goals for ourselves and create a mental image of what we want our lives to be like 10, 20 and 30 years down the road. While goals and dreams are important, our mental images can easily become visions of perfection and fantasy. Ever since we were little girls, we’ve been engulfed into a hopeless romantic, prince charming, Barbie Doll sort of society. This definitely doesn’t make “figuring ourselves out” easy. I can’t take away all those hurtful, unrealistic expectations or tell you the journey to self-discovery is easy, but I can tell you that when we let go of all the expectations that surround us and accept ourselves exactly as we are, it’s much easier to breathe.
“Don’t let your ideal expectations rob you of your present joy—you are far too valuable, too lovely and absolutely irreplaceable for that. So, I dare you. Throw in the towel—break up with your ideal self and love the one you are. Because you’re the only you you’ve got.”
-Shannon Lee Miller
8. Use kind words
I challenge you to make a list of all the negative things you say to yourself in a day. Here are a few of mine: you’re an idiot, you’re fat, you’re annoying, you look terrible without makeup, you will never get out of this town, why can’t you just shut up…
When we transform our thoughts, we transform who we are. Each time you tell yourself something negative, stop and replace the negative thought with a positive one.
Change you’re an idiot to you’re really smart.
Change you’re fat to I love my curves.
Change you’re annoying to you’re loved.
Change you look terrible without makeup to you’re beautiful.
Change you’ll never get out of this town to you’re making progress.
Change why can’t you just shut up to you’ve got something important to say even if it’s not accepted by everyone.
You matter, girl. Always remember that.
9. Be patient
As I’ve said many times before, life is a journey and we’re all traveling together. Becoming our best self is a process. I mess up every single day and I always want to know what’s happening next. But the honest to God truth is, it doesn’t work like that. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow and beating myself up doesn’t take away my failures. Soak in the moments, stop worrying and look at your failures as lessons that are getting you to where you’re going. Love yourself, love others and learn something new today. We don’t get our time back. Stop wishing it away and wasting it on things that eventually won’t matter.