Operation: Love Yourself
As a therapist, one of the most common complaints I hear from clients is about low self-esteem. Being a woman who has struggled with her weight for years because of an unfortunate medical diagnosis, I know personally the struggles that many women experience when looking in the mirror. Although there are men out there who also struggle with low self-esteem, I find that more often women are the ones who do not love the person looking back at them in the mirror.
Typically when a woman looks at her own image, she tends to focus more on the flaws of her body rather than those attributes that she should love. Perhaps what I’m describing resonates with you. If you’d like to set the goal for the New Year of truly loving yourself, here are a few habits that you can implement…
• Teach your inner voice to be more polite.
Most of us would never say to others the awful things that we say to ourselves. We need to retrain our brains to be nicer because we are the only ones listening to that inner voice.
• Change what you can control and learn to love the rest.
Sometimes we can control our circumstances, and sometimes we cannot. If we choose to dwell on those parts of ourselves that we cannot change, we are choosing to dislike ourselves. Body confidence does not come from trying to achieve the perfect body; it comes from embracing the one you’ve got.
• Setting realistic expectations is the key to self-love.
Nothing can destroy one’s self-esteem more than setting unrealistic expectations. If we set ourselves up for failure, we will likely fail. When we set realistic, achievable goals for ourselves, and are able to meet these goals, the outcome is much more positive.
• Do not compare yourself to others.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of Joy.” If we compare ourselves to the models in the magazines (especially those who have been drastically altered), we are doing ourselves a huge injustice.
• Forget Perfection and Embrace your Accomplishments.
Perfection is simply unattainable. Let it go. You will never be perfect. This is simply an artificial creation of our society. It doesn’t exist. Instead focus on all of the accomplishments in your life, both big and small.
Changing one’s own self image is one of the hardest things to do. This is especially true when we have been so cruel to ourselves for much of our lives. That being said, if we can learn to love ourselves, the changes that will occur will be well worth the effort. If you would like to speak to an experienced, licensed mental health counselor in Orlando about ways to increase your own self-esteem and self-worth, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.