Without further ado, here she is!
Just over a year ago, I resented my slight resemblance to Matt Lucas. I wished away my practically see-through eyelashes. I tore into myself for taking about half an hour to park in a multi-storey car park. I wasn’t my biggest fan.
Fast-forward to now. I smile at my lack of spatial awareness because I see it as a trade-off for being good at writing. I don’t worry about my eyelashes but focus on my growing muscles. I laugh when my friends joke about my looking like Matt Lucas because I can’t look that bad when so many people compliment me on my smile. I like myself.
In just one year, I’ve gone from beating myself up on a daily basis to smiling my way through the week because I’m just so “me”. In this post I’d like to pass on my tips for doing the same thing yourself.
In order to like yourself, you need to know who “you” is. The best way to get to know yourself is through introspection. Introspection comes in many forms.
- Working through self-help and personal development books
- Observing yourself
- Having deep conversations with friends
- Talking to a coach or counsellor
Pick whichever way works best for you and give yourself permission to spend time getting to know yourself.
It’s hard to see anything objectively when you’re too close to it, so your next step will be to step back from your answers. It’s going to be hard to understand what makes your answers (and therefore you) special, without anything to compare them to.
So switch your focus to your friends and family. Observe them. Ask them questions. Get to know them in the same way that you just got to know yourself. Then compare what you find out about them with what you found out about yourself. How are you different to them?
Now you need to learn to appreciate yourself. Take everything you’ve found out about yourself and work out why you’re grateful for it. One way to do this is to make a list of your flaws and to turn them into positives.
For example, I have a dependent personality. This means I have a tendency to copy other people, which makes me feel like I don’t have a fixed identity of my own. But because I’m a copycat, I get to try out lots of different things, which is more interesting than staying the same way forever. I also find it easy to empathize with other people and I don’t get into very many arguments. Find the flipsides to your flaws.
Once you’ve collected lots of information about yourself, keep an eye out for it. Whenever you spot yourself being you, smile. See it as a secret joke between you and yourself.
The other day my mum emptied some clothes out of the washing machine and knew straightaway that they were mine because the fluff that had collected was all dark blue and maroon and almost all my clothes are those colors. We laughed about it for a while and I appreciated the fact that I’m me.
A while ago I heard that one of my friends from school who I’m no longer friends with said something was “typical Jo”. That annoyed me. We haven’t been friends in almost a decade. How does she know what “typical Jo” is? I’ve changed a lot and she doesn’t know me anymore.
The same will happen to you. You will change, so you need to keep up to date with who you are. To avoid wandering around with an out-of-date idea of who you are in your head, turn this process into a game. Keep an eye out for “you”. Compare yourself to the people around you when you’re queuing in shops. Ask yourself questions when you’re brushing your teeth. Make knowing yourself a part of your everyday life.
Life is so much more fun when you think you’re kind of funny/interesting/cute, so stop waiting until you’ve lost weight or your spots have cleared up to like yourself. Make learning to like yourself a priority and decide to try out at least one of the tips mentioned above.
Let me know which tip you’ve picked in the comments area below.
Battling her British social awkwardness, Joanna L K Moore (Jo) runs Twisted Sleeve, where she helps shy girls get the confidence they need to do whatever they dream of doing. She has just published the self-study course DIY Self-Esteem: How To Start Liking Yourself. You can find out more about Jo here.
Bonus! Jo is giving a discount on her awesome DIY Self-Esteem: How To Start Liking Yourself! Seriously check it out and use the discount code: BLESSINGMANIFESTING until midnight on August 24th MST!
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I especially loved the part about "Typical Jo" when typical Jo has probably evolved in a decade. Thanks for your insight, Jo, look forward to hearing more from you!
Wandering around with an out-of-date idea of myself is definitely something I'm guilty of!
I think we probably all do it to a certain extent! There are just so many different parts of us that it's hard to keep up with all of them!
Thanks! I'd say I'm pretty unrecognisable from the Jo who was wandering around in 2004! Surely everyone is?!
This is wonderful, and I am going to save it for future reference!