Photo: Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash
People point out things about me—my body, my brain, my professional life—and it is always so hard for me to see and focus on all the positive things they are saying. For some reason that I am still trying to figure out, it is easier for me to concentrate on all the negative things and all the things I have yet to achieve. But then I look at my girlfriend and I wish she would love herself the way I love her. I wish my best friend could believe in herself the way I believe in everything she does. I am sure you think those things about certain people in your life...just as they think them about you.
Somehow we—by we, I mean most of us with the exception of those few lucky ones who feel so comfortable being who they are and love themselves a lot—have programmed our brains to highlight the bad. We get a job, but it isn’t the one we wanted. We lose weight but there is still a little more to lose here and there. We graduate college but we haven’t gotten the dream job yet. We forget about the goals we have reached and continue to push ourselves to get more, to be more. When do we stop doing that? When do we start loving ourselves? When do we start celebrating the long list of achievements we have under our names?
I figured out a long time ago, and probably you did too, that the brain is the biggest enemy. Although it has helped me in many occasions, it has also failed me. My brain has tricked me into believing I am not enough and my achievements are not enough for me to be worthy of more. Has that happened to you? Oh good, I am not alone. Isn’t it such a sad feeling knowing you are betraying yourself? I do not know why we do that. Why do we allow ourselves to think so highly of others but so poorly of ourselves? In my opinion—or the conclusion I have come to—is that this happens because we live in a very competitive world that makes us compare ourselves to everyone who surrounds us (whether in person or through social media).
Here is the thing, though: we should all love ourselves a little more. We live in a world in which we are basically encouraged to hate ourselves. We are not like the model on that commercial. We did not get the job our classmate got. We do not make the same amount of money as our co-worker. It is a never-ending, constant competition of which we didn’t ask to be a part. So, why do we compete with our brain, with our body, with ourselves? We need to stop doing that and start praising who we are.
You have accomplished just as much as your neighbor, in your own unique way. All the things you have done and have overcome to be where you are today are worthy of your self-love and pride. It isn’t an easy task, but you need to reprogram your brain into pointing out and focusing on all the positive things. You got a job. You got healthier. You graduated college. Train yourself to be your number one supporter and cheerleader. Those things you would say to other people; say them to yourself.
I encourage you to love yourself a little more. Make a list of all the good things you have done and all the goals you have reached. Treat yourself the way you would treat your girlfriend or your best friend. See yourself the way other people see you. Listen to what they are saying about you; only those good things that will motivate you because bullies and their negativity aren’t good for you. Take this article as a sign that you are worthy of self-love.
Lara was born in Argentina on Christmas; raised there and in Mexico. She graduated university with a BA in Latin American Literature and then moved to America where she currently lives with her girlfriend and cat. She works at a daycare as an Infant Teacher and during her free time you’ll find her reading or watching several TV shows while drinking diet coke.