First - Like yourself - The rights and wrongs
There are rights and wrongs of this. You can like yourself and love yourself in ways that are vital to your life, and ways that are a disease and pain to others.
The wrong ways of liking yourself generally use other people. There is narcissism, which uses the admiration of others to obtain feelings of self-worth, smugness; which is a feeling of self-satisfaction which puts others down; pride of the bad type called hubris which is arrogance and haughtiness.
Another inadequate way of liking yourself is self-stroking to replace the missing affirmation or love from other people. These are usually self-directed physical activities which are excessive and attempt to create a substitute feeling of satisfaction which is unreferrenced – it is not part of an interpersonal interaction.
Disliking yourself also uses other people because the self-disliker also wants other people to like them so that they obtain a feeling of acceptance and belonging.
Disliking yourself means that you act against yourself. Your self-talk is acritical put-down. You may abuse drugs, and that includes nicotine, you may drink too much alcohol, eat too much, spend all day at games or videos, gamble, not exercise, overspend, not save money for the future, mess up study or business, and on it goes ….
Of course, you usually feel inferior. And because “you see what you expect to see” your brain selects for you what it assumes you want to feel, so any put-downs just make you feel more worthless, and praise is disregarded as being false. You want to be complimented but don’t really believe it when it happens. You put energy into doing things which will attract affirmation. You spend a lot of time scanning your inner feelings desperately hoping to find happiness.
It’s time to change.
It is right to say to yourself and feel it:
“I like myself!” “I like me as I am!”
You can say it to yourself in your head – no one else needs to hear! You let yourself feel this through your head and body. Just pretend if you need to. Then say it with more vigour and enthusiasm. Just get the feeling and let it flow.
Of course there are characteristics and things you want to improve, make better. That’s good. But right now you really like yourself.
You are not putting anyone else down. They are entitled to like themselves and feel good too. In fact, you feel so good about yourself that you are happy to invest some energy in them.
Similarly, saying, “I feel really proud of myself!” is an internal feeling about your life. It is not putting other people down. It is about self-achievement.
- And, you don’t immediately say to yourself, “Oh, I haven’t achieved anything." Of course you have. You are here, reading this. You are alive. Well done! And there must be other things! Don’t be put down by other people’s rules about what you should do to feel you achieve. They can have their rules, and they should keep them to themselves!
The next thing to do is to deliberately invest in yourself and your future.
That means setting some goals about:
Health. You want a long and enjoyable life. If you didn’t, you do now. That means that you will take action to make your life healthier by choosing, say, not to smoke, drink excessively or use drugs, drive carefully, exercise, and Hey! A little at a time works best if you have a lot to improve!
Finance. Income and spending and saving! A plan that you follow. If you need help, there are counsellors available.
dreams. All those
things that you have not done because you were not good enough. And now you
are! How about spending some time doing this?
Over several days, write down everything that you wanted or would all would have liked to have, or would have liked to do or have in the future. Leave that for several days and then go back to it. You will scratch out most of it, but you will be left with some interests you can explore, and things that you wanted to be or do.
It doesn’t matter whether some of the things seem impossible. You can start. It may be getting some more money, or finding other ways to do things, or finding a substitute that will work for you. The next step is to actually do it, and because you like yourself now, you can.
You will notice that some of the interests you can explore are things you can do at home, and if there didn’t seem to be any, I would look again. You have a number of things, perhaps only one, that can really occupy your attention.
The next thing to do is to spend some time investing in other people. Because you now like yourself, you will find this much easier. Investing in other people means cultivating the relationships that you now have, and developing new ones.
People will be much more properly attracted to you in ways that seem mysterious. It is really because they will be much more comfortable with you because you like yourself, and you are more comfortable with yourself and with them.
You will be happier more cheerful and therefore more goal focused and able to achieve. This is because your self-talk and the feelings that flow from a are really wonderful. You just feel very comfortable with yourself.
A great question to ask yourself is, as you imagine looking back, “How do I want to have lived?” Another question is, “When am I most alive?” You keep all those answers and feelings and have them right now in the present.
Liking yourself is a good starting point for purpose. I think the underlying purpose of life is to add value to yourself and add value to others.
The word decision means to determine to do something and cut off any other actions. Many people don’t make decisions, they just have vague wishes. To build a strong sense of self, you make decisions. The doing of it flows automatically. Deciding to like yourself fully involves making decisions and living into them by what you say to yourself. You change your beliefs as you do this to support you.
© David Townsend 2014