Everything started from these apps that help create new habits. It was formed as a challenge that you could do daily to develop a good mentality. It was fun and easy to use, so I decided to take up multiple challenges!
One day, with Confident as the theme, I click on them. I simply wanted to know what I should do for the day. I was stunned for a whole minute. Looking at my screen in shock, my phone blared the task for that day: “List 10 Things You Love About Yourself”. As if I were talking to myself, I was startled and confused. Looking at my phone once again, my mind wandered with thoughts of what I was going to write. I came to the simple conclusion, then and there, that it was much easier to write about the things that I hated about myself. I stopped right there.
I pondered the thought –– questioned why I hated myself instead of loving myself..
Curious about this, I went around and asked some people these questions (try and answer them yourself too!)
1. Tell me three things you love about yourself
2. Did you find the question hard or easy for you to answer?
If you find it difficult, can you tell me what makes you think so? (if the answer is too personal, you can skip this)
If you find it easy, have you always been someone who loves themselves?
3. What’s the turning point that made you slowly love yourself?
4. What should you do to help yourself develop the habit of self-love?
There are many answers, however, each one is personal to each individual. I will only provide the results for each answer instead.
TW: Mention of bullying and abuse
For this question, I noticed that not many people mentioned or talked about their physical appearance (which is not a bad thing! This is just something that I can’t help but notice, as I did this too). They focus on the quality inside them, their personality, the way they approach problems, etc. Some also took their time to answer but some also answered quickly.
I’d say their answers varied from “not that hard” to “quite hard”. The reason will be explained more in the next point.
Difficult to answer because:
This topic is way too deep for a casual conversation that it might never be brought with the possibility of making things awkward.
They find it difficult because it is rare for them to talk about themselves in general. To boast about the quality that they have might seem strange and arrogant.
How people look at them affect how they look at themselves. For example, being bullied because of how different you look, because of what you wear, your family, even maybe for your success. The continuous negative words are deeply rooted in their head that it is hard to remove them.
Related to the previous point, verbal abuse from those who are dear to them. The never ended cycle of abuse is harmful for our mental health.
How media portrayed what so called ‘perfection’. Its almost felt like no matter where your eyes land, you won’t feel good about yourself.
Some also mentioned that the culture or stigma around gender can cut the value of self-love in anyone.
Quite easy to answer because:
They have this exact goal about their life. Please keep in mind, this person never once told me about their dream job or what kind of life they wanted to be. They simply state, “I wanna thrive as a great person”
The other said that: “I know some might not be confident about this, so I want to be the first person to do it”
“I learn that I am actually beautiful, no matter what they say”
“I believe that I need to express myself more and be proud of it”
“I dwell in a place where no one sees me as something precious, now I know my value, it’s easier to love myself”
3. For this question the answers are like this:
“When I realized that I’ve been surrounded by toxic people and I need to get out”
“When I finally find people that love me as who I am”
“When I finally learn to let go of the past that hurt me, well, it’s not like I completely forgot but I am learning”
“When I realize that I need to trust people around me and most importantly, myself”
4. Last one! Here are some tips from them:
Do not compare yourself to others.
Learn to accept yourself, every good and every flaw.
Be confident in what you are doing, maybe your hobby, how unique you see the world and etc.
Do not be afraid to live. Challenge yourself. The more you go out and experience, the more you find something about yourself.
Tune it down. Those words that aren’t necessary for you to remember, tune them down.
Surround yourself with people that will help you grow.
From these talks, I learned that self-love is something that you need to learn by yourself. It is not easy, however, the journey to loving yourself is worth the hurdles. You are not alone in this; let's learn together! Let’s grow together! We got this alright? And in case no one has told you, I believe in you, I love you, and I’m proud of you.
“Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.”
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
in Self-Love and What It Means (2020)
Paula T. Nd