* Learning How To Live With Yourself
It's okay to love YOU
Why is it okay to love everybody but yourself?
"Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it."
Love is a precious gift. When we offer our love to another human being and it is accepted, the world suddenly comes alive. Then that love is returned, and we find ourselves occupying our own little piece of Heaven right here on Earth.
Few things are more fantastical than young love in bloom. They make mistakes, but we hardly see them. They have flaws, but that doesn't seem important. They might not be perfect, but as long as they are perfect for us nothing else seems to matter.
Love is a gift we give so freely to others, but for some reason we often withhold it from ourselves. We aren't perfect, and we know it. Most of us are aware of every single flaw we possess, and while we may be able to overlook the flaws in the ones we love, ours seem to be all we see when we look in the mirror, and it would be so much easier to love ourselves if we could change those things we don't like.
Define Personal Success
"My definition of success is total self-acceptance. We can obtain all of the material possessions we desire quite easily, however, attempting to change our deepest thoughts and learning to love ourselves is a monumental challenge." ~ Franki
The Most Precious Gift...
Stop right there... let's look at this a little more closely. Do any of these things sound like love to you?
Not being aware of their wants, needs, or desires
Neglecting their physical or emotional needs
Seeking perfection from them
Knowing change is a hopeless pursuit
Talking bad about them to other people
Talking bad straight to their face
Lack of belief in them or their abilities
Discouraging them from sharing thoughts and ideas for fear of embarrassment...
That's not love, it isn't even like. If you were in a relationship with someone you felt that way about, hopefully you would not stay there for long. It sounds like a totally miserable arrangement for everybody involved. But you can't escape a relationship with yourself. Everybody else in your life will come and go, you will face many of your hardest moments in life alone no matter how large your support system may be. The one person you will always be stuck with is you...
When you don't like things about yourself, you can go to great lengths to cover those things up. Cosmetics,strategic wardrobes, plastic surgery, extreme body modifications. They say they do it to make themselves attractive but to "feel attractive" or to "attract others" - lets face it nearly everybody has an attention hog inside of them, everybody wants recognition and appreciation for who they are at least some of the time. If your only sources of approval and recognition are coming from outside sources, then you alone times are going to feel very empty.
Exaggerating your successes to project a more acceptable image
Constantly pointing out your flaws and testing the loyalty of friends
People-pleasing and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of
Missing now because you are living in the hurts of the past, and fearing the sorrows of the future.
Becoming a hermit, intentionally isolating yourself from others.
If these things remind you of yourself then you will find it almost impossible to figure out how to live with yourself and make everybody else miserable in the process.
Rules for Being Human...
To hold in high regard...
The word "esteem" means to hold someone in high regard.
When you love someone, you seek out opportunities to spend time with them.
You want to protect them from anything that would harm them.
You truly believe they deserve happiness.
You like the way you feel when you are with them.
Just thinking about them makes you smile.
The term self-esteem has been so overused in our culture that it has lost much of its meaning. It's something for people to lay on a sofa and discuss with their therapist, but it doesn't really affect many of us, does it?
Go back to that previous list and turn it inward for a moment.
Do you hold yourself in high regard?
Do you seek out opportunities to spend time with yourself?
Do you want to protect yourself from anything that would harm you?
Do you truly believe you deserve happiness?
Do you like the way you feel when you are alone with yourself?
Can you bring a smile to your face just by thinking about something you have accomplished?
Was that a bit tougher? Did it feel silly or wrong for you to be asking yourself these questions?
Self-esteem begins in childhood. This is where we first acquire our concepts of love and happiness, but this is also where we learn the concepts of fear, shame, and powerlessness. I'm not blaming your parents here. We are talking about you and how you see the world.
Childhood is where you formed many of your perceptions about the world around you. You learned how to react to the world, and in turn, how the world reacts to you. A child does not have the logic necessary to process many of the events that occur in the world around them and often blame themselves when things go wrong.
A lot of those voices in your head that tell you that you aren't good enough come from somewhere in your childhood, but that doesn't mean they have to stay there. Self-help has nothing to do with blaming others, it is about taking responsibility for where you are today and where you are going tomorrow.
The messages you have stored in your head came from many places, and they weren't always positive.
Making Peace With Your Past
A courteous regard for feelings...
Respect is a concept that very few people seem to truly understand. The passive don't think they deserve it, the aggressive think they deserve it so much that they demand it. Then there is the assertive approach, which is understanding that the only way to get respect is to give it, to respect yourself and others.
That's it. Period.
When you demand it, you rarely get it. When you have none for others, you receive none for yourself. When you have none for yourself, you rarely receive it from others. It can't be bought, it can't be sold, it can't be forced. It can't be manipulated, and it can't be deceived.
That's why it is called "earning" respect.
Respect means many things to many people. My favorite definition is "a courteous regard for people's feelings." Guess what? That means your own feelings too!
Your feelings are there to tell you something is going on in your life that needs your attention, just like how a fever tells you that your body is not well and needs to be taken care of. Ignoring your feelings or allowing them to be ignored by others does not address the problem, it just puts off dealing with it until it becomes a bigger problem.
When you do not respect yourself, you broadcast it to others whether you intend to or not. If you don't respect yourself, it is the same as saying "I'm not really that important," so don't be surprised when they agree with you and refuse to give you respect.
Many of us go through life functioning as a doormat. When was the last time you respected your doormat? It is there to wipe your feet on, nothing more. Small things like learning to say no, learning to say "I want," and learning to stand firm when you say "I need" makes a huge difference in the way people treat you.
Your wants should never come before another person's needs, but another person's wants should never come before your needs either. Respecting yourself means taking care of yourself. Your health is important, physical, emotional, even spiritual. When you begin to find healthy ways to respect yourself, others will see that and respond.
Something that makes you feel good about being you...
When was the last time you ended a day with a strong feeling of accomplishment? Stop for a moment and think about how good it felt. Maybe you landed a big account, finished a novel, or got that new job. Maybe you just cleaned out the hall closet. Whatever it was, it made you feel good about being YOU, didn't it?
It might not have mattered much to another person, but it meant something to you. Wouldn't it be great if you could feel that way about life every single day? Not many of us have the time or energy to accomplish a major goal every day. This is where small goals come into play.
Getting that feeling of accomplishment is possible every day, as long as you cut major goals into bite-sized pieces. Some people use checklists, some use a chore board, some just develop a routine that gets them where they want to be one small step at a time. It doesn't matter how you do it as long as you are satisfied with the results.
What you choose to accomplish is a very personal thing. If you are doing things just because other people expect you to do them then that isn't your accomplishment, is it? It belongs to someone else. Your goals must belong to you.
Start each day with something that makes you feel good about being you, and you will see your life change in ways you never imagined.
Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 - July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving presentation, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals. For more, visit www.cmu.edu/randyslecture.
Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
An incredibly inspiring story...
You are what you own...
Who owns your life, and who are you living it for? This is a difficult question for many of us. We get trapped in our parents' expectations, transfer it to a boss, then to a partner, and we often lose ourselves in the process.
You do not own your parents' problems, you do not own your boss's, and you do not own your partner's. Their problems do not belong to you, yet you find yourself getting wrapped up in them over and over until you begin to feel suffocated.
You are not responsible for the actions of another, the decisions of another, the difficulties of another, or the sorrows of another. You can certainly be there to support them if you choose; you don't have to abandon them by any means, but you don't have to take responsibility for them either.
The only person in this world you are truly responsible for is you.
It is really easy for us to get that backwards, to take responsibility for others but not take responsibility for ourselves. It's no wonder we lose ourselves, we don't even know where we end and the other person begins.
You deserve to have boundaries in your life. You deserve to know where you end and another begins. To realize that nothing you do should be forced, and everything should be allowed to become a conscious choice.
Controlling your own destiny...
It doesn't matter how hopeless your situation seems, you always have a choice. This one is difficult to swallow, but it makes a huge difference in your life. We are all placed in situations where we feel our backs are against the wall, where we have no choice.
We always have a choice; it may be a difficult choice, it may be a choice that requires a lot of work, it may have consequences we do not like, but we always have a choice. Most of the time when we say we don't have a choice, we are just choosing the easiest option.
It is easier to give in than to stand up to people. It is easier to stay in a bad relationship than it is to leave. It is easier to do something ourselves than it is to allow others to do it differently than we would like it to be done.
Sometimes it is easier to make decisions for others than to wait for them to take action themselves. Sometimes it is easier to allow others to make decisions for us rather than face the consequences ourselves.
This was the concept I had the most trouble swallowing, I kept insisting I did not have a choice. I couldn't help it that certain people were placed in my life. I couldn't help it that they did horrible things. I couldn't help it that they would not leave me alone.
I did have a choice. I could choose to ignore them, I could chose to stand up to them, I could chose to say no, I could even choose not to play their game. It takes a lot of practice, but taking control of your choices puts you back in control of your life. You always have a choice, sometimes you just have to look for it.
We all tend to stay in our comfort zones, no matter how uncomfortable they may actually be. Choice is the first step outside of that comfort zone and into the world of happiness.
When you take control of your life, you take control of your destiny.
"The only behavior we can control is our own; by the same token, no one can make us do anything we don't want to. It's only when we give up spending our energy trying to force others to conform to our ideas or to keep them from doing the same to us that we are able to live the way we want to."
You are all you ever will be...
It is often easier to accept others than to accept yourself. After all, you have to live with yourself. You may see strengths, but you see so many weaknesses. You may see accomplishments, but you see so many failures. You may see the good, but you also see so much bad.
Sometimes those negatives seem to outweigh the positives 100-to-1. For each thing we do well, we see so many things we can't do at all. People keep saying we can do anything we put our minds to, but all we seem to see is an endless string of "can't do's."
It would be nice to be all of the things we aren't, but thoughts like this don't help us figure out how to live with ourselves, let alone be happy about it. It's easy to get lost in the "if only's." My life would be better "if only." Each list is as different as the person who makes it, but many of us spend our lives waiting for "if only" to come.
You are the only YOU there will ever be, so why waste your life wishing you were someone else? You can try to being perfect by someone else's standards, or you can focus on perfecting being you. Once you can accept that YOU are all you ever will be, life becomes much easier.
You can't be anyone else, but you can be the best you possible. You can be different, you can be unique, you can find joys in the things that make you YOU.
Not comparing yourself with others or being jealous of their success sets you free. Compete only with yourself. Are you better today than you were yesterday? Success! Their successes belong to them, but yours belong to you. Allow yourself to take pride in them no matter how small.
Finding out what makes you YOU...
When was the last time you spent some time alone just getting to know yourself? That sounds silly, doesn't it? After all, if anyone knows who you are it should be you.
You know your favorite food, your favorite color, your pet peeves. You know who you love and who you don't care for. You know where you work, where you live, and who you live with.
Those things aren't really you. They are a part, but only a small part of the big picture. There are parts of you inside that you don't see when you look in the mirror. Nightmares and dreams, sorrows and pleasures, sufferings and joys.
These are the things that really make up the bigger picture that is you. Other people don't have to like those things or even know about them, but you should love them. Every single one of them sets you apart from the rest of the sheep.
Are you an idealist or a realist, a romantic or a cynic? Do you see the glass half-empty, half-full, or just right? What do you have to offer the world that only you can offer? A certain point of view? An invention that will make life better? A plan to take over the world?
Dig deeper, and when you have done that, dig deeper still. Don't just live on the surface of yourself. You don't find treasures in the earth without some digging, and you wont find those treasures in yourself without some hard work, but they are there.
What you feed grows, what you starve dies...
Strengths and Weaknesses
Human existence is based on balance. We are all made up of good and bad, light and dark, yin and yang, strengths and weaknesses. We spend so much of our time focused on one side or the other, but rest assured that both sides are always present.
What would joy be if we had never experienced pain? Would we appreciate good as much if we had never seen evil? Would laughter feel as wonderful if we had never shed tears?
You are human, and as such you are blessed with strengths and weaknesses. The truly successful people in life don't lament their weaknesses, they find a way to turn them into strengths.
If you have suffered, then you know how to help another through their suffering. If you have seen horrible things, then you know how to appreciate beauty. If you are lazy, then you have figured out faster ways to do certain things.
So if you take time to examine what you consider to be your negative qualities, you are very likely to find that there are some positive aspects to them as well.
The same applies to circumstances. Sometimes we have to deal with an extremely difficult person. Look closely at the effect they have had on your life. Perhaps they have encouraged you to take a different path than you might have otherwise. Perhaps they have brought you out of isolation and back into the world.
Maybe you have been financially drained as a result of job loss... have you learned to tighten your belt? Maybe you have learned some new recipes and can feed your family on less. Has it inspired you to make changes in the rest of your life?
Every negative has the potential to be a positive, sometimes you just have to look for it.
Strengths from Weaknesses - Articles
The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open rain
And always got its share and rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
- Douglas Malloch
- Attack Your Limitations: Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths
"Something that has always intimidated me from starting something new has always been a deep worry about my shortcomings. I know that I have weaknesses, and I'm afraid they'll lead to my failure. I've learned in recent years, however, that those w
- Transform Weaknesses Into Strengths
"Any weakness you experience in your life can be transformed into a personal strength. By taking measures to take crippling weaknesses and turn them into some of your most empowering attributes you can avoid the pain and misery they cause you."
Learning to live YOUR life...
In order to live with yourself, you have to be yourself. If you have low self-esteem, the concept of YOU gets lost in so many different ways. You go on with your life doing what everybody else says you should do, but lose track of the things you want to do.
Have you ever driven someone else's car? It just doesn't feel like your car. The seat needs adjusted, followed by the mirrors. The knobs aren't in the same places, the windshield wipers are where the headlight controls are supposed to be. It might be a nice car, but it isn't your car.
Have you ever been hit with the thought, "Is this all there is to life?" That sense of something missing in your life can be looked at the same way. Maybe you are living someone else's life.
You are an adult now, your parents' job is done. You aren't your sister, you aren't your neighbor, you are you. Are you living by your rules or theirs?
If you hate your job, can't stand the place you live, dream of traveling but never go further than the corner store... what is stopping you?
Now is a good time to figure out what you want to do with your life, and do it. In order to do that you have to put aside the rules that other people have laid out for you and start your own rule book.
What things are important to you? When are you happiest? What really makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What brings you up when you are feeling down? Take some time every day to ask yourself the really important questions in life.
Life is a very personal experience, so why are you following the rest of the flock? Go find your own path, and travel it for no other reason than just to see where it leads.
Personal Development Blogs
- Life as I know it: Self Development
Nice article covering some basics of learning to live with yourself.
- Scientists Find that Low Self-Esteem & Materialism Goes Hand in Hand
âAdvertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.â~From the movie Fight Club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk A Galaxy classic...with a recession going full force, we thought...