This is such an interesting topic to me. When I am working with clients, they are very aware of all the negative things that they say to themselves. When I ask them what they say to themselves that is positive, they tend to go blank and be at a loss for words. I find it fascinating that we can find so many negative things to say and so few positive things to say about ourselves.
Why is that? Because we are used to hearing the negative about ourselves, or at least we perceive it as being negative. Most people have a hard time with criticism. They take it personally and take it as an assault on who they are. When people say something about us or our work, we have the choice to take it personally or to take it as information about another person's perception. It is amazing that we are so willing to take it personally and to do so very quickly.
Why is that? Because we've been trained since the time that we were young, that some things would get rewarded and some things would get us punished. So we learned to do what would get rewarded, even if it didn't feel authentic to us. Because let's face it, it's far better to be rewarded than punished. And that reward was often times being loved. When we did what our parents, teachers, friends or siblings liked, we got their love in return, so we learned to seek that which would make us feel loved, even if it didn't always feel good.
We are not taught self love while growing up. We are taught, and this even plays out in adulthood, that thinking we are good, lovable and worthy of respect is egotistical and conceited, so it is no wonder that we are always seeking the approval of others to let us know if we are good enough. It is an unfortunate thing, because those other people we are looking to are looking to others and so it goes in circles.
What would it take for you to decide who you want to be? First you would have to come to know who you really are. Not who you've been told you are by the countless people in your lives. The ones who have told you that you are good or bad, ugly or beautiful, fat or thin, nice or mean. No, you would have to come to know yourself on a core level and then decide who you want to be and then make the choice to become more of the authentic you. This isn't easy for people to do and I've watched my clients struggle with it many times.
So I invite you to take a look at yourself this week and come to know what is you and what is other people's perceptions and projections onto you. Do so in a loving manner, be gentle with yourself and you may find that there is a truly amazing person there when you allow yourself to be who YOU want you to be............