Learning to like ourselves

27 Feb 2016

How many of us actually like ourselves? And if we don’t like ourselves, how then can we be honest with ourselves? Unless we learn to like ourselves, like the skin we’re in, we can never be honest with ourselves. The more we like ourselves the more honest with ourselves we will be, the more honest and open with others we will be. That’s how it works.

We need to go back to basics, back to the beginning where it all started, how we got to this place, through our childhood, what makes us tick, what makes us, us because in reality all of those things become the basis upon which foundations are built. Without strong foundations in place, lives will struggle to exist or at least exist well. Personalities must be built on the same strong foundations.

We believe in the principles of honesty and yet so few of us are willing to be strictly honest about our lives, or with ourselves. In our lives we simply exist. Perhaps then we must think about ourselves more, what we would like to achieve and whether what we’re doing is exactly what we want.

We must be open and fair, we must be kind and gentle with ourselves. We must look within ourselves first, at the aspects of our lives we must improve, parts of our lives we’re not happy with and parts of our lives that could do with change. At the same time, we should look at our aspirations, our goals, our career, the people we’re in contact with, everything that we need to improve on and change.

The irony is that the more we come to like ourselves, the more we’re in a position to be are able to work towards setting ourselves up for a good life.

10 Responses to “Learning to like ourselves”

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  1. Maria Lunde 27. Feb, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    I have always struggled with liking who I am. I think because of my disability and the way people perceive me because of it, it has made it difficult to accept myself. Fortunately, l have come a long way and feel more comfortable in my own skin.

    Of course I still struggle time to time.

    • Ilana 27. Feb, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

      Thanks Maria. I understand exactly where you’re coming from. Not only is it hard growing up, but growing up with a disability can make coming to terms with everything a lot more challenging.

      When we couple that with other people’s perceptions and how they come to deal with us, can leave us with little confidence. Having little confidence can impinge on how we feel about ourselves.

      I suppose I was lucky because as a child I internalised a lot of my feelings and although I was aware of my physical issues and my emotions, I was able to separate the two issues, so I didn’t always belittle myself.

      I’m pleased you now feel more comfortable in your own skin.

  2. Tim 27. Feb, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    I’ve managed to close that gap between my personal insecurities and how I actually feel about myself. And I’ve learned that my imperfections are beautiful, yet I’m always open to refinement.

    When the ugliness of life becomes unbearable, I’m the only place for me to hide.

    • Ilana 27. Feb, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

      Yes you are the only place for you to hide Tim. I think if more of us were able to understand that concept, we’d be accepting and more gentle on ourselves.

      Regardless of our upbringing and/or the difficulties we face, we’re all we’ve got, therefore it’s important we are gentle on ourselves.

  3. Randy 27. Feb, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

    I have spent most of my life hating myself, for making very poor decisions, but most of them were based on old ideas from when I was a child!

    No one ever really showed us how to do more than just survive, which doesn’t exactly qualify as living. This started from the time I could remember that I wasn’t allowed to have my own life. My Mother should have worked for the CIA for how good of a job she did brainwashing me into thinking that my only purpose in life was to make her happy!

    Obviously it never worked, so I was left burdened with a soul crushing amount of guilt, shame and remorse that wasn’t mine. Right at this point I would be happy just to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin. I have wasted a lot of years trying to find a way out of my own skin, but I’m still here, so I may as well try to make the best of it!

    The hardest part for me is that I do have to start from the beginning, looking at memories that I have spent a lifetime trying to forget. People always seem to talk like it’s such an easy thing to do, when the opposite is true. If I’m honest with myself, I was only human and made choices in trying to make everyone else happy, which isn’t realistic or possible.

    I have to concentrate on what makes me happy, even if the rest of the world doesn’t like it!

    • Ilana 27. Feb, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

      Thanks Randy, yes you must concentrate on what makes you happy. It’s never easy erasing hurtful memories, but if we can replace them with happier memories, it makes leaving them behind easier.

      It’s also never easy making choices to make everyone happy, because inadvertently that’s what we will continue to do without thinking about what we want for ourselves. Those have been my experiences.

      Given your childhood Randy it’s not surprising you struggled with yourself, but I hope that you’ll eventually begin to see what I definitely see in you.

      You’re a good guy, you’re sensitive and caring. I hope that in time you can and will continue to turn some of these feelings around, so that you learn to like yourself. You’re not to blame.

      You’ve never had a chance to understand how that feels.

  4. Bonnie Strickland Johns 28. Feb, 2016 at 7:38 am #

    I have a problem with liking myself, especially as a mom. Whether I’m doing a good job or not, have I tried everything to excel and I come up with the same answer. Indecisiveness.

    At my age, I sure should have the ability to make decisions based on what I think would work best or be for the better and with indecisiveness I dislike who I am sometimes.

    • Ilana 28. Feb, 2016 at 9:53 am #

      Unfortunately indecisiveness comes from a lack of self-esteem and confidence, stemming from childhood.

      Although it’s annoying and can affect us emotionally, it’s something we can work on, but to do that we must continue to work on ourselves and our emotions.

      I didn’t grow up with lots of confidence either, but being able to rationale my thoughts allowed me to see the bigger picture so I didn’t blame myself. When there is no where for other people’s guilt to go, we own it as if we’re responsible for it.

      I know because I’ve done it myself. Now of course I think differently.

  5. Bonnie Strickland Johns 29. Feb, 2016 at 1:40 am #

    Thank you Ilana. I thought the same thing, but that was then this is now. I am working on it to the best of my ability, to be better, so I can be the best for my kids and family.

    • Ilana 29. Feb, 2016 at 7:48 am #

      That’s all any of us can do Bonnie. Trying will always put us on the right track and help us feel better about ourselves.

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