You Don’t Need a Reason to Like Yourself

I used to subscribe to and heavily promote self-esteem building: affirmations, listing and repeating your attributes, etc. I don’t have to repeat it all here. We see the same “How to Build Your Self-Esteem in 5 Easy Steps” articles and inspirational quote memes.

What if I told you I don’t believe in that anymore?

If you know me personally and are familiar with the audacity of my ego, you’re calling bullshit. I don’t blame you. It’s true, nonetheless.

At some point, I realized I was building an argument for liking myself. Why was “specialness” the prerequisite for confidence? What was I really doing with all these declarations of self-love? Telling the world how I felt about myself? Or asking them to confirm what I wanted to be true?

“Whose permission am I seeking?” I wondered. “And why do I need it?”

With that, I emptied the gas from my tank.

I am no less sassy, no less shrewd in removing what doesn’t work for me. My head is not bowed, and my hips don’t sway any less when I walk. I spend no less time in the mirror smirking at my reflection. The only difference is I’m not constantly crafting explanations for why I should stand so tall or be so firm in my “yes” and “no.”

Explain to whom? And for what?

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Featured Photo by Alex Lopez on Unsplash

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2 Comments

  1. Amber

    “Whose permission am I seeking?” I wondered. “And why do I need it?”

    A couple things. I found myself asking a similar question about a man I kept permitting in my life that has always and only been destructive. I phrased my inquiry as “why do I keep talking to this nut? I’m seeking acceptance. Why?” In a split second I was clear about how and why I needed to let him go. I haven’t been so decisive in my damn life.

    I did so much in the name of seeking acceptance. Of self. From others. My course correct from that mindset has been whiplash fast and stomach churning confident – but I like it so much better over here.

    Simultaneously, in my bath this week I found myself trying to figure out when and how people became so exhausting for me. I ended up realizing that there are things I thought I firmly believed that I even said (or wrote) aloud confidently – that I was actually seeking approval or acceptance for. Now – I really don’t care who approves or accepts. Somewhere I’ve found the confidence to just be. To just do the very best I can at the stuff I enjoy working on and worry a lot less about if it will impact my income, image, etc.

    I am sure. It helps that doing so has bore fruit.

    Anyway.
    Great post.

    • “Now – I really don’t care who approves or accepts. Somewhere I’ve found the confidence to just be.”

      This was it for me, too. I exhausted so much mental energy convincing myself I “deserved” what I wanted, I didn’t have any left to get/DO what I wanted.

      Thanks for commenting, boo!

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