Often times, I tend to downplay myself and what it is that I’m doing that is positive. For example, when someone gives me a compliment, I laugh with that nervous, passive laugh that most Minnesotans tend to when we feel uncomfortable. Or if someone tells me that I am doing a great job, I kind of deflect and incorporate others for the credit. I didn’t know how often I was doing it until someone pointed it out.
I think apart of it has been because it is difficult for me to be comfortable in my own skin at times. Being told that I was not good enough or not doing enough over the years followed by one disappointment after another, I started to buy into it. When you “buy what they are selling”, you feel dissatisfied. You judge and reject yourself in whole or in part. At least to some extent you believe, “I’m not (important, smart, good looking, talented, rich) enough” to be worthy of love and acceptance. According to holisticmindbodyhealing.com:
Low self worth creates an undercurrent of stress that makes physical and mental healing difficult. There is a scientific reason for this. Negativity is discouraging and stressful. You can be sure the message makes its way to your cells. The chemical changes created by stress reduce cell repairing DHEA levels and elevate cortisol.
Mental and spiritual well-being also suffer. Lack of love and freedom to honor your core being along with a barrage of judgment cause untold strain and unhappiness. All this chronic distress is the antithesis of wellness.
As a person living with depression and anxiety, self-love and self care is a uphill battle. You have voices and doubts in the back of your mind that hinders you from feeling positive and confident about yourself. I have constant conversations with myself or mediate in order to stay a float. If I don’t find ways to do that, I feel hopeless and defeat, not to mention I am not as productive as I know I can be.
Unconditional self acceptance opens you to your true nature. It frees up energy for healing and puts you in tune with inner guidance and intuition. When you love and accept yourself unconditionally, you are naturally motivated to take good care of yourself. Your decisions and goals will align with what is in your best interest. And it certainly feels better than beating yourself up with negativity.
I am realizing everyday the importance of stepping into your purpose and owning it. Looking at where I was and how I was a few years ago and looking at my life now, I am a different person in a lot of aspects. Its not to say that I don’t fall back into my old habits, but I am a little more vocal about who I am. When I dream, I dream big, my ideas may not always the best but they’re mine. I am learning that I have a light within that no one can dim and I cannot adjust it to make others feel comfortable. To be proud of what I accomplished so far, be hopeful and confident in the future and know that I am beautiful inside and out. I am recognizing that words are powerful, if I speak positivity and what I want to accomplish, so it will be. I’m learning to be ok with saying in the words of The Great Mohammad Ali, “I AM THE GREATEST“……and not take it back.