Human are conditioned consciously and unconsciously to develop people-pleasing habits. They develop a faulty thinking, that such behavior will help win friends and make their loved ones happy. It leads to idealistic expectations from self and others, which has nothing to do with human nature and reality. They end-up feeling rejected, depressed, angry and resentful. Setting unrealistic expectations starts from childhood and expands as the person is growing into adult human. This pattern is often identified in late stages, after causing a lot of problems.
Such map of the world is created when parents, relatives and care takers expect the child to make them happy with excellent academic and social performance. It gets emphasized when schoolteachers and other trusted figures expect them to be obedient, linking obedience with respect. When it is not there the person is blamed and ashamed.
For years people have given away their freedom to be their own selves and grow in their uniqueness and difference. Believing the lies that others have told them. Thinking that eliminating their uniqueness and difference is going to bring them love. And it does not!
I experienced this in my own life. When I used to go out of my way to please others and assure that they don’t have any complains. As a result, I got wonderful affirmations, but was never satisfied. I was still craving for love. For someone to see my true self, even while being upset and angry, and still love me in all cases. It took years of self-work to start reclaiming my lost parts, one after the other.
And I became an advocate for love. The kind of love that does not draw a map for the person or require him/her to wear masks or pretend or hide thoughts and emotions to be accepted. The kind of love that does not suppress your uniqueness or cast you because you are different. The kind of love that is unconditional. And I found it! When I started accepting myself in my all phases and faces first. When I stopped blaming myself for getting things done 95% instead of 100% and when I gave myself the permission to say no for what I don’t like and ask for what I deserve in life.
People often ask “what does self-love mean? I know that I want to love myself more but don’t know how?”. Self-love simply means the sense of self-worth, self-value and total acceptance. Self-love does not only give us confidence and boosts our self-esteem, but it also gives us an identity.
When we appreciate our inner world, our outer world becomes different. When we become in peace with what is inside us, we are ready to welcome what is outside. If you aspire to develop more self-love and self-acceptance, in a world that is trying its best to dim your light by idealistic expectations and pre-conditioning, through advertisements, social media…etc., keep reading to find out the answers.
People are always seeking approval of their peers to determine their self-worth. The first step towards unlearning this habit is to change your mindset. By changing your mindset, you will realize what is important to you. What makes you happy and what hurts you. This way you can stay away from all negativities that surround you. Think of specific actions that someone who feels worthy might take in an over-whelming scenario.
Tell yourself “It is okay to step back” when you want to. Tell yourself: “it is alright to say no” when you want to decline an invitation. People who love you, will understand, respect your wish, and stay around no matter what. And you will get a chance to discover your true friends.
No one is perfect in this world. All human has their own flows and mistakes. Accept yourself as you are. Each human is blessed with different capabilities and is tested with different shortcomings. Do not feel unworthy if you are imperfect. Our scars are what make us UNIQUE. Practicing being someone who others want you to be, will only make you lose your identity, leading you to live unreal world. All you have to do is ‘accept’ ‘own’ and ‘live’.
There are things we can change in life and things we cannot. Stop living in the past, and rather use it to re-write a happier future. Stop investing time in over-thinking about the mistakes you made. No one ever is having a perfect past, and no one is impeccable. Think about how you can become a better person today than you were yesterday or even few minutes ago. That is the best thing you can do.
Invest in YOURSELF! Investing your time and resources to improve yourself is the best investment you can ever make. Hit a gym, increase your knowledge, pray more, practice your childhood hobbies, travel to the places you always wanted, learn a new skill, offer good deeds to the needy, be creative in loving you and doing what makes you happy! I assure you that you will never regret making this investment! Sooner than you think, you will reap magnificent results!
Surround yourself with positive people, who listen to you without judgements, uplift you, offer you advices, great guidance and always bring the best out of you. How to know them? Trust your heart! It will surely direct you to the best choices. And when you find them, do whatever it takes to keep them around. As emotions are contagious, with time, you will become a much happier and more positive person yourself. Their energy will infect you with its lovely vibrations.
Our experience of the world is a matter of perception, change your perception and the meaning you give to things and events, and your world will change. Our perceptions are created from memories stored in our minds based on past experiences, this past could be childhood, it could be 5 years ago, and it could be 5 minutes.
By making a pledge to watch our thoughts as we come across new experiences, we develop awareness about our habitual thinking. This allows us to take a decision to choose different thoughts, which will bring us happier feelings from the inside. The way we feel will affect our actions, and these actions will bring us the results we want.
Our world can be hell or heaven, depending on how we look at it. Stop telling yourself that it is too late to develop self-love. You know yourself best than anyone could ever know. Come out of the idealistic bubble that people have created for you. Start to become the real you! And reclaim your self-love from people, events and situations that had taken it away from you.
-Reem Ahmed Relationship & Family Coach