Yes, you. I know you’re reading all of this fat positive stuff, all this self esteem stuff and the general concept seems really wise and kind. It makes sense to you on the surface, after all, generally speaking, that’s how you approach the world right? You see everyone has value and is important in the world, and you don’t care about the size or shape of people in the world around you. What matters is their mind, their heart. How they treat people and how they behave right?
The problem is, I think you’re struggling with feeling that way about yourself. You feel the need to be perfect, to be beautiful, to be confident and awesome and amazing right? But you just don’t feel that way. You’re feeling things like scared, lonely, unworthy, stupid, ugly, not good enough. You just can’t seem to get those old recordings in your head to stop playing, all the times that you’ve screwed up, or someone has told you you’re not good enough, or that they think you’re ugly, stupid, worthless. No matter how much you “get” self esteem on paper, you just can’t seem to grow your own.
Am I right?
Let me tell you a little secret. All those confident people you see around you that you admire but think you could never be like them? You are already like them. Not only because you are taking that step out into the great world of self acceptance and positive self esteem (which is awesome!) but because they feel just the same way as you do. They feel scared, they feel like screw ups, they feel like imposters, they feel ugly, stupid, not good enough. The difference is, they know that those feelings are normal to have, and that they’re not always accurate depictions of themselves. They acknowledge those feelings first, and then they examine why they are feeling them. They realise they’re usually because of stress, because of carrying around other people’s behaviour and attitudes, because of tiredness, because of worry. Sometimes they’re chemical – lots of us suffer depression and anxiety.
There are lots of things that you can do to help work through these feelings of inadequacy. Surround yourself with positive people who value you for who you are in your heart and mind. Engage in self care – be it a good night’s sleep, a swim or some yoga, a night out with friends, or a long hot bath. Whatever it is that makes you feel good. Fill your life with the things that inflate you, not those that crush you down. Throw away those magazines. Stop watching TV shows and movies that engage in fat hate or criticism of women over their appearance. Don’t give media that engages in bullying your time and attention. There are plenty of other fantastic things out there you can read, watch and do that build you up, rather than tear you down.
But most of all, you need to know this: You don’t need to be perfect. Or beautiful. Or pretty. Or even confident. You are valuable right now, as you are, with all your flaws and imperfections. Because we ALL have flaws and imperfections. Every single one of us. Perfection isn’t compulsory, nor is it possible.
Start to see yourself as other people see you. When they tell you they love you, for whatever reason they love you, there is your evidence of your value. Turn off those old recordings from the past. They are just that – the past. They no longer matter. What matters is who you are here and now. Learn from and fix those mistakes as best you can, and value who you are now. It’s never too late – whether you are 16 or 96.
Something starts to happen when you do this. It takes a long time, but you start to see those qualities in yourself. You may not recognise it when it starts to happen, but you will feel it. You’ll feel brighter and lighter. You start to see yourself as the amazing human being that you are.
And you are an amazing human being. I can see it already.
Lots of Love
Thank you for this. It was so powerful it made me cry with relief.
“Remember that you’re perfect – the gods make no mistake.”
I prefer to remember that perfect doesn’t exist Diandra.
You said it, Kath! Thank you for reminding us. Love you, lady! ❤
Love you too hon!
Wow. Thank you so, so, so, so much! I truly needed to read something like this. x
My pleasure Cyn, really.
This is absolute perfection!
Lovey post Kath 🙂
Thank you AnotherFatPrincess
This made me a bit dewy eyed. As for the concept of ‘perfection’, I too once noticed my imperfections but it wasn’t until the love of my cat – yes cat – made me realise just how perfect every person already is. As she aged, had major teeth extracted, started to lose bladder control etc., she never stopped being perfect. I’m using my cat as an example because trying to demonstrate this using my late mother’s perfection would leave me too tender. Part of my own perfection is maintaining a tough girl persona whether its true or not, or even being a Big Silly – and that’s my prerogative. Imagine that – right now, everyone is beautiful and perfect already.
I hope I haven’t detracted from this beautifully expressed message you’ve presented. I hope you’re emailing it to yourself too. Whether you need to hear it or not, I hope you realise how much beauty you radiate. As with everyone else reading this, there is nobody else like you.
Thank you so much Kitt. I’m honoured, really! And yes, realising love and how the most flawed of us can be precious comes in all kinds of forms, doesn’t it?
Reblogged this on faithandmeow and commented:
“Let me tell you a little secret. All those confident people you see around you that you admire but think you could never be like them? You are already like them. Not only because you are taking that step out into the great world of self acceptance and positive self esteem (which is awesome!) but because they feel just the same way as you do. They feel scared, they feel like screw ups, they feel like imposters, they feel ugly, stupid, not good enough. The difference is, they know that those feelings are normal to have, and that they’re not always accurate depictions of themselves. They acknowledge those feelings first, and then they examine why they are feeling them. They realise they’re usually because of stress, because of carrying around other people’s behaviour and attitudes, because of tiredness, because of worry. Sometimes they’re chemical – lots of us suffer depression and anxiety.”
As someone who has always struggled with my own sense of worth – thank you. Your words really speak to me.
Thank you for writing this: it’s beautiful because it’s true.
Thank you, Kath. I really needed that.
I feel like you’re writing right to me. And you have impeccable timing. The process of moving from understanding something logically and externally to feeling it in your body and your heart is painful and healing, both. Releasing the old pains that have bound us to our perfection-seeking behaviors is a tender and complex process of jumping out into an abyss. We don’t know where we’re headed though we know we cannot lovingly turn back.
Thanks for writing this.
I am writing to you Jessica Mae. I’m writing to all of you. Big hugs!
I lack words, perfect message, thank you.
“And you are an amazing human being. I can see it already.”
Since I read your blog regularly, your opinion obviously counts to me, so I have no other choice than to believe that.
And right back at you! 🙂
This is just…… I don’t even know how to explain. I started reading it and it was like it was written just for me, like you knew what was in my head and how stupidly hard I am on myself. I had tears streaming down my face and everything around me went to black as I read it.
I am in exactly that place, I think that love respect and acceptance is super important and key for everyone and can find something good in pretty much everyone. I pull for and stand up for people being treated right regardless of their looks or anything that is my 100% firm belief. Yet it always seems like I end that with except me. There is this feeling of being too imperfect for that kind of kindness and love.I am realizing what a stupid disconnect that is, that everyone on this earth is worthy of love, kindness, and respect except for me and I am working on getting over that. I am super hard on myself for every perceived failure or shortcoming I see in me, but I am slowly learning that it is all a part of what makes me me, and honestly I do love who I am. I am working on accepting the “negative” parts of me as just facets of the gem that makes up Teresa, and that yes I am not like other people, but it is my uniqueness that makes my gem pretty cool and those facets are fascinating. I am shy, and reserved, introverted, I have an often juvenile sense of humor, I procrastinate like a pro and have major passive aggressive tendencies, but that is me and it is ok. Even the most perfect person isn’t perfect, and a big part of life is about growing and improving so we are all works in progress. I really need to remember to give myself the same grace I give others and realize that I deserve just as much love, kindness, and respect that I pull for for everyone else.
Thank you for this, I truly needed to hear/read it and will be coming back to it often I am sure.
Hi Kath, I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I struggle with self esteem every day, even though I have accepted myself pretty much. One of the reasons I struggle with self esteem is pcos and all the attendant superficial issues this brings (hair, spots etc) so even when I feel happy within myself, I am also extremely self conscious about certain things. But reading posts like this remind me that okay, I’m having a bad day, but that doesn’t mean I have to invalidate my good self esteem and bring myself down. It feels like no matter how much I work on my self esteem and confidence, I constantly have to remind myself that I am worth it, that I’m me, and that comparing myself with others is the path to self loathing. Everyone is different, and though I know this, there is a part of myself that still hasn’t learnt to accept this. I don’t know, I’m just grateful that you and other people remind me every day that self acceptance is an ongoing process, and that we are all worth it.
So powerful, and so true.
You are an inspiration in more ways than one, Kath.
Hi Kath, I’ve just stumbled across your blog this evening, and this post describes exactly me. I’ve been reading more and more about fat acceptance and HAES over the last couple of months, and the more I read, the more I love it all! But I don’t feel like it applies to me. Because I’m different! I have pimples. I have a double chin. When I haven’t been vigilant, I even have a moustache. And then I read this post, and felt like weeping. Thank you. I am on that journey, and after 28 years of self-loathing, I can only hope that I’m a bit closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you Kath, From reading that it’s put me out of my depression mode and i haven’t been depressed in a long time. Every time i feel down about the person i am, i am going to read this over-over and over. Because everyone has a true beauty in themselves, They just have to find it. And i do encourage you to write more because that was really good and well writen. From now on i’m not going to listen to the negative people in life that try to put me down. Because then i’ll just soup down back to the person i was. I want to change so therefore, don’t listen to the things people tell you in life that you know that will bring you down, because they just want you to feel bad about yourself because they do. But Thanks a lot!