Yes, this is a rant post.
Although it’s not your usual rant. It’s a rant about me, to me.
The other day my best friend asked me that wonderful question: “If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?”
But of course, rather than just making myself feel a small portion of self-loathing, I used up all the fingers I have to list a whopping ten.
Unfortunately self-loathing is something natural that we all do on a regular basis, whether it is intentional or not. No matter how hard we try, it is incredibly difficult to be completely happy with ourselves – our appearance, behavior or personality. For me, it’s a mixture of all three.
1. Comparison. I compare myself to others all the time. It’s actually ridiculous. I know how unhealthy it is, but there are days where I will just come across a picture of a flawless woman or walk past a girl with perfect hair and automatically feel less happy with my appearance.
2. Impatience. Crying children, people taking too long to tell their story (which to be honest, I probably do way too often myself), waiting in queues…no, thank you!
3. Lack of forgiveness. I hold grudges. If someone takes advantage of my trust or does or says something that hurts me in some way, I find it difficult to just forgive and forget. Moving on from situations, no matter how big or small, is something I struggle with.
4. Temper. I get frustrated very easily and fail to recognize that I have lost my temper at something so insignificant.
5. Appearance. Like most people, there are plenty of things I would love to change about my appearance. With a European background, I naturally have darker and thicker hair than most people, which is all well and good as I doubt I will ever go bald, BUT hairy arms aren’t generally that attractive.
6. People pleasing. Although I claim that I don’t, I care too much about what other people think of me. If people aren’t sitting right with me, then I’ll let them know. And even if they are the ones in the wrong, I will still put in my own time and effort to try and fix the problem.
7. Organized. I like being organized, which is usually a good thing. If a plan hasn’t been sorted or if there is an issue that needs to be resolved I will do all I can to get it done, but this sometimes comes across as being bossy.
8. Easily distracted. I am great at the whole ‘talking’ thing, but unfortunately I am a terrible listener. I try really hard, but I get distracted incredibly easily. I need to be completely focused and in the right frame of mind, otherwise I can almost guarantee that you don’t have my full attention.
9. Stubbornness. I stand up for what I believe in and I like to think that I am open-minded. However, when I get passionate about a topic, often I go out of my way to get my point across. In some cases I disagree just to prevent giving in or avoid admitting that I am wrong.
10. Delegation. I hate telling people what to do – I get awkward and it feels uncomfortable, so instead I just do it all on my own. This proves difficult when I am in a leadership role or a part of a team. I get bogged down with a lot of tasks, but in my head it’s easier to do it yourself and ensure there are minimal mistakes.
After I finally took a breath and finished recalling the endless things I wish I could change about myself to my friend, the look on his face said it all.
He looked at me so upset and when I asked him what was wrong, he simply said that he wondered how I could list to him all these things I didn’t like so effortlessly.
It got me thinking, we so often focus on the things we would love to change about ourselves, whether it be physical or not, but rarely are we able to so easily list the traits we love.
The thing that I have learned from this is: although self-loathing, to an extent, is almost a natural process, it is unhealthy.
Why do we find it easier to hate than to love?
Why is it easier to pick out our imperfections, rather than be content with the fact that no one else is flawless either?
I am not saying to simply ignore these things, but if there are traits or habits that can be changed, like impatience or constantly comparing yourself to others, then make it a goal to do something about it!
In order to show love to others, you must first love yourself.
I know I’m not the only one that struggles with this, so I encourage anyone else to join me in writing down a few things you don’t like about yourself on a piece of paper and then go outside with a lighter, some matches or a lit candle and burn that bad boy up, because the negativity and the self-loathing stops here.
You are so much more than those words on that paper. Your value and worth lies beyond that.
Focus on the things that make you beautiful, caring, funny, loving, loyal, strong, trustworthy – the things that make you, ‘you.’ We live in a pretty messed up world. Don’t waste your time trying to achieve the unattainable standards that society sets for us.
Learn to love yourself for who you are and always strive to be the best version of you that you can possibly be.
Who’s with me?