I used to think that if I had high self-esteem that meant that I loved myself.
By then I realized something: My “high self-esteem” was a façade, a coping mechanism for hiding the fact that deep down I really didn’t love, honor, or respect myself. Not really.
I was too busy taking care of everyone else that I ignored my own feelings. I disregarded my intuition. I discounted the little part of me that knew I should say no, but went ahead and did it anyway. So I had to start over. But how do you do that? How do you learn to love yourself again – unconditionally – when self-love has been absent in your life for so long?
The first step for me was finding myself again because somewhere along the way I had lost myself. I was so busy ‘doing’ my life that life had passed me by. I had to figure out what I wanted out of life and who “I” really was.
So I went back to our trusty Girls on the Run Curriculum. To be a Girl on the Run – or in my case, Coach, Mentor, Blogger, Researcher, SoleMates coordinator – you have to love, honor, and respect yourself. The lessons we teach the girls are the exact lessons I needed to remind myself of. Things like:
- Standing up for myself and my values
- Making health choices
- Doing and being the best me I can be
- Expressing my feelings when something doesn’t sit right with me
- Finding the positives in me and others
- Holding myself accountable for my own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
- Celebrating what makes me unique
Do you do those things every day? I certainly don’t. I can’t remember the last time I celebrated being me. I’ve been too busy criticizing myself for perceived flaws. I also have a hard time saying “no” – I’m a people pleaser, so there goes standing up for myself and my values and expressing my feelings.
It’s time for me to start loving myself again and living by the Girls on the Run Core Values. Will you join me?