Now, at 44-years-old, this manifests in me choosing to accept and like myself as I am. Of course I am still a life in motion, growing and maturing, and a huge part of that process is realising that our relationship with ourselves is the most important one that we’ll ever hold. You have the choice to be your own lifelong friend or an adversary. I figure there are enough enemies in the world, I should at least try to be my own best ally. I know we need many good people in our lives but, equally, I want to be comfortable in my own skin and be at peace with myself.
It takes courage to sit and appreciate your own qualities and imperfections. When I first tried this, my reaction was, “I think I’m a good person.” Then, I stopped for a second and questioned why I had started with ‘I think,’ because that reflects a need for external validation or at least a lack of personal conviction. So, I took a breath and said to myself, “You know what, I am a good person.” Even that was more of an emotional challenge than I expected.
Like many people, I’ve spent a long time trying to be accepted, being evaluated, and feeling judged. Now, I realise that it’s okay to have high expectations of yourself, to want to keep improving, to work with or around your limitations and importantly to be kind to yourself along the way. It’s hugely liberating to stop and say, “I like myself, and I have a place in this world with all my strengths as well as my scars.” I hope you can do the same, because it’s not daggy, it’s powerful. Self-compassion leads to greater performance outcomes as well as a healthier, longer, better life.