A conviction we’ve taught ourselves when we were young, will stay with us during our lives as an adult. Unfortunately, it’s hardly ever a positive idea about ourselves.
Imagine your best friends comes up to you one day. She’s been criticised by her boss, and feeling sad about it. She’s worried she might not be good enough for her job, that everyone might wonder why she got it, that she’s simply not good enough. What would you tell her?
You would probably be kind to her. Tell her she’s perfectly able to do this, that there’s nothing wrong with her. And it would feel like the right thing to do, a very normal thing to do. Why is it that it seems weird to tell ourselves this? That we tend to come up with at least ten reasons why there’s something wrong with us?
Possibly, the feeling you’re not good enough has originated in your youth. Perhaps you felt like you had to perform all the time, in order to make other people happy. Or like others would only like you if you behaved the way they wanted you to. There’s nothing wrong with aiming for nice goals and behaving nicely. But if you felt like it was the only way to get affection, it’s a different story.
It’s also possible that things you experienced later on made you critical about yourself. A remark an ex boyfriend made about your body, or a quarrel with a family member can seem small for one person, but another person absorbs it like a sponge and won’t forget about it. We carry these patterns, convictions and scars with us.
If people learn –consciously or consciously- at a young age that other people’s love is conditional, they may have a hard time ever feeling like they’re good enough when they’re older. As soon as something bad happens, even if it’s a small thing, they experience it all over again: ‘I knew it, there’s something wrong with me.’
To escape from this feeling, we try lots of things. We go to yoga class. We work on a toned body in the gym. We go shopping to look charming. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with all these things, but if we keep looking for a solution outside ourselves, it gets harder and harder to hear the call of intuition. While it’s that call that can point you in the right direction.
Now this doesn’t mean you can’t work on features you don’t like about yourself, or that you can’t look for new ways to live and grow. But there’s a difference between taking care of yourself because you won’t feel good enough otherwise, and taking care of yourself because you treat yourself kindly – the way you would treat a friend.
Even if we do stupid or unkind things sometimes, our body isn’t in top shape and we’re not super people who have every aspect of our lives under control, there’s nothing wrong with us. It’s not until we really see we’re perfect the way we are, that we can really take care of ourselves. Not because we want to be someone else, but because we want to be exactly who we are.
Text: Joanne Wienen – Photo: Juja Han
How can you be happy with your own body in an environment of perfection?... Read more
If you compare your life to other people’s lives, how does it make you feel? Writer... Read more
There’s something strange about love outside our reach. Once you can’t touch it, it... Read more