I have always thought there was something wrong with me. I have always thought that I needed to change, to fix my looks and behaviour, and that I have always thought I’m not good enough.
As a child, I would study my face in the mirror, and my facial expressions. I soon decided what expressions I would allow myself to show in public, and what expressions I would never allow my face to pull. I was also painfully aware of my hair being perfect, and never out of place, to the point that I would dissolve into a tantrum in the mornings if I couldn’t get my hair smooth.
As a teenager, my belief that there was something wrong with me turned into hatred for myself. I was angry at myself and at the world. I became self-destructive. I stopped eating, because I did not think I deserved to eat – my body was not doing what I wanted it to do, so I didn’t deserve to reward it. I exercised like a crazy thing. I pushed myself physically and academically. But I also partied hard, seeking acceptance by my peers.
As a young woman in my twenties, I ran away from my past. I severed most of my connections from my teens because I wanted to be a different person. I moved around the country, and yearned for change. I embraced every time I found a new job, and every time I moved house, because it was a fresh start.
Finally, in my thirties, I had a crisis in 2016 that has lead to a complete mindset shift and turn around. I was dissatisfied with my career and my business, dissatisfied with my body and my life. It couldn’t continue this way. I had a breakdown, and my body stopped working how it should. This gave me some perspective.
Others looked at my life and saw success, whereas I saw the opposite. Why was my opinion of myself and my life so low, when it clearly wasn’t reality?
I learned to be proud of what I have achieved. I learned to appreciate what I have. I learned to appreciate my health and my body. I learned to appreciate my brain and my capabilities.
Learning to appreciate was the beginning of a whole new approach to my life. There is so much to be positive about, and so much beauty in the world around me, and so many opportunities in life.
Through some NLP coaching, some sessions with a psychologist, and some deep reflection of my own, I have found that I can love myself and my life.