In the age of “selfies”, people might see them as a sign of vanity. Maybe so, but I believe if you are lacking in the self-esteem department, a selfie a day might be the beginning of loving who you are, right now in this moment. For every vain person that takes a selfie, I would guess there is another person who is insecure.
I think it starts with the mirror. I had posted when I first started my blog about not being able to look in the mirror . After my overdose I did not want to look at my reflection because I didn’t like her, at all! I will tell you it takes talent to apply make-up, and do your hair when you avoid eye contact with yourself. Of course there is the caveat that I did not do either hair or make-up all that often, but on those days, I made sure to avoid “seeing” myself.
Now a mirror is just a reflection of yourself; it doesn’t show your darkest secrets, your biggest fears, your best achievement, or your all time disappointments. For most, it’s not what they see in the reflection, but what lies beneath that causes the insecurity. Sure, maybe you put on some weight, maybe you hate the color of your home hair dye job, been there done that. (I now refer to that as “hairtastrophy”, and leave it to the professionals.) It’s what lies beneath that creates the most pain.
What many see when they look in the mirror is the physical. Do I like my hair today? Do these jeans make my butt look big? You know the drill! The truth is although that mirror is a reflection of our outer self, when we look in it we see everything, and so much of it is negative. We take into account all the things people think about us, have said about us, the unkind words spoken to and behind our backs. For me the reflection was no longer about how my hair looks, but how I felt unwanted for so many years. It is about how I never saw myself as pretty, but all of my friends were pretty. To this day, I still struggle with taking a compliment about my physical appearance.
How often do you look in the mirror and give yourself credit for what you have done each day? Did you workout today and push hard? Did you get up and pack your spouses and/or children’s lunches? Did you do well at your job? Did you pay someone else a compliment? Did you do something for your church or community? Did you tell your children that you love them, maybe teach them a lesson, or try to instill confidence in them?
I would guess one of those apply, so what don’t you give yourself credit for those things? Look in the mirror and give yourself a pep talk? When you reflect on the negative self-image is there someone watching you? Is there someone who is taking lessons from you in how they will love and respect themselves? Sometimes it isn’t in what we say, but our actions that we are teaching the bigger lesson. Although you may be verbalizing a positive self-image message to that person, the bigger lesson is the one they learn from watching how you love yourself.
All to often what others say we are, we begin to believe and buy into the lie. Negative self talk for me is simply the manifestation of what I have heard from others about myself for years. I let what other people said to me or about me infest my brain and damage my self-worth so deeply, that I eventually wanted to end my life. I overdosed almost four years ago, because I hated who I was told that I was; and I eventually believed that truth. We don’t allow ourselves to give credit, praise, and love for who we are and what we have done. Many times the negative comments from others is their own doubts, fears and lack of self-esteem projected onto the other person.
People can see things in us we don’t, or we choose not to see. Embrace your inner and outer beauty. Negative self talk hurts you and those around you, especially small children. If someone believes in you, respect that and embrace who you are; the good and the bad.
Who will you listen to?
I don’t think that a selfie has to be a sign of vanity, I think most people take them to capture a moment when no one else is there, or because they like how they look. That’s okay!
Here is my challenge for you, if you suffer from low self-esteem, then take a selfie once a day for 7 days, full body or portrait and find something nice to say about yourself. If you are brave enough, post it to social media with what you like about it!
Do you dare?
The mirror doesn’t lie about who is looking into it, but we lie to ourselves any day we say we aren’t good enough, we didn’t try hard enough, we are not what someone else wanted us to be, or thinks that we should be. Look into the mirror and learn to love that person, own who you are. If you strive to be “better” work towards that, but give yourself a break. Give yourself credit for what you have done or are working towards achieving. Telling yourself you suck, you are ugly, unworthy will only hamper the progress
Physical and mental health go hand in hand. After my suicide attempt, I had a lot of work to do on myself mentally. Not until I was able to open up and share my story could I begin to do the work. Once I removed the albatross from my heart, could I really begin to work on my physical self. If you aren’t in the right frame of mind to understand you deserve the best for yourself, you won’t accept the best for yourself.
Next time you turn the camera around on your phone to take a selfie, how about you say something encouraging to the person on the screen, it starts from within!