‘Show up for yourself’. Lately, it has become a popular phrase. But what does it really mean? I guess we all hit a time in our lives when we are searching deep inside for what is real and what we stand for. For me, showing up for myself is:
Trusting that I am capable of doing hard things and overcoming challenges. Loving myself enough to know when to step away from a situation or a person that no longer serves my greatest good. Accepting that life is full of curveballs and that I am doing the best I can with what I have. Placing gratitude at the forefront of my principles. Living each and every day with grace and compassion. Walking through the journey of life as my true self, with no mimics,
10 Ways To Show Up For Yourself
1. It’s Time To Forgive Yourself
The thing with us humans is, we tend to find it easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. It took a lot of therapy and reflection for me to forgive myself for past mistakes and failures.
Accepting that at each stage of my life, I have done the best I could whilst dealing with hard and often heartbreaking situations, has not been an easy feat. However, I’m in a good place now.
We are all human, and we all make mistakes. It is part of living, part of learning. Find a way to make peace with your past. Forgive yourself. You didn’t know any better. And make a promise to yourself that from here onwards you will strive to be the best version of yourself. You deserve forgiveness. Set yourself free and start healing.
2. Put A Stop To The Negative Self-Talk
Hands up if at any point in your life, you have called yourself stupid? Or, I can’t do that, I’m not good enough. Aye, my hand is way up. The last thing we need is to be constantly diminishing our value and our light. We live in a cruel world, filled with cruel societies that are already doing their best to put us down and keep us down. No need for us to add fuel to the fire.
The way I stopped negative self-talk was to ask myself, “Would I talk like this to my child?” NO. NEVER. Why? Because I love my kids, because words can cause irreparable damage. Why then I’m I capable of talking like this to myself? Simple, because somewhere along the line I forgot what it means to love and respect myself.
Eliminating negative self-talk will only happen when you become aware of what comes out of your mouth. Sometimes I stop myself mid-sentence, thinking….” Do I really want to say this to myself?” The answer is always NO. Stay present, and develop an awareness of your thoughts. Love yourself enough to accept that you too deserve praise.
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3. Don’t Hide Away From The Hard Feelings
For years I cultivated and nurtured a gift. The ability to numb myself. The thing with numbing is that sooner or later those feelings will catch up with you. Not only that, the longer you keep them inside, the harder the hit.
I’m going to keep it real, pasting a brave face and a smile came very easily to me. Years down the line I found myself with a lot of unhealed trauma, which enhanced my anxiety and almost destroyed my mental health.
I have learned that the greatest gift you can give yourself is to sit with the scary, hard, upsetting feelings. Open yourself up, be vulnerable and acknowledge that what you are feeling now, isn’t necessarily how you will feel in a week, a month or a year’s time.
Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness, in fact, it’s a sign of strength. Sit with it, breathe and allow yourself to feel.
4. Learn How To Set Healthy Boundaries
Are you a people pleaser? Yep me too, or rather I am a recovering people pleaser. The fact is, when you don’t set up healthy boundaries, you are sending a message to your mind and body that everyone else is more important than you are. Saying No is not selfish. Don’t let anyone make you believe that.
5. Indulge In Self-Care, You Deserve It
If I had a penny for every time I have heard the phrase, “Self-care is just an excuse to be lazy”, I’d be rich. Self-care is NOT being lazy and it’s certainly not being selfish.
We lead busy hectic lives, constantly ticking things off our to-do lists, in an attempt to live organised and full lives. However, the best way to honour yourself is by taking a time out.
Yes, working hard is important, but taking the time to practise self-care is of equal importance. Take a break, and recharge your batteries. Lately, I have found myself having to switch off my phone.
Building a successful blog is not easy, and at times I have craved time for myself, away from the ten thousand things I need to get done. A day at the beach, a quiet afternoon with a good book, a walk in the countryside, anything that will allow me to quiet my mind and stay present.
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6. Do More Of The Things That Make You Happy
This one comes hand in hand with self-care. Do you love reading? Make time for it, if it brings you joy. Maybe you love the gym, or knitting? Do you love baking, but always find yourself stressing to get meals ready for your family? Anything and everything that makes you laugh and brings you joy, do more of it.
Life is like a raindrop in a thunderstorm. That’s how short it is. So, choose to indulge in the little things that make this journey a little bit lighter and a whole lot brighter.
7. Be Authentically You
During the journey of life, we end up wearing different masks. The dutiful child, the loving spouse, nurturing parent, the passive co-worker, the list goes on. Do you really know who you are? Up until recently, I thought I knew who I was. However, I had no idea. For so long I have been the person others needed me to be, or who I thought they needed me to be.
After some soul searching, at the young age of forty-four, I am finally coming to terms with who I am and who I want to be.
I know what I like and I won’t settle for what I don’t. The path ahead is very clear, I know where I want to go, and the kind of person I want to be. I know what sets my soul on fire and what my purpose in life is. After spending all of my adulthood feeling lost and inadequate, I have finally found the authentic me.
If you want to show up for yourself, take the time to find out who you really are, and take off that mask. Be yourself and own it. There is no greater freedom than being authentic.
8. Practice Kindness And Compassion With Yourself
Beating yourself up for mistakes doesn’t contribute to your greater good, and neither does putting yourself down.
Being human comes with the ability to F### up on repeat. No one is born with instruction manuals, and we are all navigating life as best as we can.
STOP criticising yourself and try being kind instead. Why not accept that life isn’t easy? Try taking a deep breath, pausing and cheering yourself on. You deserve as much grace and compassion as those around you.
9. Celebrate Your Wins
Why do we tend to find it so easy to focus on the mistakes and failures, but find it uncomfortable to celebrate our wins?
When something goes right, if you managed that promotion, or if you simply managed to survive a challenging season in one piece, CELEBRATE it.
It’s not flaunting, it’s celebrating your success because you deserve as much. Recognise that you too can do hard things, it will give you a boost in your self-confidence. Success feels good, make sure you celebrate it!
10. Love Yourself
Probably one of the hardest things to do is to love yourself. However, if you start practising all the above, loving yourself will come easier.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a slow and long journey for sure. If I am completely honest, I don’t think I am there yet. Do I love myself unconditionally? Hmmm, I don’t think I do. BUT, I am trying and I do recognise that the only way I will be completely happy is if I love myself too.
You deserve so much more than to go through life on auto-pilot, providing and caring for others. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so fill it up. Love yourself, practice self-care, do what makes you happy, and trust that you are doing the best you can.
Plus, An Extra One – Detachment
I needed to add this one to the list. Detachment equals freedom.
Why do we care so much about what others think of us? Why can’t we let go of situations and the end result we expected? I ask myself this constantly.
Have I learned to detach? Not completely but I am getting there. Frankly, I think that for me personally, true happiness will come once I learn to detach myself from people and situations that no longer serve me. If I knew how to do it, I would share my findings with you. However, I don’t know the secret formula. I think it’s a matter of trusting yourself, knowing yourself, and respecting your own peace.
Also, the older I get the less I care about what people say or what people think. It’s liberating and something I will continue to work on tirelessly.
Every human being is born with this innate potential for greatness. Unfortunately, life gets in the way, and so does society. We all deserve healthy and happy lives. We deserve to heal and grow into better versions of ourselves.
For you to achieve this, you have to show up for yourself. There is no need to put pressure on yourself, it will come naturally. Small changes lead up to big results. Just know that you matter, you are enough and you deserve all the good things this life has to offer.
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