I like chocolate. Dark chocolate. I like it a lot. I also like wine (both red and white), comfy beds, high-heeled shoes and Golden Doodles. I like cooking, writing, singing and interesting conversations. I also like my family, my friends and my beau. I could literally write a book about all the things I like. Most of us could.
But today’s question is: how much do I like me?
Damn. Sometime I just don’t know.
It is just far too easy to be plagued with self-doubt. Daily. Whether it be career-related, your love life or just your personal worth, how often do you actually check in with how much you like yourself?
And even more importantly, how often do you find yourself coming up short?
I’ve done some pretty stupid things in my life. Hurtful things, insensitive things, thoughtless things, selfish things. And when I look back on that list (and isn’t it funny how that particular list has no trouble popping up at the most inopportune moments like, say, the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep!), I am ashamed. Sometimes mortified. Sometimes depressed. Always remorseful.
But the problem with that remorse and its attendant desire for fumbling atonement is that impacts every other positive thing I’ve done. Period. I am left with nothing but self-loathing and self-doubt. Two miserable sons of bitches, not easily eradicated, no matter how desperately we will them to be gone.
But here’s the thing – it is absolutely vital that you believe in yourself if you want others to believe in you. This horse always comes before the cart. Confidence begets confidence. If you exude it, others will affirm it.
My son is an aspiring singer-songwriter. As a lifelong “free spirit” musician/songwriter/broadcaster/writer I would not wish this career choice on somewhat I loathe much less my one and only offspring. I mean really, what are the odds of success? Even just making a living at music is challenging. Become truly successful? One in a million.
But he is very talented. So do you know what I say to him? I say “If the odds are one in a million, YOU are the one.”
He simply must believe that in order to keep going. And he can’t “fake believe” it either. False bravado is easily recognized and easily dismissed. Only true confidence wins the day.
So my friends, if you’re spending a little too much time thinking “I’m really not all that great” why not make a list of everything you do well? Anything from writing songs to cooking pasta to loving your cat? Write it all down, continually add to it and read that sucker every single day. You could even augment it with input from friends and family.
I remember a few years back there was a cute challenge flying around the internet – your friends had to choose one word (and only one) to best describe you. I loved finding the perfect word for others but I particularly loved the words people chose for me. There were things like “vivacious”, “bubbly” and “charismatic” (thank you all) but two of my closest girlfriends really spelled it out.
C wrote “Big”.
“What the heck,” queried I with a laugh. “I haven’t put on that much weight?”
And she responded “No, Vickie, you are BIG in my life. Your friendship is BIG. Our relationship is BIG. To me.”
I can tell you that swelled my heart like nothing else. Her belief in me and my value to her was so strong and so – dare I say – BIG. How could this not boost my belief in myself?
My other close friend J described me as “Seeker”.
Again I was a bit confused. She explained “No matter what you do, where you go, whatever mistakes you make and even with the people you’ve hurt, you are always seeking. Nothing you do is ever malicious or designed to damage. You are just seeking a higher path, a better way, a truer purpose. You are seeking your purpose and I applaud that.”
Again, big fat wow.
Because I have made a lot of mistakes and I have hurt a lot of people. Yet her beautiful words reminded me that I was not the devil incarnate. That I was worthy. She reminded me to believe in myself.
So tonight I ask you to take a long look in the mirror, acknowledge the good in you and find a way to honour your own worth. Find your own word.
It’s there, in you.
Then pour a glass of wine and offer up a toast to – YOU.
Because frankly darling … you’re worth it.