Ever since I was young, I always had good self confidence.
When I used to blog many years ago when I was around 15-16, I had alot of negative comments about my looks and my make up (too thick lashes, too much foundation). And honestly, it never bothered me. I would spend travel times reading the comments and totally laughing at what people said about me as though it was a totally different person altogether they were making fun off.
I remember once, when I was out with a girlfriend, an Aunty pointed at me and told her young daughter (like maybe 5-6 years old?) and said loudly in chinese: "Next time grow up cannot be like her ah!" My friend got so pissed off on my behalf and began scolding the aunty while I just stood there laughing. It just felt so funny to me. Yes it was pretty nasty and offensive of the woman to react this way to me when I did nothing to her, but then if you see the funny side of it; a haggard old woman, with saggy tits and disgusting tiny holes in her shirt, telling her fat little daughter who can hardly fit into the dress she's wearing, staring at me with small beady eyes not to grow up like me. It was so hilariously insulting to me!
Maybe it's because I have always been able to see the funny side of every thing and thus I rarely get offended by small issues like the abovementioned occasion.
However very recently I started struggling with myself.
I felt I was really ugly, dull, boring and had no interest in anything or anyone. Whenever my friends asked me out, I would turn them down. Even to the extend I didn't even bother opening their messages on Whatsapp. I felt mean towards everyone and was in a bad mood all the time.
If you haven't read my "Dirty Secret" post, basically what happened was that I was cheated on. And that feeling sucks. In my most recent relationship, it was about a year or more. It was really a very complicated relationship and to sum it all up, it was a huge blow to my self-esteem especially since the girl was just a young girl and she was really average looking. And the worse part was, there was no apology or sorry tears. In fact he justified his error by claiming that it was my fault, that he needed someone who understands him. That's the biggest joke I ever heard, because all I had done everyday was to encourage him with his life and push him towards his life goals he mentioned to me. So spare me all that bullshit.
I won't elaborate more about this although there's so much I want to throw out and expose him with. URGH. Guys are so bloody ungrateful ok.
Anyway that ended and after that, I dated around a little but somehow just couldn't feel strong enough to enter a relationship.
I really liked this guy, "E", we dated for a few months and he was really very very very nice to me, I mentioned I liked this dress at New Look and a week later he surprised me with it. I just thought that it was a really nice thing to do. We finally got together.... But only 1 day later, I told him that we should end it. I know I'm quite ridiculous but the word "commitment" just freaks me out.
I couldn't figure out the reason why.
But I've been thinking about it alot recently because I too wanna move on and find someone I can be happy with and do all that romantic couple shit with.
So here is my answer: I need to learn to love myself.
I saw this print on a shirt awhile ago and I thought that it was possibly my answer to all the questions I have.
If you don't even love yourself, you would never feel confident enough and there would always be uneasiness within yourself which would cripple your efforts to move towards potential happiness. If this worsens, it could end up with self-hate and possibly depression.
Basically, you know you have a problem with self confidence when all you think or say about are just negative feelings towards yourself.
"I wish I was as pretty as _____"
"I can never get a job as good as his."
"Everything always goes wrong, it's all my fault."
"I'll never be able to accomplish this. I'm not good enough."
For worse cases of self confidence, one could even reach the point where he believes that he does not deserve to be happy, or be loved by any. He could probably end up seriously depressed and not even want to go out to appreciate what he has.
SO the question is. How to love yourself?
My answer is simple.
Stop the relentless pursuit towards relationships, love or happiness.
Some people feel lonely, empty, without a relationship and crave for that special someone to fill the void in his/her life. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. The harder you chase after love, the further it runs away from you.
When you expect a particular love from someone, and he or she does not fulfill your ideal kind of love, it would be more than likely that you would feel depressed and worse than before.
However, by loving yourself first, you create sufficient love to be able to share that love with someone.
For example, with self-love, if I liked Guy A, I like him because it's a natural feeling and I like him without any expectation of him liking me back. If he rejects my feelings, I may feel unhappy, or perhaps disappointed but I will still accept that it's his decision. I knew I tried, and it wasn't my fault that he rejected me.
Without self love, if I liked Guy A, I like him because I crave for someone to fill that void in my life, I expect and desperately want him to like me back and have a certain expectation of how things should turn out. If Guy A rejects my feelings, I may become depressed, start self- reproaching, and this in turns lead to a decrease of my sense of self simply I didn't fulfill my goal of Guy A liking me and the result was not what I had expected.
My guide to self-love:
What is your true self? (You can find the answer to this by looking at your childhood, parts of you that you were embarrassed about and tried to hide from others)
Mine would be possibly being friendly. I have always loved making new friends. But during the era of my secondary school days, it was almost quite a taboo being friendly to a stranger. People would classify you as a "boot licker" or as a "suck up". Even nowadays, when I am over friendly, I feel that people are still judging me for it. However, I don't give 2 fucks about negative people who bring negative energy into my life. I genuinely like talking to people, learning more about them, hearing about their job and their current position in life. The great benefit is that you would more likely make a friend than an enemy. Thus, after years of trying my best to be cool, I find that all I want to do now is compensate for all the years of acting cool by making more friends and socializing more.
According to Ken Page, L.C.S.W., a New York based psychotherapist, author and lecturer
"In my work as a psychotherapist, I've found that we tend to be ashamed of our most unique, passionate and iconoclastic parts. These aspects of ourselves threaten our safety; but they are the direct path to love and, not incidentally, to personal greatness. When we suppress these challenging gifts, we're left with a sense of emptiness and loneliness."
I have this friend, who is constantly putting himself down. I try my best to encourage him, even to the extend I told him I'd apply for a job for him and do up his CV. I also offered to get information and details of potential courses he wished to apply for.
Despite all my efforts, he kept telling me it was impossible for him to succeed in life and that he doubt he can get the job I was urging him to try to apply for. Reasons being, that he wasn't good enough, he wasn't smart enough, he didn't think he would be able to go through it long term.
After awhile I got really tired. You have to understand this. Being negative affects the people around you greatly. Nobody likes to be around someone who is constantly depressed, emotional, self-reproaching, it brings around a depressing energy which in turn would affect me also. Thus I stopped replying him. Stopped talking to him and in short, slowly edged my way out of his life.
Guys have to know that, putting yourself down is seriously unattractive. No woman would fancy a man who lacks in self-confidence. Similarly, a man does not want a woman who keeps berating herself all the time. If your answer at this point is, "Who says so! I don't mind!"
Well then think about it. Imagine waking up beside Girlfriend A, and first thing she says is "I look absolutely crap, I hate my eyes in the morning." But Girlfriend B wakes up and say "Wow baby you look great, I love you, let's make out."
Which one would you prefer? perhaps for a one night stand, Girlfriend A would do for you. But imagine it as a daily routine. Someone who expects you to praise her constantly, feed her with compliments daily because she relies on you for her own self-worth. And in return, she does not praise you back, but complains about herself even more. Could you cope with that?
From various websites and journals, and my own experiences, I have complied the easiest guide to self love, here goes:
1. Treat others with love and respect. Bringing joy to other people's lives will help you find joy in your own. In addition, those that you treat well will likely repay you with the same kindness. Gradually, you will start to feel your worth through the smiles of gratitude. However, don't just be very kind to people so you can receive royal treatment.
2. Learn to let go of the past. You deserve a fresh beginning! There are a lot of people out there that have had hard lives, bad beginnings/moments. Don't close yourself out of grief, disappointments, or fears of future ridicule. Acknowledge your feelings, but work to put them behind you. Cherish what you have learned from your challenges, and how you have changed and grown from them. Forgive those who have done you wrong. Most importantly, though, forgive yourself.
3. Focus on goals that you wish to attain and work out how you would achieve them.
Instead of constantly having thoughts of being loved and finding love, set realistic goals and try to achieve them within a time frame you set for yourself. Achieving these goals you have set for yourself gives you an additional boost of positive energy and confidence to take on future challenges.
4. Be yourself. Don't be afraid that people would judge you or talk about you. too many people spend too much time trying to please others that they lost their real self in the process. Perhaps these people are afraid themselves, of showing their true self and being judged.
5. Say "No" to others requests. This is one of the most common points in guides to self-love. It is ok to say "no" to someone if you do not feel like doing it. You do not have to feel guilty about it. When your heart does not want to do it, and you feel like you have to please someone, and make others happy by over-extending yourself. Learning how to say “no” is an art. It takes practice.
6. Spend time with yourself. What gives you inner peace, and contentment, or makes you happy? For me it's swimming, reading and sometimes just shopping alone. (shopping is ALWAYS a good therapy for me - I'm shallow, so what!) Self care is very important. Always allow some time for yourself. Simple things like listening to your favorite music, exercising can make you feel good because you are living your life on purpose.
7. Never ever compare yourself to others. This is a huge mistake most people make without realizing it. I do it too. So many times I have looked at a beautiful woman blessed with a curvy body and felt like slapping myself for looking so ordinary. But when you compare yourself to someone, it makes you feel bad about yourself, a drop in self confidence, jealousy. Nothing good comes out of it. Instead of putting yourself down, focus on your strength and be happy with what you have. Always aim for the best in whatever you do and when you achieve it, you will be filled with a great sense of self achievement that nobody else can provide you with.
8. Accept the love people give you. "To truly love is to be able to receive it." When you are complimented, or someone does something nice for you, accept it graciously and show that you appreciate it. YOU are worthy of love and by accepting the love you are given,you give someone a joy of giving by loving you.
Despite having been through so much in life and experiencing so many dumb things (like getting tattooed, joining a gang and even more crazy stuff that I think I better not put down here) I daresay I feel that I'm doing OK in life now. Obviously I'm far from society's standard of good, I'm far from all the better people in uni's, polys etc. But I'm definitely doing better than what so many people expected that I would turn out to be like. Don't ever let people's judgement of you affect your decision making in life, because unfortunately it happens more often than you realize.
I won't ever give up and I hope each and every one of you would feel better about yourself or even better than you already did before reading this post. (:
Don't ever give up on yourself because once you do, that's when you really fail.
Gonna be really busy this weekend so I hope this post compensates for it and I hope it would help someone in someway.
Till the next post xxx