Welcome to the second installment of our series “Know, Like, Be Who You Are”. As you probably guessed, this week we’re going to talk about liking who you are.
After we have a handle on knowing ourselves, that is after starting and never stopping the process of asking, listening, testing, changing and accepting, we’re ready to take the next leap and learn to like ourselves.
The last part of the process to continue to know who you are is also the first step process to liking who you are. Acceptance: coming to honestly look at yourself, no BS, no false impressions or wishes, open, judgment free. This is where liking yourself begins.
Let me clarify what I mean by “like who you are”. It’s a matter of deciding that this person staring back at you in the mirror, the body moving you from one place to another, the sense of humor no one gets, the fashion sense that hasn’t changed since high school and the chemical dependence on chocolate, is alright. That all that stuff; the stuff you like or don’t, the things you’re working to change, and the things you’ve decided will always be, is ok and serves a purpose in your life.
Liking yourself can be as simple as learning to like that who you are has gotten you this far. Your life may be messy and fraught with heartache and struggle, but that’s what makes you amazing. A story is nothing without grit and challenge and perseverance, and like the plucky star of a blockbuster movie, you’re still moving forward. And that’s entirely thanks to all the little components of you. That’s something to like!
This idea isn’t just about rewiring your brain to see the upside of traits you’d rather hide. Honestly I hope that the reframing part is a very small portion of your journey to liking who you are. There are so many unique, powerful, dynamic parts of you to like and that’s what this idea is really about. I hope that when you think about the parts of you that you genuinely like, the list comes fast and easy. That you already have the ability to recognize your own special characteristics and own them with pride. If you aren’t already rattling off traits you like go ahead and borrow my appreciation. I’ve written a bunch of things that I absolutely love about my friends and family, and that I pick up on and am drawn to in other people as well. If you’ve got ‘em you’ve got things to like about yourself!
Making up silly songs
Asking interesting questions
Wearing bright and colorful clothing
Moving your body in funny ways
A skill for clever turns of phrase
Inability to not make a pun, dad joke, or quip
Appreciation for good food
Open minded to new ideas
Willing to learn
Patient when others aren’t as proficient
Willing to laugh
Versed in many areas of interest
Open about your appreciation for the things that make you happy
Unpressured by what others think is cool and important
Willing to be bad at something
Open to theoretical conversations, especially science fiction ones
Logical in problem solving
Willing to keep trying even when you feel like you’ve failed.
Good at following recipes and making delicious creations
Bad at following recipes and still making delicious creations
Bad at both following recipes and making delicious creations
Board/tabletop/video/PC/word/math gaming skills
Willing to read long lists and think about each item…
I know you have at least five of those things, and a million more glowing traits. Why not start thinking about yourself in terms of things that you like?
Not only does liking yourself unleash a whole new glowing, appreciative, powerful you, it brings so much freedom. Freedom from self-abuse every time that little thing you don’t like makes an appearance. Freedom from judging yourself when you see a trait in others that you wish you had. Freedom to love and appreciate others so much more deeply because you are comfortable and happy in who you are.
Today I encourage you to like yourself. Whether you choose to like a part of you for the protective part it’s played in your life, or you own your appreciation of your own skills, liking who you are is a gift. It’s a gift to yourself, to the One who made you, and to each and every person you meet.