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How to start now even if you don’t feel ready yet

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Ready, set, GO! 

 

That was how we always started races when I was a kid. There was always a pause, a time to gather ourselves, a clearly defined moment for us to get prepared before we took off down the track. 

 

We always had that luxury of time to get ready. Nobody expected us to bolt right away or to make the decision as to how ready we were. We were just given the time and then asked to GO. 

 

It was a lot easier like that. Before our minds got muddled and we got in our own way. 

 

Before we started questioning if we really are ready, if we really can do it at all. 

 

Before we let fear get the better of us.

 

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Now I often find myself questioning whether I am ready, whether the timing is right, whether I need more training before I start. 

 

There isn’t anyone there to shout ready, set, GO for me. The boundaries aren’t so clear cut anymore. 

 

At the moment, I am looking for a new job and I find myself getting smaller and smaller in the process. With each rejection, my confidence shrinks a tiny bit and I start to tell myself that maybe I’m really just not ready yet. 

 

I keep waiting for a job to pop up that I know I can do because I’m so afraid of flinging myself into the deep end where I’ll feel incompetent and a total failure. 

 

I don’t feel ready, I feel paralyzed.

 

I am frozen to the spot, completely incapable of making such a big life decision.

 

Should I take a regular 9-5 job or work on my creative pursuits? Should I take a punt on a business idea or go for a stable income? Should I study more or start making some savings?

 

And I bet a lot of you are in the same boat. Maybe you aren’t looking for a job right now but I’m sure there is something else you’ve been longing to try but you just aren’t sure if you are ready yet.

 

Perhaps it’s a business idea, a new hobby or something you want to learn. Maybe there is someone you’d love to be friends with or wish could be your mentor. Or it might be a place you’d love to travel to or a new town you’d like to call home.

 

Whatever it is you’ve always wanted to start, the time to start is right now.

 


 

So why do we wait until we feel ready?

 

Why do we put so much weight on this feeling? Why do we put off doing the things that we know will make us happy?

 

Because the thing is, if we wait until we feel ready, we might never take the leap. We might never pluck up the courage to move forwards. We might never even try

 

And the terrible truth is, if we don’t take the leap, we miss out on life

 

Every exciting, incredible, soul-satisfying possibility is on the other side of fear. 

 

Fear, that diving board we are teetering on. Fear, the jolting feeling of missing the last step. Fear, that nagging sensation we’ve forgotten something at home.

 

Fear will always be there. Telling us the timing isn’t right. Making us believe we aren’t good enough. Keeping us stagnant.

 

But life is too short to miss out on opportunities because we feel afraid. We don’t have the luxury of time to wait until we feel ready, we have to just start now.

 

How to start now even if you don’t feel ready

 

Push past your fear

 

Figure out what the fears are that are preventing you from taking action and address them.

 

My biggest fears are that I’ll fail or I’ll embarrass myself.

 

So I am learning to work through these fears by being gentle with myself when I fail. Thereby, creating a positive environment where failure is okay, as long as I learn from it.

 

I also choose to surround myself with people who will support me regardless of the outcome of my attempts. This means that I can trust them to encourage and stand by me in both my successes and disappointments.

 

Remove any self-limiting beliefs

 

What I know from the past is that with most jobs, you learn as you go. You gain the skills you need to perform the job, by doing the job. You figure out if this kind of work is right for you by giving it a go. 

 

And the same goes for almost anything. You simply learn as you go.

 

Most of the time, you don’t know if you can do something until you give it a try. 

 

So don’t allow yourself to believe you aren’t good enough or you don’t have the skills to do something. You can learn!

Instead, speak words of kindness over yourself. Be your own biggest cheerleader. Build yourself up so that you have the confidence to try. Give some of these self love affirmations a go.

 

Fake it till you make it

 

This is the constant piece of advice I get from my older friends, the ones who have lived longer and tried to make things happen for themselves more times than I have.

 

These words have always bugged me before because they are one of those phrases people like to throw around without actually giving you any advice.

 

But the deal is, if you don’t feel ready yet, then you should act as though you do. Act like you aren’t afraid. Talk with confidence instead of cushioning your words with I thinks, buts and maybes.

 

Make people believe you are the real deal and keep going until you start to believe you are the real deal too.

 

If you carry yourself with confidence nobody will question whether you belong or whether you are right. Learning how to be confident is key.

 

Take small steps forward

 

It feels terribly overwhelming if you try to face all of your fears and jump head first into your project right away.

 

So just take it in small steps. It’s okay if all you did today was begin your research or watch a Youtube video or say out loud for the first time that you want to write book.

 

Small steps are still movement and they provide the initial work required to gain momentum.

 

Whatever it is that you are dreaming of starting, you absolutely can.

 

Even now, when you don’t feel ready yet.

 

You just need to believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. Give yourself the tools, time and space to achieve your goals. And remember, nothing ever happens overnight. Success takes hard work, patience and persistence.

25 self-love affirmations to pick yourself up on bad days

self-love-affirmations

 

When I think of self love I think self-indulgence,  an enlarged ego and the desperate desire for attention.

 

I think of all the stereotypes and the critical things people have to say about millennials. I think of the way we are mocked for our participation awards, our inspirational quotes and our obsession with documenting our lives online.

 

But what they often fail to mention are the pressures millennials face in this modern world.

 

The massive amounts of debt we incur through student loans, the impossible search for a stable job, the completely unrealistic housing prices and the constant inferiority we feel because of the highlight reel we see from our peers online.

 

This world squeezes us from every side. It crushes us beneath its weight. It tramples on our dreams and takes delight in leaving us feeling like a failure.

 

It can be hard to keep your head up against those pounding waves.

 

It can be a challenge to step into anything new, bold or daring when the way before you is paved with potential failure and an onslaught of “I told you so’s.

 

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I have struggled with self-love for as long as I can remember…

 

I have fallen into the trap of trying to be like everyone else many times.

 

I’ve berated myself for my differences and done everything I can to change them. To smother my uniqueness. To stifle my individuality.

 

However, I have come to realise that my greatest successes always come when I am being my authentic self. But it takes so much courage to live that way. To be unashamed of ourselves and to live without putting up walls that keep people out.

 

That kind of vulnerability requires incredible inner strength and an abundance of self love.

 

We have to recognise that in order to thrive in this world we need unshakable confidence in ourselves.

 

We have to believe in ourselves because we might just be the only one that does.


 

When you treat yourself with gentleness and compassion you create a safe environment where you have room to be vulnerable, to make mistakes, to try without fear of failing.

 

That’s what is so great about self love affirmations. They are more tangible. We can say them out aloud, write them down, hang them on our walls.

We can thread them through our lives so that they become part of our vocabulary. A familiar, friendly voice of encouragement.

 

They can change the way we think and talk about ourselves.

 

For many people, self-love can seem trivial. A luxury. An indulgence. But I believe that self-love is a necessity. Not a after thought or an add-on, but the one of the things we need most of all.

 

Self-love is important because it is our foundation

 

It is the place where we build all our beliefs about ourselves from. It is the difference between having the confidence to say YES or giving into fear and saying NO.

 

So here are some words of encouragement for you today and every day. For the bad days and the good. Words for you to speak over yourself and let sink deep down into your heart.

 

May they become part of your vocabulary, the new way you think and feel about yourself.

 

My dear millennial friends, this is your participation trophy, your pat on the back, your gentle reminder that you are doing a good job. I hope these self love affirmations will give you the confidence you need to face the world.

 

 

25 self love affirmations to remember on bad days:

 

 One. I’m proud of myself for daring to try, most people don’t even do that.

 

Two. I am not my mistakes, I forgive myself for those.

 

Three. I deserve love, compassion and empathy from others.

 

Four. No one is me and that is my super power.

 

Five. I am learning every single day.

 

Six. Fear is only a feeling, it will not hold me back.

 

Seven. I am doing the best I can with what I have.

 

Eight. I choose to stop apologizing for being myself.

 

Nine. I am free to make my own choices and decisions.

 

Ten. I will only surround myself with people who bring out the best in me.

 

Eleven. I will not compare myself to others.

 

Twelve. I am allowed to feel whatever emotions I do.

 

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Thirteen. I will not be controlled by my emotions, I am in control.

 

Fourteen. I don’t need to be impressive to anyone else.

 

Fifteen. I will treat my body with respect.

 

Sixteen. I am leaving the past behind me.

 

Seventeen. I am capable of handling whatever comes in the future.

 

Eighteen. I will be patient with myself as I grow.

 

Nineteen. I am grateful for my uniqueness I will not be ashamed of it.

 

Twenty. I accept I have weaknesses but they do not define me.

 

Twenty one: My vulnerability is my greatest strength.

 

Twenty two: I am proud of everything I have achieved so far.

 

Twenty three: I am a creative person when I give myself the chance to be.

 

Twenty four: I will take things one step at a time.

 

Twenty five: I am enough just as I am.

 

“I once was afraid of people saying ‘who does she think she is’ now I have the courage to stand and say ‘this is who I am.” Oprah Winfrey

 

If you would like to have a copy of each of these affirmations (like the image above) to stick on your bathroom mirror or fridge or bedside table… I’ve made a PDF document you can download and print out.

 

Just fill in your details below and it’s all yours!

 

What self love affirmations would you add to my list?

How to be confident even when you feel afraid and unsure of yourself

how-to-be-confident

 

I wish I was one of those people who boldly jumped at the chance to try something new. I wish I felt the thrill of adrenaline and chased rampantly after adventure. I wish was braver, brighter and more exciting. I wish I knew how to be confident.

 

But time and time again, I am reminded that I’m not a thrill-seeker and confidence doesn’t come naturally to me.

 

The other day I went mountain biking for the very first time. I jiggled and bounced my way along the tracks, gripping onto the handlebars for dear life. The entire time, telling myself I was going to fall off or my brakes would fail and I’d be grievously hurt.

 

I felt ridiculous for going so slowly and even more ridiculous for having to stick to the kiddie track because the others sounded too terrifying.


 

It seems that whenever I try to do something new or scary, my mind is flooded with insecurities and I feel so awfully ashamed.

 

I feel frustrated with myself for being so afraid of everything. I feel guilty for slowing everyone else down. I feel stupid for needing to stop or for crying when I feel overwhelmed.

 

I churn these thoughts over and over in my head until I feel totally battered and bruised. As soon as I find the confidence to step out, shame pulls me right back.

This shame is so deeply entrenched in me I don’t even know where to look to begin excavating it.

 

I watch other people stride confidently through life and I wonder why I can’t do the same.

 

Why do I hold myself back and hinder my own progress? Why do I believe I am always going to fail? Why do I whisper the worst possible outcome to myself so that I walk in trembles rather than strides?

 

I’ve considered that maybe this is just a part of my personality or the way that I was raised. Always cautious and much happier to observe than participate.

 

But I think there is something more to it than that.

 

I think what I need to learn is how to be confident. How to hold onto that steadfast belief that I CAN do it if only I try. Shame has taken every smidgen of self-belief and squeezed it out of me.

 

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The reason my friends zoomed out on to the ice this past weekend when we went skating, while I held on fiercely to the railing is because they believed in themselves, and I didn’t.

 

They’ve done it before and they knew that they could do it again. They weren’t afraid of falling because they knew they were perfectly capable of composing themselves and getting right back up again if they did.

 

They had confidence in themselves.

 

I, on the other hand, saw the slippery ice and felt the thin blade on my shoes wobble beneath me and I was absolutely certain that I would fall straight on my face and make a spectacle of myself.

 

Every time, what trips me up is that little lingering voice of negativity. The one that tells me I can’t do it, that I’m not safe and if I try, I’m going to fail. It is the fear of falling that terrifies me and stops me from jumping in.

 

The bravest thing I can do is hear that voice but go anyway. Give it my best effort, show up even though I’m afraid, try even though I might fail.

 

I think that’s what we often get wrong about courage.

 

Confidence might be flashy, impressive or pretty to look at but courage usually isn’t. Most often, courage looks like simply showing up. Actually doing the brave thing, even though it scares us.

 

It reminds me of the lyrics from a song in ‘The Sound of Music’…

 

“I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again!
Besides, which you see
I have confidence in me!”

 

I want that so very much. Even if I look from the outside like I’m shaking. Even if I’m quiet as a mouse and the last to jump on my bike. Besides what you see, I want to have confidence in me.

 

I want to back myself. I want to give myself the credit I deserve. I want to feel proud of who I am and what I do.

 

I don’t want shame to cloud my vision or make me feel inferior anymore.


 

So I’m learning how to be confident…

 

I’m starting with working on my mindset. Replacing those negative thoughts with brighter ones. Telling myself that I CAN do it and I AM strong enough and I’m brave even just for trying.

 

Then I’m going to push myself to do even more. I’ll fill my life with more adventure, more excitement, more of the things that make me feel a little bit shaky but incredibly alive afterwards.

 

So that shame finally realises that I am not one to be messed with. I won’t let it stop me from living fully.

 

And lastly, no matter what, I won’t give up.

Even if it takes me three times around the ice rink holding onto the sides before I let go. Even if I have to hold someone’s hand the entire time or if I have to stick to the kiddie track and cry a little bit because I’m afraid.

 

I’ll keep on trying until eventually, I succeed. Until at last I find that confidence that’s buried deep within me.


 

I’ve let shame get the best of me for too long.

 

I have allowed it to throw shadows over my dreams and batter my self esteem until I’m too afraid to even try.

 

Regardless of how many times someone might tell you, you are brilliant or lovely or wonderfully talented, there is still that one voice which tells you otherwise.

 

But I think it’s time we start believing what everyone else says about us. We are brave, we are strong and we CAN do it if we will only try.

 

Besides what you see…I have confidence in me. 

Doing something brave even when it scares you

doing-the-brave-thing

I’ve been feeling this pressure welling up inside of me for months. Like the gentle expansion of a balloon as air is forced into it, stretching and stretching until eventually, it bursts.

 

The stress has been pressing in on me from all sides.

I have felt trapped. Unable to move because every option seems too heavy, too messy or too complicated to pursue.

 

In all honesty, my job has been making me miserable and all this time I’ve been wrestling with this constant dissatisfaction.

 

Because serving people all day long is exhausting. Because waking up at 5am every day is grueling. Because getting told off and feeling on edge all the time is demeaning.

 

And truthfully, I believe I deserve better.

 

But I’ve been too scared to walk away. Because quitting means stepping into the unknown, a future without the security of a job, without a clear plan, without a clue what to do next.

 

Leaving means giving up a regular paycheck and my independence.

 

So I have stayed.

 

I’ve pushed through the negative thoughts and tried to focus on the positive. I’ve thought of tiny, little ways to make each day better. I’ve started going to bed early so the mornings aren’t quite as painful.

 

And yet, I still feel the pressure. I still feel the dissatisfaction. I still feel myself yearning for something more.

 

Happiness, excitement and creativity are calling out me. Begging me to do the brave thing. Quickening my heart and filling my head with dreams that I long to make come true.

 

Finally, after months of this internal battle, I decided to quit my job.

 

Now I feel sick. Now I feel free. Now I feel I am finally being true to myself.


 

There have been so many moments this year where I have felt that queasy, is-this-the-right-thing-or-a-terrible-mistake feeling.

 

So many times I’ve doubted myself, grappled with the uncertainty and clung to the familiar instead of choosing the brave thing.

 

I don’t blame myself.

 

Doing the brave thing is hard. Going out on a limb is terrifying. Stepping into the unknown takes so much courage.  

 

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We get these rare moments every now and then where we can choose to take the easy route or do the brave thing.

 

Should we date that guy? Should we take that job? Should we move to a new city? Should we go back and study?

 

To me it feels a lot like rock climbing. You don’t really know which of the oddly-shaped hand holds to grab until you let go of the last one and stretch your arm up to grab the next one.

 

For a split second you are dangling in mid-air, gripping nothing, with only your sheer focus and determination driving you forwards.

 

Sometimes you grab the wrong handhold. One of those small, knobbly ones that makes your sweaty hands slip right off.

But other times you are lucky enough to reach for one with a proper indentation, one that makes pulling yourself up easy.


 

Sometimes being brave is just about doing the next right thing. Sitting still long enough to recognize your wants and needs.

 

The brave thing might be the opposite of what everyone else says you should do. It might make you unpopular. It might take everything you’ve got.

 

But the brave thing is worth it.

 

A little over five months ago I said another scary yes and started dating a guy who’s ended up becoming my best friend.

 

Every part of me wanted to keep my tattered little heart locked up safe where no guy could ever trample on it again but instead I chose to share it with him. I chose to open up and give love another chance.

 

It turns out this was the best yes I’ve said in a long time.

 

doing-the-brave-thing

 

So here I am again doing the brave thing even though it scares me.

Reaching out for the next handhold, unsure whether it will be able to support me. Going out on a limb because I know life is full of surprises if we are willing to take a chance.

 

We can fool ourselves into believing that it is only special people who do incredible things. That only very few, lucky people are truly happy. But I think that’s wrong.

 

The truly happy people, the ones who have done and are doing amazing things are the ones who are willing to do the brave things.

 

They aren’t any different to you and me. They just pushed past the fear and said yes anyway. They just bottled away enough courage to leap forwards.

 

They just believed in themselves enough to think it might just be worth a try.

 

And that’s what you need to do today.

Believe in yourself and do the brave thing, even (especially) if it scares you.

Feeling lost and finding your purpose

feeling-lost-and-finding-your-purpose

The dry season is the hardest.

When the ground is parched and cracks under foot.
When the grass withers beneath the incessant sun.
When the waves of heat ripple across the pavement all day long.

Faith is no struggle when the rain falls without prayer.
But when there are no clouds in sight, that’s when faith becomes more than a silent obligation.

The wilderness is a lonely place.
Dry and unforgiving.
Empty and deafeningly quiet.

The only place I know where being lost means finding yourself.


 

Do you ever feel as though as soon as one thing goes right, another falls apart?
It seems to be one of those rules of life.

 

A truth of adulthood.

 

We fix the broken tap and find a leak in the roof. It is almost impossible to stay on top of everything, all the time.

 

Lately I’ve found myself falling into a state of stress because I can’t decide what I want to do with my life.

I feel this rising panic in my chest because I don’t know where to place my feet like I’m constantly walking down the stairs and missing the last step.

 

I hate to be a cliche but it seems that is what I have become. The college graduate having an identity crisis…what’s new?

 

But to be completely honest, I feel totally lost.

 

Before this, everyone was always telling you who you are. And most of the time you are encouraged to fit in and be the same as everyone else.
You dress in a uniform, you take the subjects your parents think are best for you, you go to college and then suddenly…the voices stop.

 

You are on your own.

The silence is chilling. The blankness is unnerving.

 

The choices are all yours and you suddenly find yourself wishing for the comfort and familiarity of those loud voices you once despised.


 

For the first time in my life I have found myself becoming despondent.

There are too many options I could possibly choose and it leaves me feeling so exhausted that I choose nothing. I choose to remain stagnant.

I freeze up in fear of what might happen if I were to open one of the doors before me and step through it.

 

This despondency appears as a lack of inspiration. Words used to flow effortlessly from me. My fingers would caress the keyboard and my ideas would come to life before my eyes.
But now I struggle with that blinking cursor. It taunts me as I stare at the blankness of my screen.

 

An absence of words shows an absence of peace. I am restless. I am wallowing. I am floundering.

 

This is the wilderness.

 

The dry, empty, lost place. The space where we find ourselves wandering around blindly. The spot where we struggle to remember who we are and where we belong.


 

The wilderness gives us an opportunity to grow.

 

In this place of nothing and no one we are reminded of what matters most to us.

For me, that is people, my pace of life and my passions.

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People.

When I feel lost, nothing sets me straight like spending time with those I love most.
Those who know me, truly know me and love me all the same.

 

Those who have been through all of the previous wilderness places with me and have the postcards I sent them to prove it.

Those who challenge me everyday to be better and try harder because they believe in me, even if I don’t.

 

When it comes down to it, there are a handful of precious people in this world who will always have your back.

They’ll hold you when it feels like your world is falling apart. They’ll show you how to laugh when sadness is all you know. And they’ll gently guide you till you find your way back home.

 

Pace of life.

Nothing causes me to burn out faster than overfilling my plate and over committing myself.

But recently I’ve realized this issue runs deeper than the fullness of my schedule, it’s to do with my entire environment.

 

I hate the hustle and bustle of living in the city. I hate that everyone is always in a hurry, so impatient, so unforgiving. I hate that this concrete jungle consumes us. Swallows us whole and spits out these grumbling, flustered, irritable people.

 

I miss the fresh air of the country. I miss seeing people I know and actually taking the time to chat with them. I miss driving anywhere and finding a free parking spot.

 

So it is the wilderness that reminds me to slow down. And perhaps to seek out calmer places for me to live, work and stay. The city is fine for a while but I know now that my heart belongs in the country.

 

Passions.

In this confusing place I’m seeking out the things that make me feel most alive. The things that make me feel happy and excited to get up in the morning.

 

The things that make me, me.

 

I miss dressing up everyday. I miss wearing pretty outfits with matching shoes and fun accessories.

I miss feeling inspired to write. Carrying around an ideas notebook and stopping randomly to fill a page because I simply must spill my ideas down immediately.

I miss taking the time to prepare food that I love and that makes me feel good rather than shoveling food into my mouth as I rush out the door.


 

I hate the wilderness.

 

It feels so unnerving. So lonely. So indefinite.

 

But perhaps, the wilderness is what I need.

Maybe wandering out here is necessary before I leap forwards into something new.

 

Because in the wilderness we are lost and we find ourselves.
We are broken and remade.
We are emptied so that we can be filled once more.

 

The wilderness doesn’t last forever…eventually we will find our place again.

My body, my home

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Mirrors, they are forever betraying me.

Enlarging my flaws.

Highlighting my weaknesses.

Pinpointing my insecurities.

A sheet of glass that always manages to find my achilles heel.

 

Why are my eyes so puffy in the morning?

Are my thighs really always that big?

I scrutinize every inch of myself until my stomach feels sick.

 

But it’s not the mirror who despises me.

It’s not the glass that leaves me feeling this way.  

It’s my own head, my own thoughts that betray me, conditioned to believe beauty is only skin deep.

 

I shake the horrible thoughts out of my head. I hug my arms around myself.

I will not fight my own flesh anymore.

This is my body, this is my home.


 

I have always had a tentative relationship with my body.

 

There have been times when I have treated it poorly. Depriving it, over exerting it, attempting to squeeze it into jeans that were never designed for these hips.

 

Our relationship is one filled with one-sided animosity.

 

It seemed unfair to me that as I grew up, I expanded in some areas and not others. Like a balloon blown up all wonky instead of precisely into the standard shape.

 

I thought that women came in a standard shape too.

 

Blonde hair, check. Blue eyes, check. But what happened to my large breasts and tiny waist? Where is my golden tan and long, lean legs?

 

It seemed some pieces were missing from this perfect puzzle.

 

So I wrestled with my body for years. Desperately trying to manipulate it into that ideal shape and degrading this home of mine in the process.

 

Allowing weeds to take over the flowerbeds. Letting paint start to chip. Not worrying about the cracks in the ceiling or wallpaper beginning to fade.

 

Making it look from the outside as though everything was as it should be but on the inside I was crumbling into disrepair.  


 

But I thought I had put all of that behind me. I thought I had made peace with my body. I thought I was finally free from this crippling, self-loathing mindset.

 

In the back of my mind I always knew that my body would eventually change, I was under no illusion that I would stay the size of a twenty year old forever. I just didn’t expect gaining weight to affect me so much.

 

But it has.

 

I was surprised how quickly the tears would come when I looked at myself in the mirror. I was shocked just how easily I allowed guilt to dictate what I ate. I was saddened to watch myself slipping back into the same old habits and not knowing what to do to stop it.

 

Because it’s easy to love your body when it fits the mold. It’s not difficult to have self compassion when you believe you are the right size.

 

It’s when my jeans began to feel too tight and my stomach still stuck out a little even when I was sucking it in that I discovered how difficult self love really is.

 

Self love is not something that comes naturally like taking a breath as you come out of water or blinking when a bright light flashes.

 

Learning how to love myself, my new self  has been hard.

 

Possibly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Which perhaps makes me sound vain and conceited but in a world which constantly reminds me that I need to change in order to fit in and be lovable, it’s not surprising at all.

 

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I’ve been down this road now a few times and I’ve learnt that restriction and shame are not the answer. Loathing myself or fighting against my body just doesn’t work.

 

So it seems that a new attitude is in order.

 

I cannot be at war with myself anymore. It’s too exhausting. I cannot just sit idly by while the place I live begins to fall apart.

 

This is my body, this is my home.

 

And so I remind myself each and every day…

 

My worth is not dependent on my weight.

 

While this body is my home, it is not my full person.

 

I am singing along to country music with the windows down driving along the highway. I am laughing at the ocean waves lapping around my ankles and squealing when the water gets too high. I am giving a cheeky wink to my Father on stage at our school production. 

 

You cannot contain me within the walls of this body, I am more than layers of flesh and a foundation of bones.

 

I am a gentle warmth, a cool breeze, a soft whisper.

 

My body is remarkable and it deserves my utmost respect.

 

To diminish its purpose to simple aesthetics is outrageous.

 

This body can run for miles and miles. This body can hear a rhythm and melt into the music. This body can heal itself, transform itself and grow another whole human being inside of it.

This body is incredible.

 

Change is inevitable, adaptation is crucial.

 

Nothing in this life stays the same forever. It has often been said that change is the only constant.

Therefore, I will not be surprised nor phased by change, I will simply adapt and move forwards.

 

A changing body means a life that is progressing. We are growing older and wiser. We are tracking towards new adventures and achievements.


 

Women aren’t like balloons. We don’t come in a standard shape or size. We are unique and that is something that should be celebrated rather than diminished.

 

Trying to squeeze us into one mold is a crying shame. There is so much beauty in our diversity. There is so much wonder in our individuality. 

 

When I look at the women in my life I feel that this is a battle that might not be won overnight. Because I’ve seen these precious ladies fighting against their bodies my whole life.

 

But that makes me no less determined to win this war of self compassion.

 

If not for me than for my daughters, my nieces, my best friends. For every woman who looks up to me and watches how I treat this place I call home.

 

I hope they will see something different in me. A deeper respect, an honest disposition, an abundance of grace.

 

A woman who bears the wrinkles of decades of laughter. Who proudly wears stretch marks from bringing new life into the world. Who has freckles from glorious summers in the sunshine and perhaps carries a little extra weight for all the meals that make life worth living.

 

I believe that in the end, the struggle is worth it.

 

Because this is my body, this is my home.