Long gone are the days when self love was considered to be vain or selfish because anyone with half a brain knows that RuPaul hit that nail right on the head with his 'if you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else?' statement. And it's true, you deserve to love you and you deserve to be proud, secure and content with who you are, but getting rid of toxic thought patterns and culling old mindsets can be challenging and it does require a certain shedding of an old and outmoded way of being that requires you first to take a good look at exactly what it is that you have been saying to yourself about who you are.
A lot of what we believe about ourselves actually derives from our upbringing, our relationships and even the media, which is really sad because we don't even get to decide for ourselves who we are. All of our lives we have been constantly bombarded by people putting ideas into our heads about who we are, or who we are supposed to be; and most of those concepts are actually completely untrue. Who we truly are is whomever we choose to be. How we look and feel is completely is up to us as well, and just knowing that is the first step to empowering yourself to develop better and more positive thoughts about who you are.
A while ago I wrote a blog post called Self Talk, and it explored my own struggles with negative self beliefs and toxic thought patterns. I have since managed to get those thoughts mostly under control by sticking to these five big self check in questions whenever they arise:
- Is there any evidence to support this thought I'm having about myself?
- What would I say to a friend if they were saying these things about themselves?
- Is there a positive way to look at this?
- Is this thought or feeling rational? Is it mine? Or has been planted or programmed into me externally?
- What can I do to change this feeling or thought that I have about myself?
During these times of deep self reflection and thought, it's good to toss a little extra self love in to your routine just for good measure. So here are some really great ways to build your self esteem, remove negative beliefs and thoughts about yourself and adopt a kinder mindset for yourself in some very simple and gentle ways.
- Forgiveness- forgive yourself for the mistakes that you've made in the past and forgive others for theirs. There is no going back so let it go and make more room for positive thoughts and feelings in your life.
- Mindfulness - be mindful about all of the things that you have in your life and practise gratitude. Write down three great things that happened or three positive things about yourself everyday.
- Acceptance- accept that we are all different and unique. Try to enjoy the beauty and diversity that individuality brings to your life and accept your own uniqueness as part of that. Don't be influenced about your appearance by the media or narrow minded people.
- Nurturing - do kind things for yourself. Spoil yourself and treat yourself with care and respect. It's good to love yourself, learn to make that your mantra.
- Avoidance - take stock of who you spend your time with and what you spend your time doing. Steer clear of negative or toxic people or influences that may attempt to bring you down. Spend your time with people that uplift, appreciate, motivate and inspire you.
- Positivity - Say positive things, think positive thoughts and stop complaining. Focus on the good and you will start to see more of it around you and within you. Say something positive to yourself about who you are everyday.
- Giving - Support others and yourself by demonstrating kindness. Give more time and patience to those around you and to yourself and be extremely demonstrative of that. Find unique ways to give and be generous.
- Believing - believe that you are completely worthy of love and care just as much as anyone else in the world. Believe in your best virtues and focus your thoughts on your best qualities so that you can shine them out into the world.
Release Date: 2018
Running Time: 115 mins
A biographical drama based on Garrard Conley's 2016 memoir of the same name about his experiences in forced conversion therapy. Directed by Joel Edgerton, who also stars in the film as the chief therapist Victor Sykes, Boy Erased explores the harrowing journey of a gay teenager as he struggles for acceptance.
Jared lives in a small American town. The son of a strict local Baptist priest, he is quickly outed by his traditional parents when he reveals to them that he is gay. They give him the ultimatum of conversion therapy or exile from their home and still keen to please his family, Jared agrees to undergo the therapy; which turns out to be inhumane, cruel and belittling.
The cast is first rate and they bring a lot of strength to this very sad story. Nicole Kidman plays Jared's concerned mother and Russell Crowe portrays his homophobic father with genuine conviction, and all of the teenagers in conversion therapy are also excellent with Lucas Hedges who plays Jared, delivering an emotionally powerful and admirable portrayal of real life Garrard Conley.
The most disturbing part of all is the fact that this type of conversion therapy is still being used today, and the number of individuals that have already been affected by this ridiculous and archaic practise, it's truly upsetting stuff.
FINAL SAY: Fake it till you make it.
3 Chilli Peppers