Recently a dance student of mine asked me “How are you able to be such a strong woman?”
Hmmmm. Am I?
After pausing for a minute I shared with her some of the things that I struggle with: lifelong food issues and body insecurity can still rear its ugly head; I often feel nervous around men and dating; and at times I can be self-involved.
But, I told her, I try to never let those problems shake my core belief in who I am. I DO believe that I am a kind, strong, and loving woman.
That got me thinking, how can we strengthen our belief in ourselves ~ to grow strong roots so that, like an old oak or maple tree, we can stay strongly rooted in self-acceptance and love even when life is stormy?
This has been a journey for me, one that I am certainly still on and will be lifelong. I have a very clear memory of lying in bed about 10 years ago and praying for change in my life. I was young, newly divorced, didn’t feel like I was good at my job or had a career or life plan. While I was laying there a question came to me: “Do I love myself?”
In that moment of being alone with myself, I had a really hard time saying yes. I knew, intellectually, that I was smart, funny, caring and, most importantly, had a desire to be and do good in the world. But I really struggled with the idea – I didn’t feel like I could even think that I loved myself. So I committed to being better – not in the world, but to myself. I committed to believing in myself, loving myself and being compassionate and forgiving with myself. And that, I believed, would make me better in the world.
So, how’s that going? I would say pretty well about 90% of the time, and I think that’s a pretty good job.
Here are a few techniques that I have found help me feel good about myself: