~ JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY ~
How are you? I hope you’re excited about this new day and the new discoveries you’re going to make.
Don’t worry if you’re still thinking about your ONE wish from the previous blog post. It’s not a decision that you should rush. As long as you don’t abandon the search for your innermost heart’s desire, take your time.
And today I want to talk about another important thing—the one that would probably make or break your dream. It’s YOU.
So, I hope you’re in a quiet place with something to write on because you’re going to have an honest conversation with yourself about a pretty sensitive topic.
First, I want you to write something down:
Get a lined paper and divide it into three columns.
In the left column write down all the positive characteristics that you believe about yourself and all the good things others had ever said about you.
In the next column write all the negative attributes, habits, and descriptions that you believe are attached to your person, whether it’s your own thoughts or negative comments of others that still bother you.
In the third column write down all the traits that you wish you had or that you’re working towards. “I wish I was…”
Only write down personality attributes or physical features. It’s all about you, external and internal, not about your circumstances, environment, possessions, or other people around you.
And here is one more rule—you have to make all three columns even. So, write down as many positive characteristics in the first column as you wrote negative ones in the second. Also, write down as many items in the third column as in the middle one. Take your time.
Ready? Now connect each item in the first column with the item in the third column by putting a horizontal line through the words in the middle column. Feel free to draw several lines to completely obliterate your writing. Next, read the positive characteristic from the first column together with the trait you wish to possess across from it in column three (by skipping the words between them that are now crossed out). Say it out loud:
“I am … AND …”
Keep reading down the list. The two traits might not match. It’s Ok. Just say them together and see what happens.
Here is what I want you to think about: when you cross out something negative that you believe about yourself or that others hammered into your soul, you form a bridge that will transition you from who you are to who you aspire to become. But when you don’t, it becomes an obstacle.
How would you actually do this in real life?
There are a few things that might help with the “crossing out” process. Pick one negative thing you wrote and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is it an accurate self-assessment? If so, is there anything I can do to change or improve? Can I read books on the topic, get support, work on it? What can I do today to start the process?
2. Is it a lie? Is it something I chose to believe based on other people’s toxic words? Did I accept it because of something that happened a long time ago? What is the truth?
3. Am I comparing myself to others? Putting unrealistic expectations on myself? Being overly self-critical?
4. Can this shortcoming be covered with another quality that I possess? Is it meant to be covered by another person next to me?
5. Is my weakness actually a strength and I just need to look at it differently? Is it gifting in disguise? Is it needed in order for me to fulfill my calling in life?
After you weed out the beliefs that are simply false or, maybe, even nonexistent, you’ve got to realize that even your real weaknesses and imperfections are not negative—they are stepping stones to making you a stronger, better version of yourself. Do things in spite of your shortcomings, study yourself, and learn from your failures. You are perfectly imperfect. And if you believe in God the Creator—He does not make mistakes. We are meant to be different, unique, and vulnerable. We are meant to complement each other with our strengths and weaknesses. Yes, we should all improve, grow, and change, but it’s a process and you need to learn to:
Accept yourself at each step
See yourself as “already there”
Love yourself the way you are
Loving yourself doesn’t mean you stop progressing. Just the opposite. Until I learned to love and accept who I was at the moment, I wasn’t able to get enough courage to change. I criticized and put myself down every time I tried and stumbled. The negative self-talk robbed me of the energy to move forward.
Yes, I am still working on things, but I realized that it’s a never-ending process, and I was tired of constantly being unhappy with my self-image. So, I decided to appreciate what I have achieved so far. And as Joyce Meyer likes to say:
I'm not where I need to be, but thank God,
I'm not where I used to be.
I'm okay and I'm on my way.
Praise yourself even for little improvements. In fact, turn your paper to the other side and write down all the things that you had accomplished so far in your life, even if it’s “got out of bed this morning.”
And here’s one more thing—please, don’t compare yourself to others. Be the best version of YOU.
The things you wrote in the third column, make sure they are yours to achieve and not because you want to be like somebody else. Let the pendant you chose yesterday be your litmus test—will this personal attribute you desire help you reach your dream? Do you even need it or is it what society or other people say you need to be accepted, successful, and happy?
To give you an example, I had a lot of insecurities growing up. I was very sick as a child and, because of malnutrition, was skinny and not as developed as other girls. On top of that, I was introverted, which didn’t help with fitting in. But through God’s and my husband’s unconditional love, I learned to accept my appearance and personality. One day I realized that the things I saw as shortcomings, were actually to my benefit. Now I don’t mind being quiet because my affinity for alone time and introspection supports my gifting. And I definitely don’t mind still being slim and younger-looking. All I needed was a new perception.
As Coco Chanel said: “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself”.
Today I want you to love on yourself and make a commitment to not say or think anything critical. Instead, do something nice for yourself, give yourself compliments, accept compliments from others, go shopping, schedule a spa appointment, spend time with a supportive friend, buy your favorite dessert or flowers, write down a list of positive proclamations or Bible verses and tape them on your mirror. Pick at least one thing to pamper yourself with and do it—you deserve it.
Rewrite your list from earlier with all the positive and desired characteristics leaving the negative ones out. Do the "I am… AND…" connection (feel free to shuffle them around to match better). Keep it somewhere you can see, and share one of the lines with me below.
Listen to these videos from Joyce Meyer about taking care of yourself. Whether you’re a Christian or not, you will get encouraged. She is a powerhouse.
And here is another in-depth blog post on how to change the way you think about yourself:
To read the previous month's topic, head over here: Discovery 1 - How to Restore & Pursue Your Dreams
The next topic: Discovery 3 - Taking Control of Your Thoughts