How many times have you thought about the question: “What would I change about myself?” Whether seeing it in a magazine, office water cooler chat or mulling it over with friends, most of us could probably come up with a list of at least 20 things quite quickly that we’d like to change. Anything from a smaller waist to longer legs, worrying less about the small things to being more patient.
I think it’s definitely human nature to doubt ourselves and want to be something other. And in some cases it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have that drive and determination to change our lives or ourselves for the better. How often do we read about some multi-millionaire’s impoverished upbringing in another rags to riches tale? Despite that though, I worry that we’ve lost the ability to appreciate ourselves for who we are. To love ourselves and know what it is that makes us wonderful, even with our little lumps and bumps and personality quirks.
A few weeks ago I did a little experiment on Instagram to see if I would get any responses if I put a question out to my followers, asking what they loved about themselves. I wanted to reframe the question “what would you change about yourself?” and instead felt curious to see what we ARE happy about. It’s something I want to encourage people to think about more, to instead of think about what they don’t have, think about what they do have.
Mr D and I are polar opposites when it comes to our approach to things. Take a room makeover – I know it will work one way or another, yes it takes money, time, effort but the end result will be worth it. I’m the optimistic, glass half full person. Mr D sees obstacles first and foremost so his immediate response to anything I suggest will never be “yes let’s get on with it” (now you know why I do so many secret projects ha!) And hand in hand with that, I’d definitely say I’m the more self-assured of the two of us and if I asked him to tell me what he loves about himself I know he’d struggle to answer.
When I posed the question online there was initially a bit of a slow response, but when the answers started coming in it made for the most JOYOUS reading. I’m going to share some of the responses here because they deserve to be out there:
“That I can be perfectly happy doing the smallest things”
“I love to learn and read. I love to help and encourage people and I have great boobs”
“I’m good at my teaching assistant job and I work really hard!”
“The ability to laugh at myself in any situation”
“That I’m a fab single Mum of 3, smashing Uni and working hard for our future”
“I’m happy in my own company”
“I love my determination and my long legs”
“I am very empathetic”
“That in my 50s I can still run 3 times a week”
“My skills with a sledgehammer”
“My loyalty and generosity”
I could go on and on because there were so many more messages and it was completely heart-warming to see them all come in. Despite that, I know there would have been even more if I’d asked the question what would people change about themselves and interestingly, I think the focus would have been a lot more appearance-based too.
I also had answers from people saying they found it hard to answer, or couldn’t think of anything, or hated themselves but loved their dog etc. Honest, heartfelt responses but made me wonder what makes it hard for some people to find something they appreciate about themselves. Is it nature? Nurture? Circumstances or a situation people find themselves in?
That’s no easy question to answer – many trained people have devoted decades to the subject – but if all I can do in my own little corner of the internet is encourage people to find a little more love for themselves, more small happy moments in each day, a little bit of positivity or gratitude from opening curtains to a blue sky to a particularly delicious chocolate bar, then I’m more than happy to take up the mantle of helping people to love themselves a little bit more.
I’d be delighted to hear what you love about yourself. Leave a comment and let me know!