This week’s article is inspired by a quote I read on Dr. Laura’s page: “If you’re searching for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.”
I was immediately drawn to this quote because it is exactly what I try to teach to my clients on a daily basis.
So much of what I see in my work with women is that we tend to look to persons outside of ourselves to change our lives. I reiterate time and time again to the women I work with that they cannot seek change, validation, love and affection from anyone outside of themselves—those things must come from within. Only once the change comes from within will we be able to find ourselves in truly healthy relationships.
Many, many times I come across women who are looking for change, yet they are looking for it everywhere except within themselves. These women are intelligent, highly educated, have successful careers, yet for some reason, they continue to find a reason to look outside of themselves to make change.
Think about it, you might be guilty of it too… Do you have a tendency to think that a new haircut, a different wardrobe, a new pair of shoes will change the way you feel about yourself? How about feeling like if you changed jobs, your partner, the neighborhood or town you live in that would change how you feel in life? Sure, these things might help, but the true change in how you feel about yourself and your situation must come from inside of you. It is your thoughts and feelings about yourself that must change.
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For those of us who look to external sources in hopes of change, this might sound easier said than done. Often times those of us who are looking outside of ourselves to change our lives have likely grown up in homes where love and acceptance were conditional. We did not learn what it means to love ourselves for who we are. We were not valued and cherished for being ourselves—we were only loved and cherished if outside factors were met. In a previous post I had spoken about the effects of living in a home where the love may have been conditional and how we can work towards changing that. Today I will be elaborating a little bit more on the subject.
In addition to the two steps outlined in the previous post, there are a number of other ways that you can learn to make change from within. Below you will find three additional ways:
1. Really, seriously, take a look at yourself in the mirror. What I mean by this is, stand in front of a full-length mirror and truly look at yourself. You can do this clothed or naked (some people argue that it is more powerful to do this while naked). The goal is to look at every inch of your body and admire it for what it is. Your nose is slightly crooked, that’s okay. Accept it and love it. Your belly is no longer firm like it used to be, that’s okay. Accept it and love it. Your left boob sags a little bit more than your right one, that’s okay. Accept it and love it. The more you learn to love and accept yourself just as you are, the easier it becomes to look internally for gratification. Give this an honest try for 7 days. You might just find it works.
2. Spend time daily in self-reflection. Spend at least 5 minutes per day reflecting and writing down all of your positive qualities and attributes. Not only that, also spend some time reflecting and giving yourself permission to be who you are. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Give yourself permission to not have to please everyone. Give yourself permission to just be. When working on this exercise, think of the things you would tell your best friend to help boost her confidence if she was feeling down on herself. This exercise is to help you become best friends with you and share that same love and support with yourself.
3. Find a hobby that you enjoy and do it regularly. This one might seem out of place, but with all that self-reflection, internal work, and scrutiny in the mirror, you are going to need some outside relief (yes, I said it, you can go external now *wink*). What happens when we look outside of ourselves is that we often tend to get stuck on other people’s business—what other people think, what other people say, what other people do, and how it affects you. That’s why this step is important. It allows you the opportunity to get some business of your own and mind it. Once you start to bring the focus an attention on yourself, once you find something you enjoy, you will start to notice that the opinions of others and of outside forces no longer make a difference in your life and you don’t seek them for change because you are too busy living an awesome life that you have created for yourself.
Start doing these three things and you will find that you slowly start to rely more on yourself as opposed to outside forces for change. Sometimes the change will happen so subtly that you will not even notice it at first, but then you will have a moment in which you all of a sudden think to yourself, “Oh wow, I am totally content with myself and don’t need anyone else to change me.”
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