For me, I've spent much of my life—as a student, an athlete, in business, in relationships and in general—demanding perfection of myself and, of course, falling short and feeling inadequate on a regular basis. Most people I know and work with have some version of "I'm not good enough" that runs their life. Even though many of us understand this, living our lives from a true place of self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-love is often much easier said than done.
The ultimate goal of being ourselves in an authentic way is actually about loving ourselves in a generous way. If we truly love ourselves, most of what we worry about and even much of what we strive for in life becomes meaningless. We may still have some worries, and we'll definitely continue to have goals, dreams and desires. However, from a place of true self-appreciation and self-love, the fear behind our worries and the motivation for our goals dramatically changes from something we have to avoid or produce in order to be accepted and valued, to something we we're genuinely concerned about or really want to accomplish.
On the flip side, if we don't love ourselves, nothing much really matters. No matter what we conquer, create or experience, we're never able to appreciate it or ourselves or be fulfilled in the process, because we're constantly striving to be validated in an insatiable way.
Self-love is what we're all searching for. Sadly, we spend most of our lives thinking that someone or something else can give us what only we can give ourselves. To be truly fulfilled in life, we have to find that love within us and give it to ourselves. No other person, amount of money, material possession or accomplishment can do it. It's up to us. We have an opportunity to celebrate who we are for any reason and at any time.
Write a love letter to yourself