I wrote a rather lengthy comment on Papa Tont’s post The Mask I Wear the other day, which has inspired me to write this (thanks Tony!) In it he talks about the confidence he’s been forced to exude ever since he was a boy, but how the reality is a whole other ball game, hence the title of his post. I can relate to so much of what he said because I used to wear a mask of confidence too.
I spent my teens and early twenties hiding behind an inebriated party persona, but scratch the surface and there was a little girl inside me crying over the fact that she never got to be a kid. That she always had to be the brave one, the grown up one, the successful one. If I am being unflinchingly honest, at my very core back in those days, I hated myself.
My journey to liking myself and being happy inside my own skin started after hitting rock bottom and realising I was a weekend-bender away from losing absolutely everything that mattered to me. I went through significant change in all areas of my life to turn it around, and it was only after going through this process that I became truly happy with what I saw in the mirror. Gone was the mask. I was at long last comfortable just being me. My eldest daughter came along almost three years after that rock bottom moment, which was enough time for me to have become a whole new and much improved version of my former self.
I’d like to share with you some of the most important changes I made during that process. I know they helped to become a better me, and I’m sure they could help become a better you too.
Make Peace with your Past
I have said it on the blog so many times, and will continue saying it over and over again. Without truly making peace with what we’ve gone through before today, no matter how dark and painful it might have been, we will never move forwards and be able to live a brighter tomorrow. Once we have accepted the past and made peace with it, we can start respecting ourselves. I believe that a fundamental lack of respect for ourselves is what drives a lot of our self-destructive negative behaviour.
Take Stock of Those Around You
There’s a saying that we will only ever be as good as the company we keep. If the people around you are dragging you down, even if they are family, it’s time to take a break from them. Be it in the short term, for a longer period or for good, assess what every single person brings into your life and whether you actually want them in it.
Are you a bit too partial to opening a bottle of vino ‘to have one glass’ and finishing the entire bottle (and perhaps opening a second)? No-one will deny you a couple of drinks on a Friday night to celebrate the weekend, but if you are drinking excessively and it is negatively impacting other areas of your life then be honest with yourself and think about cutting down or stopping altogether for a while.
This is more than just a fad to lose a bit of flab for the summer. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is by eating a diet of good quality, mostly natural food. Processed food – even made by the premium brands – is heavily refined and really not good for you. Take a look at my recipe section and Pinterest boards for inspiration.
If you have health related problems and eat a poor diet, take back control. When I was diagnosed with PCOS and told I would not naturally conceive, I drastically reduced my sugar intake and cut down on processed carbs. Within two years I had fallen pregnant by accident. It’s too much of a coincidence to ignore. What we eat has a massive effect over our entire well being. Nowadys I follow the GAPS Diet, and feel amazing for it, even on three or four broken hours of sleep most nights. Take a look at my recent vlog if you are interested in learning more.
Exercise is just as essential. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, and can come in the form of walking instead of driving, and using the stairs instead of the lift. Moving is almost always better than not moving. Unless you’re sleeping of course, and in which case my friend you’re doing better than me because not much sleep is had in my house!
If you enjoyed this post visit Become the Best You to learn more about my journey.
*My word this week is: Journey