I Was Scared To Be Myself, This Journal Truly Changed My Life
I’ve always been critical of myself, but I thought everyone else was the same.
I thought everyone got out of bed, looked in the mirror, and noticed all their flaws. To me, it was totally normal.
Even throughout the rest of the day, I would spend my time thinking about what I could have done differently.
For example, working out in the gym was a big focus. I’d go at least four times a week and spend about 30 minutes there.
Then, I’d get home and have a look online for what workout I’d do tomorrow.
But if I missed a single day, I’d beat myself up.
Why couldn’t I be that girl?
Why couldn’t I work out for an hour, every single day?
It was the same with food. I’d be furious at myself for indulging in a bag of chips or ordering a dessert. But it was a vicious cycle. The angrier I was at myself, the more I comforted myself with unhealthy foods.
Then I’d wake up the following day, look at myself in the mirror, and it would all start again.
I honestly thought everyone did it. My friends definitely did.
They would chat about cellulite, their slumped shoulders, or their bad skin. We’d all take it in turns to bash ourselves, freaking out over something that wasn’t perfect.
And it wasn’t just our bodies.
We’d talk about how other people seemed to be doing so much better at work. We’d kick ourselves if we were passed over for a promotion. I remember scoring 80% on a performance test at work once and being furious that I hadn’t aced it.
But it was normal. We all did it. It was part of being human, right?
I guess that’s the thing: Until someone shows you that actually, it’s possible to be content and happy with who you are, you think it’s normal to self-loathe.
I got up one morning, looked in the mirror, and burst into tears.
For some reason, that day, I realized how unfair I was being.
Imagine waking up, finding your best friend, and telling them all of their flaws! Every single day! That’s what I was doing to myself.
I knew something had to change. But how? It seemed like an impossible hill.
I started Googling self-love and I saw that there was so much information out there. Lots of celebrities were talking about how important it was to embrace yourself. But I just couldn’t figure it out!
Eventually, I chatted to my friends about it. It felt like we had all breathed a sigh of relief.
‘You feel that way too?’ one friend asked. ‘I’ve wanted to like myself for so long, but I just don’t know how to do it. I feel like I’m always so critical of myself.’
We were all lost.
We made a deal that the next time we met for coffee, we’d each come with an idea of how to improve our confidence and self-esteem.
The following week, we all had so many ideas. First, we tried writing down positive things about ourselves. But that just felt forced and awkward.
Someone else suggested therapy, but we couldn’t all afford it.
Then one of my friends found this journal. It was called the Self-Love Journal, it seemed to fit with what we were after!
We all agreed to do this journal together. We ordered them online and each promised to spend 10 minutes every day writing in it. Then, we’d chat about the prompts at our meet-ups.
But I’ll be honest; I was skeptical. I’ve never been a journal fan and always feel like I don’t know what to write.
Thankfully, my friend had found one that had prompts included. The prompts were easy to respond to, but they made you think and question your negative thoughts.
Plus, the prompts were all ordered very carefully so that it felt as if I were on a journey, going step-by-step.
When our first meet-up came, I couldn’t wait to find out how the girls were getting on. We were all on the same page of the journal, but some felt better than others.
For me, I had noticed that I was recognizing when I was being self-critical. I couldn’t completely change overnight, but we were only one week in!
But within three weeks, things had shifted.
I was speaking to myself more kindly. I understood the reasons behind my negative thoughts and I was able to use really helpful tools to reframe my thoughts.
It was incredible.
Sure, I was still having problems some mornings, but things were already so much better.
At this point, I should probably confess, I hadn’t really researched the journal when my friend suggested it! I just ordered one and got started!
Three weeks in, I was so impressed that I had to find out more.
It turns out that these journals are actually created with therapists using their expert tools and techniques!
So it’s like getting a shot of therapy each morning in your journal. No wonder they work!
The girls were all feeling the same. We absolutely loved writing in them, and it was so refreshing to see ourselves in this new light.
Fast forward to today. I’m writing this on the last day of the journal, and I’m finding it hard to put into words just how fantastic the experience has been.
I don’t look at myself in that cruel, angry way anymore. I celebrate who I am. I’m compassionate when I make mistakes. I treat myself with the same kindness with which I treat my friends.
I’m an entirely different person from the girl who burst into tears looking at herself three months ago.
Like anyone, I have tough days, but now I have the tools to deal with them.
I feel well-equipped to continue without the journal, but I’ve decided to order another because it has become the highlight of my day.
Amazing, isn’t it?
The morning used to be the moment I dreaded each day. Now, I look forward to it as the time for celebrating myself and loving who I am.
Get your own Self-Love Journal and start your journey today.