“What if you just accepted yourself as you are?” is a question I’ve been challenging myself to answer lately. As in, what’s the worst that could happen if you were to simply take you for who you are and love yourself? You might be thinking, I already do this, Elise, so why don’t you get over your insecurities and move on already?!
Great question. I’m nearly 35 years old and STILL struggle with accepting who I am, how I look, what choices I’ve made, and the list goes on. I imagine some of you might relate. It’s exhausting. And it’s time to start taking steps to move on. I’m simply too old for this sh*t, and I don’t want to spend another minute worrying about things that I can’t change – at least not without a lot of hair products. Let me explain…
This will sound silly but this self-questioning all started with my curly hair. My big ole’ curly hair.
In my opinion, I’ve never had ‘good’ hair. I’ve always had to work at straightening it or curling it to get magazine worthy hair. When it’s left to air dry or when I diffuse it, I get this wavy/curly situation you see here in these pictures. I thought it was messy and not ‘pretty.’ I’ve never liked it or appreciated it for what it was. Different. Natural. Mine.
The funniest thing is that I get more compliments on my hair when I wear it natural than any other way. My Atlanta blogger friend Shannon from Mom Without Labels even told me the other day that it makes me look younger (thank you Shannon, I’ll love you forever for saying that).
And Evan likes it big and curly the best. In fact, that’s the first thing he ever said to me when we met 14 years ago and I had it down and big and curly – “I love your hair!!”
It’s got me thinking that the way we each see ourselves must be SO different from how the rest of our world sees us. You might think you’re a hot mess. But no one else is thinking about you that way. They’re probably not even thinking about you at all!
So what is the worst that would happen if I accepted my hair and wore it natural and ‘Elise’ all the time?
The answer is – nothing. Nothing would happen. I would save time. I wouldn’t worry about a single hair being out of place. Over time, I’d probably feel better because I was being truer to myself. And the world would keep spinning and no one would give a flying flip. Except Evan – he’d be psyched!!
But enough with this silly hair metaphor-example-thing that I’m trying to pull off.
The point is – we can spend time disliking every detail about ourselves, or we can spend time enjoying ourselves and striving to be better versions of ourselves each day. That’s what I’m working on this year (did you read my Changing My Life post? I spilled all of it there). It’s taking a lot of time and effort and soul searching. It’s uncomfortable. But it’ll be worth it.
I’m not an expert at self-acceptance, obviously, but my advice is to start by forcing yourself to answer this question. What if you just accepted yourself for who you are? Write down the things you don’t accept and then write down the consequences of accepting them. Chances are you’ll see the only consequence is that you’ll be forced to let go of your own insecurity crutch.
What’s left after that is a whole lot of freedom. To be yourself. Now that’s gonna be amazing – because you are amazing.
What else? Get ready to see a whole lot more curls and waves and frizz and FABULOUS on this blog going forward. I’m challenging myself to make it last!