It’s a fact. Self-hate, self-loathing seems to be on the rise. Studies show that young people are full of self loathing. Some say it’s the fault of social media ‘like’ culture. But honestly I don’t agree. We all want to be liked. It’s part of human nature. The challenge is that if we don’t like ourselves we never truly believe that other people can like us too. And if we get stuck in that not liking yourself cycle then it can lead to all kinds of issues and a lot of sadness.
Not liking yourself something I both see in my life coaching and have experienced in my own life. And there are many possible reasons for it. However I think there is a really important one that often gets overlooked.
Living with integrity
Think about it. Comparison culture is part of human existence. And no it is not symptomatic just of modern life, it’s always been a thing. If you look back through history you will see our ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ culture on every page, especially in the royal courts, their fashions and lifestyles. We have always compared ourselves to others. Now back in the day if a person with a high social status had a certain type of hanky the rest of their society would follow suit in order to be accepted and respected. Much the same as today. How many women copied Jennifer Anniston’s hair because of her Friends fame? According to Star Tribute 10.6 million!
The challenge is when we copy others to be accepted into the pack we can often end up doing things that make us socially acceptable but don’t actually make us happy. And this is where integrity comes in.
Bottom Line: If you aren’t living a life of integrity you are never going to like and respect yourself.
Integrity means following your moral or ethical convictions. Having integrity means you are true to yourself and would do nothing that demeans or dishonors you. And to be fair how many of us have not demeaned or dishonored ourselves to be accepted? Not many.
Standing out. Being yourself. Being different. It’s a risk. You may get rejected. But the cost of not being true to yourself can bring more pain, more frustration, dissatisfaction and sadness than rejection in the long run.
Not living a life of integrity is something you can feel. In your gut. It’s hard to explain but if you remember that uncomfortable feeling you had as a child when not telling the truth, that is the feeling you get when you are not living with integrity and being true to yourself.
Living a life of integrity, or coming from a place of integrity is powerful.
It means walking your talk. Daring to live a life that is right for you. It is a sense of wholeness. Being in the flow of living from one’s truth and walking your talk. And ultimately you can respect yourself. You can trust yourself. And you can believe in yourself.
When you can trust yourself to live with integrity you can like yourself.
So if you have been feeling like you don’t like yourself of late. Or you have not been feeling comfortable in your skin or even feel lost. It’s time for an integrity check in.
Define your core values
In 3 words define your core values. Sounds simple, I promise you this is the most challenging part of the journey. In order to live your truth you need to know what your truth is. Cutting it down to three words keeps you focused and keeps it simple.
Make an agreement with yourself that you are choosing to live your life in harmony with these core values.
Who are you?
Are you the kind of person you say you are? What kind of a person fo you want to be? We all have personal narratives, stories we tell about ourselves. Have a look at that. What is it you put out into the world? What is it you tell the world about you? Are you actually living your life as the person you say you are or you want to be? And most importantly is that person living in harmony with your core values?
If the answer is no, well that is where you need to start making some changes.
Identify your untruths
Somewhere you will be living little lies that are not inline with your core values. Find them. Identify them. You will probably find that here are areas of your life that you don’t like and that actually have created a lack of trust in yourself. Find out your weak areas so you can tidy them up.
Walk Your Talk
It is not enough just to think we also have to live it. Walking your talk is a BIG part of living a life of integrity. Create a personal vision statement that gives you clarity about your beliefs and will lead you to become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Then brainstorm certain actions you can take which will align your daily life with your core values and vision of yourself.
When you walk your talk you tell yourself and the world I respect myself and I respect you. When you are honest with yourself you trust yourself. And when you speak and live your truths and take responsibility for yourself and your life you will inspire not only yourself but the people around you as well.
You have inside of you a little voice (or jiminey cricket if you prefer a visual representation) that will tell you when you are not living in tune with your integrity so learn to listen to it. The more you try to hear it the easier it will become.
Reclaim your integrity and show the world you respect yourself enough to live your truth and I am certain not only will the world will begin to respect you a hundred times more. You will like yourself more for living, speaking and acting in a way you can truly, honestly trust.
Over to you what core value do you refuse to compromise? Do you believe it is more important to like yourself than be part of the pack?
Let me know in the comments below
And remember that walking your talk is part of living a life you love.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing make sure you are enjoying your journey