They say ‘Nobody is perfect’, but I ask “Who defined perfection?” Take a moment to think about this – Who has set the standards for beauty, intelligence, success or happiness? Who defines your flaws as your flaws? The day these questions started bothering me, I knew I was in for a major change in my life. In this post, I want to help you embrace your flaws with some super actionable and insightful stuff and help you in your journey towards self-love!
Labeling certain traits as ‘flaws’ is very undesirable in my perspective. But the harsh truth is that we all dislike certain traits in ourselves. This is mainly because of the negative experiences that we have around these traits. For example, there is a general notion in the society that ‘having a wheatish skin tone is not attractive’. This notion has affected millions of Indian women, including me. Growing up I tried various remedies to overcome this ‘flaw’. It was early on in my life when I realized that my skin tone does not affect my attractiveness or confidence. I was shown that my skin color enhanced my features and I started looking at myself with a new lens.
I know saying ‘I love myself with all my flaws’ is super easy but practicing it can be real tough. The journey from wanting to love myself completely to actually doing it has been long. I will be sharing some tips that helped me get to this place in my life.
Honestly, this process is not a joyride and can be quite challenging. The most difficult part of this is being honest with yourself. I suggest you to go through this process with utter honesty and self-awareness. I have broken this down to a four step process so as to help you with taking systematic action towards self-acceptance.
Step 1 – Identify Your Flaws
We know we dislike certain things in ourselves, but rarely do we admit it. In this very first step, I want you to get honest and transparent with yourself and write down all the traits that you think are flawed.
We are often insecure about many things in ourselves but we find it difficult to admit it. We are restricted by the need to protect ourselves and hence we like to say that ‘I love myself’ when you actually don’t mean it. So take out your journal or a notebook and make a list of your traits that you are insecure about.
These traits can be anything – physical, lifestyle oriented, mental or emotional. There are so many people who dislike their flabs, their hair, their financial situation, their fashion sense, their relationships, their intellect, their creative side and so many more things. Make your list, because that is the place from where you will be able to work towards self-love.
Step 2 – Go deeper with journaling
You were born flawless, and then this concept of ‘flaws’ was implanted in you y the society. Each of your flaw has a backstory associated with it. The general notion about wheatish skin tone resulted in my mental block. A friend of mine despised her intellect because of constant comparison with her super-intelligent sibling.
Your task in this step is to find out your back-story. What helped me was journaling or writing things down. I took out my journal, wrote one of my flaws as the title and started writing anything that came to my mind about it. I love writing and that is why I enjoy free form of journaling if you feel like you need guidance, the Embrace Your Flaws workbook has various journaling prompts that will help you get started and then go deeper.
Understanding why you feel the way you do is the key to shifting the mindset. Once you see how these flaws came into being your flaws and not just your unique traits, you will see how baseless the entire thing is. This step will enable you to clean your slate.
Step 3 – Looking with a new Lens
Now that you have cleaned your slate, it is time to write a new story. If you leave the slate blank, you give the society a chance to write their stories on it. This is why, we will be writing one ourselves to start the self-love journey.
There are various ways you can approach this step. You can either do it yourself or you can get help.
- Meditation – Self Healing
- Talk to someone you love and trust – Guided healing
Use the self healing technique when you do not have the courage to talk about it to someone else and show your insecurities to them. I have overcome certain flaws that I don’t talk about because they make me feel insecure. I meditated, told myself how each of it made me unique and how all my traits were there to have a beautiful and enlightening life experience.
On the other hand, for some flaws, like the one I mentioned above, I found courage to speak to my mother, best friend or partner. I suggest you to share these with people who will make you see the good in yourself. My mother, showed me how my skin tone enhanced my features and how I looked beautiful. I could see it myself because I now had a blank slate. This is how I started off my self love journey.
Step 4 – Daily Discipline
I have said this before, but I will repeat that this journey is not easy. These journaling, meditation and counseling sessions will help you renew your mindset but maintaining it requires discipline. Even after you have healed that part, there remains a soft spot in that place. If not taken care of, these places can start bleeding again.
I have a self care ritual that I do every single day, week and month and I have incorporated some self-acceptance practices in there too. I like checking up on my soft spots every other week. I will use my journaling prompts to make sure that my state of self-love is unaffected.
Besides periodic check in, you need to maintain a mindful awareness around these topics. Every time, in any social situation, if you feel like your soft spots are being exposed, tell your mind to know what the truth is.
If you are insecure about your weight and someone passes a comment about your fatness, tell your mind that these opinions do not matter to you. Tell your mind the story that you have recreated right after the story that the society tries to impose on you.
Once you so this for long enough, all these places will heal and you will feel the purest form of self-love. There is no going back after that. I invite you to such a place of self-love!