Imagine this: you go to put on your favorite pair of jeans and — oh, no! No, no, no, no! The worst of the worst has happened; they don’t fit like they used to! You go into full-on emergency mode: you lay down, wriggling into them with all your might, sucking in your stomach to make them fit. After an epic battle, you button them up and victory! They still fit! You would do a victory dance, but your range of motion has been severely restricted… well, they’re on and that’s all that matters! So, you finish getting ready and head out of the house. About fifteen minutes later, you’re feeling light-headed. Your jeans are squeezing your stomach, causing a lot of pain and cutting off your circulation. But you look good! At least until you pass out.
Learning to love yourself is quite like squeezing into a pair of too-tight jeans. It’s definitely uncomfortable and maybe even a little painful. It just doesn’t feel natural and you’re tempted to put on your comfy sweatpants, grab a box of cookies, and call it a day.
But here’s the thing: you may not fit into those jeans today, but if you work hard, you might in a week or two or three.
Of course, you could always take a shortcut. Maybe crash diet for a couple of days and look at you! Looking good in those jeans… until someone walks past you with a nice, cheesy, steaming slice of pizza and it all falls apart.
If you struggle with your self-esteem, you must accept that loving yourself is a process. Loving yourself is not something that will happen instantly and even when you think you’ve mastered it, something just may come up and test you. It is DIFFICULT.
But here’s the good part: if you take the not-so-easy path, the change is more likely to stick. Figuratively speaking, you could be victory dancing in your favorite jeans everyday.
And here’s another good part: real change feels so deeply satisfying. So many people overlook the fact that the journey is often enjoyable; you don’t have to be at the end of the race in order to enjoy running it. In fact, some of the most satisfying moments are when you realize the small, simple ways in which you are now different.
It sounds cliche (and it is), but it really is about the journey and not the destination. And if you can learn to like the steps it takes to get to where you want to be, you’re more likely to actually get there.
Author: Erika Oglesby