Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.
It’s interesting and more than a little sad sometimes that some people spend a lot of time and energy trying to get people to like them. You see it on Facebook all the time – “If you like me, I’ll like you back.” Sometimes I get those “Like me, Like me, Like me” messages from people that I don’t even know, much less know if I like. I think it is much more important that you are able to look at yourself, how you conduct yourself in public and with others and how you feel when you are alone and be able to say – I like me.
After all you will spend more time with yourself than with anyone else, even a spouse; and, if you can’t stand being alone with yourself, I’ll bet that you have issues with being with other people, too. Learning to like yourself is learning to be honest with yourself, but not harsh on yourself; especially if you’ve just screwed something up and you feel bad about it already. There are enough people taking shots at you, don’t beat yourself up. Sit down with some soft music on and a glass of wine and say, “Whether anyone else in the world does right now; I like me.”
I have known people who absolutely could not stand to be alone. Sometimes I’d think it was because they bored themselves to death, but the reality was that they just didn’t like themselves. They had no thoughts or opinions or dreams that they could just focus upon when no one else was around. They found themselves to be uninteresting. That’s just sad and for them scary. What they needed to do, and we all need to do, is to take ownership of their lives. Most of these people were joiners, followers and hangers-on, which is OK; but, one cannot live one’s life completely through others and by following along with others. Eventually you have to take some leadership responsibility, if with no one else at least with yourself. You have to be responsible for your own entertainment and contentment, even when you are by yourself; and, that starts when you can get to the point where you admit to yourself – I like me.
That’s not narcissism (I love me might be, but we won’t go there); rather it is just being comfortable in your own skin. Being comfortable with who you are, where you are in life and confident about where you are headed and how you plan to get there. You know people like that; maybe you’ve met some or you would like to. You see them walk into a room and it’s not that they “own the room”; it’s more that they own themselves; they exude a quiet self-confidence, and others in the room find that interesting and gravitate to them – they are probably some of the people whom you’ve been following around. When you become a person who’s like that (someone that you’d like to meet in life); it’s because you have become a person, like them, who can say – I like me.
Let’s face it; it all starts with you. If you are the timid and shy wall flower, you don’t like that and you probably don’t like yourself either. The funny thing is that you don’t have to do all sorts of weird and unnatural things to break out of your cocoon of shyness, just start by liking yourself first. If you think about it, there probably aren’t a lot of people standing around pointing at you and saying, “I don’t like you.” It’s mainly you, staring into the mirror and saying that; so start by stopping that and starting each day with a quick look in the mirror and saying to that person – I like me.
Don’t tear yourself down; build yourself up. Don’t find reasons to be fearful; find reasons to be confident. Don’t worry that you might look different; revel in the fact that you look unique. People will remember meeting you; make those memories pleasant and fun. If you want a good laugh that might help you put things in perspective, click on this link to take a quick look at the childhood pictures (and current shots) of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Don’t you think that they were once where you are now? They survived and got by that stage and now they like themselves. Once you can like yourself, you’ll find that you will spend less time avoiding the situations that used to make you nervous and withdrawn because liking yourself allows you to care a lot less about what the people around you will think of you and that self-confidence will shine through. You’ll also find that it is a lot easier for people to like you once you get to the place where you can say – I like me.
People conjure up amazing reasons to believe that others will not like them, if they have a problem liking themselves in the first place. All of a sudden a zit in the wrong place at the wrong time (is there every a good time) is imagined to be as bad a being labeled a leaper; a slight speech impediment or accent is conjured into an indictment of your intelligence; a lack of flashy athletic or academic achievements and awards is turned into an indication of failure in life. None of that is true and in most cases, none of it exists anywhere but in your imagination. Yet we let our imaginations and the fears that it conjures up rule our lives. Take your life back! Look in the mirror and tell yourself that none of that stuff matters. What really matters is that you know that God loves you and that you can look at that person in the mirror and say, I like me!
You’ve just satisfied the two most important people in your life, the others will come around.