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I never learned to acknowledge the good things about myself. I never said: I really love my eyes, or my career, or my talent for drawing. When I got a compliment I was put into a corner. I blushed and hunched a little and said:
„What no! I’m not that!“
Refusing to accept the compliment fully. Refusing to be egoistic and show off with whatever was the complimented. I didn’t look self-absorbed and I definitely didn’t feel like I deserved it.
It wasn’t only about the looks. It was about everything. My skill, my talents, my daily practices. When somebody said: I am impressed by your daily yoga routine. I couldn’t just say: Thank you so much. Not truly. Although I rarely miss a day of yoga I would rather say: Ah that is not so impressive. I miss days constantly and it's only 15-30 minutes or so and it took me more than a year to get here.
Trying to play it down instead of embracing the compliment and being proud of what I have achieved.
I didn’t acknowledge that others might find something impressive about me and I definitely didn’t think or say that about myself. Simply saying ‚I love myself because I worked hard on practicing daily yoga’ was miles away from my thinking.
Why is that?
As womxn, most of us are taught really early on that we are supposed to be humble. We are supposed to care for others, put ourselves last. We are the caretakers and the peacekeepers. We don’t show off. We don’t impress others with what we got. We learn to behave and keep it to ourselves. Never celebrate success and definitely don’t ‚brag‘ about it.
You don’t believe me?
How many conversations did you have moaning about the things you are not good at or the body that you don’t like?
And now compare it to the conversations you had about what you are good at or the things you like about yourself? How often did you tell your friends that you think they are beautiful or that you are really proud of the work that they created? And now compare it to the few times you said that to yourself!
When I asked myself the question first a while ago I realized it was NONE!
I never talked about what I’m good at. I never talked about the things I liked about my body or the things I liked about myself. When I opened my mouth to say it out loud (not even in front of people just at home alone) It felt ridiculously awkward.
I learned that everything I did and how I looked was not worth mentioning because I wasn’t intelligent or pretty. I only had one talent that was drawing and that wasn’t for show. When I had an exhibition I rarely asked anyone to come. When I had a feature In a newspaper I hid in my room because I was embarrassed. When I was published in a book I put it on the shelve but did not tell anyone.
And now? Now I am done with it!
Not only because it is a way of silencing womxn’s voices, but also because I deeply believe we need to tell it how it is. We need to stop putting ourselves down and tell the stories good and bad.
We need to start voicing that we love ourselves! To free ourselves from the belief that we are not good enough. Because when we speak it, it is truth!
We need to practice this love of ourselves by finding things that we love about ourselves and putting it out into the world!
Till today when I have an exhibition it is really hard for me to let people know. But today I do it anyway!
When I find something new about my body that I love and appreciate. I let you know.
When I am really proud of a piece of work I did. I let my client know.
When I really feel sexy today. I let my partner know.
When I build out a van all by myself and freaking love that I did that. I let everyone know!
What will you let the world know today?
Join me today. Tell your side of your story in the comments. Share one thing that you love about yourself, about how you look, how you dress, what you are talented in, what you achieved, or what you impress yourself with.
Don’t be shy and shout it out because we all deserve self-love and it starts by acknowledging it in yourself.
Share it with me in the comments, with one person in your surrounding, or share it with the world!
If you are interested in more behind the scenes content by Andrea Forgacs visit her Patreon page where she talks about her creative business in a weekly podcast available nowhere else on the internet.