I live in a world where good is a prerequisite for better.
It can be exhausting, but ultimately, it’s a place where I thrive and produce the best work. To survive here I must be my best friend and own worst enemy, knowing acutely when to transition between the two. It requires a balance so fragile that I hesitate to even consider it something I hold.
Because I spent a good portion of my existence dominated by my internal critic, to the point where the tapes in my head began to sound like propaganda for some sort of cult. As referenced in Badass and Beautiful’s inaugural post, Sum of Our Parts, I am no stranger to the insecurities that stem from having your self worth all tied up in your appearance. What I did not allude to, however, is that I was long at war with the person in the mirror. I would say things to her – about every inch of her being – that I would never, ever say to someone I loved.
The initial impetus for changing this behavior – which to be clear was so ingrained in me that it honestly felt like home – was listening to my clients, day in and day out, verbally beat themselves up. I realized that as I attempted to coax them out of their vicious cycle that I was being a total hypocrite for telling them to recognize their true beauty. Because when it came to doing the same for myself I, try as I might, could not.
So an internal rally cry was sparked to be authentic. It was the beginning of a mission that guides me and all things Badass and Beautiful like a compass to this very day.
But this shift in mindset really just opened the door to the heart of the matter, which is that self-love and acceptance are not only necessary, they’re strategic for a purpose-driven life. I mean, sure we all need and build systems to carry us, but Lord knows they’re far from foolproof. I know we can all reflect on experiences when we’ve been disappointed by someone we trusted. They hurt like hell, but they really should serve to strengthen the fight.
Of course, this is not to say that we shouldn’t lean on others. It is, after all, a basic human instinct to connect and reach out, and even the purpose of this blog is to serve as a pillar of support. But we all need to be able to self-motivate, to spark that fire and to have the capacity to pick ourselves up. So learn to love thyself. Because sometimes and perhaps often, you are going to be all you’ve got.