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Mental Health
SELF-DEPRECATION VS SELF-LOVE
 
14th October 17
 

I’m on a weird old journey with self-love. It’s a journey which I’ve been on for quite a few years now, and one which I’m only just starting to win. Or, at least win on most days. Some days I know from the minute that I wake up that it’s going to be a lost battle. Or from the moment that I pull my covers back and spy stretch marks. Or the moment that I catch my reflection in a shop window as I walk past, and then see my self esteem plummet in front of me. Self-love is something I’ve been striving for since I was about 13 years old, when I first started to notice every lump and bump. But how can self-love win when self-deprecation is so much easier to slip into?

 

I think we’re lucky in 2017. We’re lucky to live in a time where self-love is so widely spread across society, the internet especially. The idea of loving and accepting yourself is a phenomenon which seems to have taken a hold of all of us. We all strive for a great self care routine and an attitude which reads ‘I love my body and the way I look and the person who I am, and that’s the only thing which matters’. This movement is great. But when it’s underlined by toned and slender models on every wall I walk past in London, and by beautiful celebrities on my TV screen, self love becomes slightly further out of reach for me.

 

Because as much as we talk about self-love, what we’re often accidentally falling into is a state of self-deprecation. The state of being so modest and critical of ourselves, even when we’re doing great, that even we start to believe that we’re not doing good enough. Self-deprecation leads you into believing that you’re mediocre. It stops you from shouting about your achievements and the things that you’re proud of through a fear that other people wouldn’t want to hear it. It’s a belittling and undervaluing of ourselves which blocks us from being able to achieve self-love.

 

So, which of these two traits sounds like the most fun? The one which would make you the happiest version of yourself? I know that my answer would be self-love, so why on earth is self-deprecation the easiest state to slip into? It’s so easy to be overly modest in order to deflect tension away from ourselves that we start to believe that we really are just average and underserving of praise.

 

I read so many posts about how to love yourself and how to accept who you are and what you look like, but while I’m consistently pushing myself to do better, work harder and achieve more, I don’t think I’ll be able to achieve that state of full self-love. Self-deprecation has taught me to never feel like I’ve done enough. So I’m going to start viewing my achievements in the way that I would view other peoples: as things to be proud of. No pushing, no demanding more. Just pride and acceptance. Maybe that’s the first step towards loving yourself.

 
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