Be nice, how to build your style from the inside.

by jennine on January 31, 2008

If you have ever noticed someone wearing sweats and a high ponytail looking wonderful, and a person wearing all the right things and looking like an uncomfortable mess, you’ll know that true style comes from the inside. Inner beauty is something anyone can obtain. It’s simple, but not always easy.

I don’t work hard enough. I need to improve my wardrobe. If I was smarter, things would be easier. If I could fit into a size two, I’d be happier. My cheeks are so chubby, I’d be a lot prettier if I had decent cheekbones… etc.

For many years this was the dialog that went on in my head. Learning to be ok with myself, and my inner demons has been a long and complicated struggle. For some reason, I was never good at hiding my internal struggle, it was always embarrassingly obvious to those around. My family, my friends, etc… for a long time I struggled to find my path.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, when a friend of mine noticed how hard I was being on my self. She told me she had a similar problem, and to put of picture of myself as a child on the refrigerator. And told me ‘if you ever think about criticizing yourself, just think of what you would say to a cute little girl.’

I smiled and immediately thanked her for her advice, and went along my way. Then another friend lent me this book (after a crisis revolving around cutting my own hair), by Louise Hay, that talked about positive dialog. Being as smart as I am, I took the hint and read it. All the sudden I realized I talked to myself so harshly.

One of the lessons I’ve learned is that reality is my perception, and that can be changed, if I want to change it.

Now, it’s not as easy as just changing my “internal dialog”… but it’s a start. Merely being open to the idea of change is a bigger step than anything I can think of, because only the times I was willing to change, something came across my path. What happened , was I became willing to look for the good, instead of looking for what needed to be “improved.”

Being nice to myself was a start. I’m not easy on myself a lot, but saying things like “I love and approve of myself”

Now, it’s not as easy as just changing my “internal dialog”… but it’s a start. Merely being open to the idea of change is a bigger step than anything

really helped, it was strange, but in it’s own way it helped. When I started listening to my natural internal dialog, I couldn’t believe how much I DIDN’T approve of myself. I realized that more often than not, I was saying things like “You don’t deserve a good job” “You’ll never find a nice boyfriend” “You live in a dump” “Your car isn’t as good as everyone else’s car” … In reality, none of that was true, it was merely the spin I put on it by comparing myself to other people. Other people I only barely knew, and most of all, I couldn’t see the gifts I had, which were many.

It was amazing, and so weird. So I kept saying nice things… I put little cards around my apartment (they are still there… I still need them) with affirmations. And you know, I also went to therapy, I became open to change and it came. Two years ago, I would have never have started a blog, because I didn’t think I had anything valuable to say, and I certainly didn’t think that there was any value in being obsessed with shoes. I was afraid of what people would think of me… only because I was listening to the bad things I said to myself.

So I guess, the moral of the story is, when I’m nice, the world opens up.

Here are some of the notes I have written around:

I love and approve of myself

Everything I want or need is already within me

Write useful posts

You are beautiful

*Double Bows taken by NicolasT

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{ 9 comments }

Suzann January 31, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Love your point about seeing someone in sweats who looks great, and someone else dressed perfectly who looks awful. Attitude, self-talk - so true! Love your blog.

K January 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm

I just read over what you said and it seems to mirror myself. I tend to tell myself negative things, even if I know they’re not true. I just wanted to tell you that you’ve inspired me to try to be nicer to myself in future.

Thank you and definitely keep up the excellent blogging. :]

thealchemist January 31, 2008 at 4:22 pm

people don’t realize how important self-talk is. i’m a firm believer of positive internal dialogue. love the idea of using a picture of yourself as a child.

sarah January 31, 2008 at 8:40 pm

What a wonderful post! It’s so nice to see people learning about themselves and sharing the journey with others. :)

jennine January 31, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Oh thank you for your lovely comments! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who had to go through this…

c in c January 31, 2008 at 9:06 pm

thank you so much for this post jennine. it is an incredibly “useful post” you have written - maybe even more than you could have anticipated. hugs to you for your bravery and the inspiration for my own small steps forward towards change :)

susie_bubble February 1, 2008 at 12:16 am

I thinkg I’m still battling demons inside me… but it does get better and this of course is encouraging…

Celia M. February 1, 2008 at 5:01 am

Nice post, beautiful. We really need to be nicer with ourselves, sometimes we´re our worst enemies…
(And I think Victoria Beckham has to be so unhappy, she always look so uncomfortable ;-) )

Aidan February 1, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Great post Jenine! I’m actually just requested the Louise Hay book from the library :) See how easy it is to put good vibes out into the world? Thank you!

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