This Is How You Stop Loving Yourself

God & Man

You believe everything your parents told you growing up. You let all your childhood fears live with you as you grow old and live a completely different life than the one they lived. You see yourself as the girl who is not smart enough to have a career she’s passionate about because that’s what your mom told you. She taught you to settle, to find a husband and raise a bunch of kids because that’s what she did. You see yourself as the boy who isn’t going to be successful like his dad or the boy who’s going to fail because he picked another career that his dad wasn’t very fond of. You think that when let your parents take up all your space, that means you’re a good daughter or a good son, no matter how much your life is breaking you.

You stop loving yourself by being everything your parents wanted you to be when it’s everything you’re not. When you don’t fight for at least a room in all the space you let them dominate. 

You let the ones who broke your heart define you. You believe that you’re the girl they’ll never pick because you don’t look or behave like the girls they end up with. You believe that every girl will either dump you or start dating someone else because none of them stayed. You believe that you’re unworthy of love and attention because your past taught you that you’ll never be loved the way you always wanted to. You continue to settle for half-love or almost relationships because that’s what you know for sure. That’s what you got used to. That’s what you secretly think you deserve.

You stop loving yourself by breaking your own heart to make others whole.

You convince yourself that you’ll never be able to follow your dreams . You keep going to the job you hate, surrounded by people who are much better than you at it. You continue to feel inadequate because your boss also makes you feel like you’re a hot mess. So you become complacent because everyone told you that you can’t make it as a writer or a singer or an actor or an entrepreneur. You listen to them and believe that they know better than you because their life is not falling apart, they have their shit together, they know something you don’t. You’ve been wanting to be like them but you just can’t make it. You don’t think you have what it takes because you’ve always been average. An average employee, an average person with average dreams.

You stop loving yourself by silencing your voice to listen to those who don’t understand you and those who don’t dream like you do. You listen to those who have learned how to settle and how to follow a crowd, but you weren’t born to follow a crowd, you were born to stand out. You were born to take the crowd in a different direction.

You stop loving yourself when you take everything you’ve ever learned and apply it even when you know it’s wrong or it’s not for you. You let the wrong ones give you a false idea about love and you cling to it because you stopped believing in fairytales and started believing in heartbreak. You wake up every morning and pretend to be passionate about a job that’s not right for you and one that you’re not good at as you try to run a race you’ll never win. You work twice as hard but you’re not getting half the acknowledgment your coworkers are getting. You keep going through the same vicious cycle in your life expecting it to miraculously change overnight.

You stop loving yourself by standing still thinking there’s nothing you can do to change your life. But once you take baby steps to break free from all the stereotypes, labels and rules you’ve been conditioned to follow, you’ll find an exit. You’ll find another direction. You’ll slowly find yourself. You’ll hear yourself more clearly. You’ll see yourself in a different light. A brighter light. You’ll start realizing that you’re capable of living a good life, you’re worthy of love, and you’re competent enough to do something you adore every day as you thrive to be number one.

Then the magic happens. You start loving yourself and once you do, you’ll instinctively reject anything or anyone that doesn’t love you. You’ll reject anything that doesn’t bring you joy. You’ll reject anything that reminds you of the days you used to hate yourself because you didn’t know any better. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.


Writing makes me feel alive. Words heal me.

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