Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


What You’re Not vs. What You Are

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HowDoILoveMeCover.jpgWhere does your self-image come from? Often it comes from old messages or perceptions. Insecurity can make us believe all the bad stuff people tell us and shrug off the good stuff. One negative comment can pierce a fragile ego. One mean spirited comparison can keep you comparing yourself to others in a way that makes you not feel good enough. That sinks self-esteem and can keep people pleasers pleasing to gain acceptance or to make up for what they’ve adopted as their shortcomings.

Often what you’ve heard or believed in the past–sometimes the far past–becomes prevalent in your self-image, even if it’s not true or you’ve outgrown it.

Being tall in elementary school translated into being big and then being fat for me, though I wasn’t fat. I was just one of the tallest girls back then and always in the rear of everything. No matter what people said or the mirror actually reflected, I considered myself a fat girl. I felt big. The petite girls got more attention and were more popular. I longed to be popular and blamed my big body for not being so. And it all came out in my self-image as being too fat.

It’s unfortunate that compliments can roll off our backs while negative imprints stick like glue.

When you’re insecure, it’s hard to even accept a compliment, no less believe it. Many people said I was pretty, but feeling fat was all that stuck about my appearance. This is another reason why it’s so important to live just in the present moment and leave old perceptions in the past. When I began to do this, my self-image changed dramatically. I was able to be realistic about my past assessment of my body–and truly love it!

I wasn’t fat but thought I was because I wasn’t thin. Now I’ve learned that what you’re not doesn’t make you what you are.

Not being thin doesn’t mean you’re fat!
Not being the smartest in your class doesn’t make you dumb.
Not being the fastest doesn’t make you slow.

Don’t focus on what you’re not. Pay attention to the beautiful person you are. Find your good qualities and appreciate them. Let what’s good about you control your self-image. It will increase your self-love and confidence. I no longer look for what’s wrong with me or compare myself to others. Doing the latter, you can always find someone who makes you fall short and feel like you’re lacking. I do my best to keep my body in good shape and accept I’ll never be thin. But I love my curvy, soft body now, instead of feeling inferior to women thinner than me.

Loving yourself includes accepting yourself–as you are, not dwelling on how you could be.

Self-love rocks! It increases happiness, builds confidence, maintains contentment and enables your self-esteem to grow stronger. Self-loathing decreases happiness, lowers confidence, creates discontentment, and weakens self-esteem. Which do you want? The first one makes the most sense, unless you like to suffer. So right now, go to the mirror and say something nice to you. Be conscious of how you see yourself. Find reasons to make that perception wonderful, because I guarantee you are if you let go of the past!

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected.



  • Your NamePAULINE MOSS

    I WORKED FOR A RAILROAD FOR TWENTY YEARS, WHILE MARRIED AND RAISING MY KIDS. I LOVED MY FAMILY VERY MUCH. MY HUSBAND AT THE TIME HAD SEVERAL AFFAIRS IN A ROW AND SAID HE COULDN’T PROMISE HE WOULDN’T DO IT AGAIN.
    WE BROKE UP AND I REMARRIED A GENTLEMAN ABOUT A YEAR LATER AND MY TWO SONS MOVED IN WITH MY FORMER HUSBAND. I WAS DEVASTATED AND SLOWLY WENT INTO A MAJOR DEPRESSION AND WAS FORCED TO RETIRE. MY IDENTITY OF BEING A WIFE TO MY FORMER HUSBAND, MOTHER AND RAILROAD WORKER HAD CHANGED AND I WASN’T QUITE SURE HOW TO PICK MYSELF UP. RELOCATING TO THE OREGON COAST AND GETTING A GOOD THERAPIST HELPED VERY MUCH. I ALSO GOT INTO ART WHICH I LOVE. SLOWLY BUILDING MY IDENTITY AROUND MY GOOD QUALITIES AND WHAT I LIKE TO DO INSTEAD OF WHAT I THINK I HAVE TO DO TO PLEASE SOMEONE ELSE HAS HELPED ALLOT. CONTINUING TO TREAT MYSELF WELL IS AN ON GOING PROCESS/

  • http://spunkyprayerpoems.blogspot.com STEPHEN GIFFORD

    DEAR DAYLLE DEANNA, PLEASE KEEP UP THE GOOD AND WONDERFUL WORK. FOLKS WHO LIKE YOUR STUFF MIGHT LIKE TO TRY THE INSPIRATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT AT THE LISTED WEBSITE. iT WAS A REAL PLEASURE TO READ YOUR STUFF!
    ALL THE BEST, STEVE.

  • Your NameBobbie

    Hi, As a little child,i guess i must have cried a lot. My mother was always telling me to shut my big mouth.
    So now i am afraid to talk,because i think i have a big mouth and i don’t want to upset people.
    How do i get over this?
    Bobbie

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Good for you Pauline! I’m so glad you’re finding your way.
    Thanks for your kind words Steve!
    I was made to feel I talked to much too Bobbie. Start slowly, and open up more with people you trust. As you see that most people you judge you, you can slowly release that fear.

  • Erin McCaslin

    While this is great advice for self-love, esteem boosting, & the like it is also a case of the Self-esteem movement gone awry & why we have such an epidemic as social narcissism. If more people lived in congruence with integrity & character, less abuse would be occuring. It’s great to grow your strengths. However, avoiding your weaknesses ultimately means you don’t become a full being. As the saying goes, growth doesn’t happen in the ease & quiet but through struggle. Sometimes having the courage to face what isn’t great about yourself & working to improve it, actually gives one more inner strength. That is by & large why positive affirmations don’t work – because they lack the action component. It’s all about balance.

  • Chris Usselman

    DEAR DAYLLE DEANNA, Hi, I am Chris. This is the first time I remember reading one of your articles. Your words seem to come straight from your heart and I so enjoy reading them. I can never get enough positive re-inforcement and I think I will always be a recovering door mat. But, you make it that much easier.
    Thanks so very much,
    With love !!!

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    I’d agree Erin if I weren’t offering many action too. Positive affirmation–one self-love tip out of hundreds–reinforce all the other work people do. They raise consciousness and were critical for my own self-awareness. They can keep you focused on doing the actions.
    I’m delighted to know that I am helping you Chris!

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