Well Esteemed

Shrug: Igigi

The inestimable Sally, over at GeorgieLove, is running a week of posts on loving thyself and it’s a pretty magnificent idea. Pop on over there and have a good read, it’s OK – I’ll wait.

So what do you think?
It’s pretty hard to think great things about yourself, isn’t it? We’re so trained to reach higher, achieve the impossible, be the most beautiful, the slimmest, the sexiest, the most competent that sometimes we forget what a miracle we are, just as we are. We focus on the negative instead of embracing the positive. And worse, we take the positive and make it a negative. If we’re fair we strive to be tanned. If we’re curvy we want to be straight. Tall girls want to be short, petite girls want a few extra inches. I know there’s a lot of women out there who would love to possess my DD’s but I’d love to downsize to a C cup.
Apparently I have low self-esteem.
I’d never really thought of it until someone pointed out the language that I used to describe myself was consistently negative. I’m square. I’m a bit of a doormat. I’m pretty nerdy. I’m overweight. I’m not fun to be with. I’m shy. Cold. Standoffish. I don’t party, drink, play computer games. No wonder it’s so easy to walk all over me – if I don’t value myself, how can I expect other people to treat me well?
Well, it’s got to stop.
So, in the style of Sally, here’s what makes me great:
I’m smart. I’m loving. I’m generous. I’m beautiful – maybe not traditionally so, but I have excellent skin, a pretty smile and lips that were made for kissing. My hair is great. I cook really well. I’m full of joy. I have lovely hands and long elegant fingers that know how to play piano. I have a decent singing voice and a good ear for music. I’m good at my job. I’m easily liked. I treat people well. I’m trusting and loyal. I’ve got good fashion sense. I like to share. My body is well shaped and operates well. My legs are inordinately strong. Animals love me. I laugh all the time.
All right folks – your turn. What do you love about yourself? What makes you lucky to be you?
Necklace: Accessory Company @ Myer

35 thoughts on “Well Esteemed

  1. Oh, Girl! You are wonderful 🙂 I used to be the same way 😉 It passed when I divorced 😛 anyway, it's never too late to reach inside and find how precious you really are!
    Big biiiiiiiiiiiiiig hug!
    and sending some heat and sunshine 🙂
    magdalena

  2. I just want to give you a standing ovation!!! Great post!

    we are so hard on ourselves arent we!!! I wonder why????

    I find it so easy to smother my two children in loving affectionate words that bring smiles to their little faces and boost their growing self love

    BUT when it comes to myself Im harsh, down right nasty sometimes its truly absurd!
    definately need to work on that starting right now….

  3. That's posatively fantastic!! I'm going to do it, so inspirational. Thank you. I will read the original post too.

    Here Goes:

    I'm Smart. I'm interesting. I am a global citizen. I have beautiful dark hair and lively green eyes. I can make my friends laugh. I have people that care about me. I can play the oboe. I treat myself well. I can design my own jewelry. I have great style. I am good with money. I can design fantastic rooms. I'm a dancer. I am loved.

  4. At the moment I am unsure what to ad with the positive self affirmations but I must say the brown and navy look FAB together.

  5. Oh I think these are going to be the most uplifting comments ever…
    I am funny, I am smart, I am kind, I am empathetic, I am adventurous, I am suprising, I have beautiful eyes and nice legs, I have hair that makes people stop and touch it. I have many friends who love me, I have an individual sense of style, I am good at what I do, I am respected and I am loved.
    Wow that feels good…
    Thank you Lilli!

  6. Oh. I love this post Lill. Love it and I am SO happy to read all those wonderful things about you, you are a rare jewel, lovely girl. You are definitely all of those things and in particular I am so envious of your magnificent complexion. You are also inspirational to others, joyful to read and look at, an eloquent writer and one of my absolute favourite blogs.

  7. Well I read your post a few hours ago, but I have only now come up with some things I like about myself…

    I love my wrists, my full lips (and the cute wee mole on my top lip)and my freckles. I have a cute face. I like my narrow waist. I am open minded and a good listener. I have a low bullshit tolerance. I am fair. I am well travelled. I am curious. I am a dreamer. I have a lovely smile.I have a very dry sense of humour and animals love me too!

    ….and you do have great hair, I suffer from hair envy when I read your blog!

  8. Oh man, I am totally copying your post theme for my own blog. Too many people focus on the negative, and some people just point out their own flaws and it's stuff I would have never thought until they had said something! It's like a person is trained to view the world, and thus themselves, in a negative light. It makes me wonder why some people are so scared to die, if they are so afraid to live. I think everyone should do this exercise and learn to appreciate themselves.

  9. i am actually going to sit down and make a list of my positive qualities as I too suffer from low self esteem.

    I know I only know you from the blogging world, but from your posts I think you are someone that I would like to be friends with.

    Please know that there are lots of people out here wishing you the best in a difficult time.

  10. Wonderful post Lilli and I have to say that I agree in that we all seem to have long long lists of negatives but when it comes to positives, people seem relatively shy to admit to others that they actually think they are pretty great. I also think it is a cultural thing, as most people who have travelled to USA or who have met americans would say they exude a confidence, lacking in many australians. Good old tall poppy syndrome at work here I think. We are scared to admit to ourselves and others how great we are for fear of being cut down.
    I read a wonderful passage from Nelson Mandela every day to remind me of this:
    "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

  11. I just want you to know that you ARE beautiful – completely and utterly stunning!! I might even have a small girl-crush. 🙂 You are a classic beauty, up there with Audrey Hepburn!!

    I have a little attack of the green-eyed monster when I see you look so confident and so happy with your body. You are an inspiration!!

  12. Just thought i would say that you look infinitely more vibrant, healthier and better dressed than the majority of skinny girls around 🙂

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  13. You are beautiful, like, just objectively beautiful. Sometimes I think if we're overweight we have to think we suck, like being overweight negates everything you are and that's just bull. We really have to stop thinking that weight makes one less worthy. Honestly, I think insecurities rob us of life and that's just so wrong. Be what you are, because it's awesome and let the haters, and clearly brain-dead X's be. 🙂

  14. what a wonderful post :D! so weird, i would describe my 'bad' traits exactly the same way. but the good ones are so uplifting!

    your dress is gorgeous, you really look beautiful & i'm so glad you feel it ^_^

  15. Look at all the lady blog love going on here!
    You do rock Lil and you're so beautiful!
    You know one of the reasons we haven't gone shopping yet is cos I'm scared you'll look so good in everything and I'll just look like me!
    Hello Self-esteem, where did you go?
    Stark reality is a bit terrifying. But kudos to you and Sal from Georgie Love for making us think about these things!
    And lets go shopping soon!

  16. Lovely post. Also I love your necklace and may be off to Myer to check it out soon. 🙂

    For myself: I am honest and trustworthy. I will not betray a secret if it's trusted to me. It takes me a while to make friends, but once a friendship is made, I am loyal to a fault. I am good at my job, never call in sick unless I AM sick, and always do what I am asked. I do what needs to be done regardless of if I want to do it… eventually. I am a good and loyal wife, daughter and cat mother. I can do crafty things like knit and sew buttons and repair clothes with a needle when needed. I photograph well. I can cook a few things very well. I am understanding and tolerant. I dress well for my size and shape. I don't wear so much makeup I look inappropriate. I am smart, and handy around the house, fixing things. I know a little about a lot of things, makes me good at quiz nights.

  17. Thanks so much, Magdalena – I could definitely do with some heat & sunshine, and hugs are always welcome!

    Hi Sarah-Jo – I'm so glad it's making people think a bit more carefully about all the negative things they say about themselves. It's so nice that you're there to nurture your children's self-esteem, and that you realise the importance of it. Bravo! Now we just have to get you thinking good things about yourself, too!

    Go Luinae! Though are all things to be proud of! Especially the Oboe playing!

    Thank you so much Sarah – Here's something for you: I love how you always visit, and post a comment, and it's always positive and gives me a good feeling. You're obviously someone with a generous heart, and that's something you should feel good about. Now, your turn…

    I love that, Hayley! Especially about the legs and the hair. We – as women – are so critical about our appearances. It's such a liberating feeling to go: You know what? I have FABulous legs!

    Thank YOU, Sally! It was such an amazing idea that I had to poach it!

    Vicci – I'm sad that it took you a few hours to think of those things! You must keep them in the forefront of your mind, because YOU ARE AMAZING! Also, you're a nurse – so I feel like I should add Selfess, Compassionate and Empathetic. Also, you have an excellent eye for thrift shopping!

    Hi Jennifer Lee: Please do! I'd love to see this go round the interwebs… get everyone brave enough to think about what makes them fabulous. I like what you said about being afraid to live too.

  18. Hi Lesa,
    that sound like an excellent project. I already have one to kick you off: You are an amazing Mum. I know that from reading Blessed By Three. You just exude love for your girls, and I can tell from the photos that they hear every day how amazing they are.

    Sandra, that is such a fantastic quote, thankyou for sharing it with us! I agree that it's a particularly Australian way of thinking – the same person who drew my attention to how I presented myself has done a study on Australian women and self esteem and came to the conclusion that Aussie girls are particularly good at hiding their light under bushels. Also that we try to make out that we're not smart (because smart = unattractive).

  19. hi lil, i just wanted to say that you're not alone. i've been struggling with the same things lately, i've got no real friends left, i'm overweight, shy and uninteresting but reading this made me feel heaps better. i just want you to know that you're not alone and if you can do it, i can do it 🙂
    chelle

  20. This is a wonderful post, very positive and inspiring.

    I am very very negative about myself suffering from very low self esteem.

    Reading your post has inspired me to start listing positive qualities and teach myself to feel better about myself again.

    You truly are a beautiful person. Thank you for giving me such a lovely start to my day.

  21. I'm not fun to be with.

    I would just like to say that this is LIES. Well, most of what you said is lies but this made me more astonished than any! You are great fun to be with! Why do you think I'm practically your shadow at the moment? From the moment I first met you I was jealous of how much fun you were. So shush yourself.

    In other news, I hate that I am always trying so hard to make everyone happy at my own expense, but I love that I try to make people happy. A conundrum indeed.

  22. Not easy to say nice things about ourselves is it?Every time I try to think of something to write, a little voice gets in my head and tells me not to be so up myself (which I'm not, in any way, believe me!).

    I'm intelligent and well educated. 5 framed uni testamurs on my wall can't be wrong.

    I am musical (though lacking in practise) – my years of piano lessons, must count for something.

    I am a good sounding board, for problems, assignments, general chit chat and whatever (my friends, my family, my students and my son's friends seem to confide in me).

    I have a way with words, and can think on my feet.

    I have a wicked sense of humour.

    I have a great rack (have been told this by guys, and flat chested, jealous female friends)

    Lilli tells me I have good legs (can't say I can see it myself).

    I have been told I don't look my age (by people who have mistaken my son for my partner or brother, much to his embarrassment).

    Mum tells me I have great cheekbones and lovely full cupid bow lips.

    My son says I have a great nose, my brother says my ears are perfect (lol, how can ears be perfect????)

    I have been told I have expressive and seductive eyes (how weird is that, didn't know eyes could be seductive, but more than one guy has said this).

    Lots of people tell me I have beautiful skin – years of hats and SPF 30 must count for something.

    When I put my mind to it, I can be very tenacious (one million diets can't be wrong).

    I can cook up a storm, and clean up a messy flat in 60 minutes flat when I know someone is coming over very very soon.

    I can keep my bills paid, myself and a teenager fed and clothed and my mortgage paid on a single income.

    I can always find a reason for red wine and dark chocolate.

    I can sit and do nothing, other than nurse the cat, and not feel the slightest bit of guilt.

    I am a loving and loved, sister, daughter, niece, cousin, aunt, great aunt and friend.

    Most of all I am an awesome mother (hugs to all the other single mum's out there)

  23. Oh Skipper – aren't you lovely? Thankyou so much!

    Thankyou Elissa, I'm so glad you decided to run with it on your blog, too! Go you and your gorgeous hips!

    LOL, thanks Jamile! I hope you haven't got any insecurities of your own, robbing the joy from life.

    Hi Mars – so tell me about your good traits! It's easy to think about the bad ones, but we don't often let ourselves relish the good ones.

    Callie, you are divine and gorgeous and have to most fabulous hair. You have a cute smile and an enthusiasm for some of my favourite topics that just sets you aglow. Be proud! (And come shopping!)

    That's good Suze, but you also forgot to mention your lovely, shy smile (seriously – I've been on your blog, I've seen it for myself)

  24. Chelle! Listen to how you're talking about yourself! Overweight, shy and uninteresting! I can't tell much from your profile, but you're young, curvy and you're a reader of books and a poster on blogs so you're definitely not uninteresting!

    Go Iva! I'm glad that it made you think. We all need to be kinder to ourselves.

    Anon, I am DELIGHTED that it got you thinking about the positive aspects of yourself. Hold your head up, girl.

    Thanks for that, Joanne!

    Fiona, babe, you're too soft-hearted. That's a good point, but it doesn't have to be a see-saw. Value yourself, because I know there's a lot of people out there who value the HELL out of you! (me, for one!)

    D_H, I am so proud of you! Go you and your awesome legs! (seriously girls – this woman has a great set of pins)

    LOL, thanks Emily – I'm glad it did 🙂

  25. Thank you lili, you are sweet. I am finding it very easy to come up with positive traits regarding my personality but it terms of appearance it's so much harder. I guess because I'm girl next door cute with a silly outgoing personality people are more likely to comment on that. However, like so many people I often ignore or disregard any praise dismissing as someone being polite or wanting something from me. Why are we so ready to believe the negative and not the positive?

    But the point of this exercise is not what others have said about us, but things we like about ourselves.

    I am kind, I am funny, I am affectionate and sweet, I am straight forward and do not like to play games and manipulate others.

    In terms of appearance everyone always mentions my rack but for some reason I like my nose. It's small and in proportion to my face, straight yet adorably button shaped 🙂

  26. hey there,

    I have JUST discovered your blog (thanks Vogue Forum) and I must tell you it is like a god send! I love love love it. I spent about 3 hours online last night reading through all your older posts. You have opened my eyes to so many different brands for plus size women out there. Over the past year I have slowly edged into plus size world and have NOT been dealing with it very well. I resigned myself to the fact that because I am bigger I can't wear anything and don't deserve to wear pretty things. I never knew where to find them and thus gave up! So thank you so much and keep posting your awesome outfit photos but more so… your amazing thoughts. You're an inspiration.

  27. i just wanted to say that i'm so proud of you lil and everyone who's commented on this post. you've all inspired me to deal with my low self-esteem once and for all and go out and live the life i deserve. i don't have anyone to talk to about how i feel but reading your blogs make me feel like i'm not alone. please keep smiling xx michelle

  28. I'll add my own "yay-me!" words in a minute but first – wanted to tell you that you're gorgeous! You're polished, pretty and your outfits suit your shape perfectly. You look amazing.

    As for your self-talk, how about turning it into this:
    You're square – doesn't matter what shape you are. There are Size 0 square shapes!

    Doormat: that'll fade away when you have the utmost confidence in yourself. People respond to the "vibe"/confidence level you give off. If you are smiling and confident and polished, they'll sense your happiness with yourself and they'll relax too. Any hesitation/unsure-of-yourself-feelings will be evident to others.

    Don't worry about The Number (what I call weight). It's merely a number. YOU are who you are today – dress for that stunning girl!

    Shy/cold/standoffish: what I want to be more like (I'm chatty and transparent)….and your words translate to me into – aloof, confident, can stand alone without needing approval. More what I think of as French Chic.

    But it all comes back to your own comfort level with yourself.

    I learned that if I acknowledge things about myself – yes – am a bit overweight; yes – I talk too fast, etc. then if someone else brings it up – how can it hurt me? If they bring up something I've already come to terms with, then I can shrug and not take it personally.

    If, however, I'm feeling wounded by my Number of the Day or feeling bloated, and yet want to see myself as skinny that day, and someone says something to me – I'd be on edge and take it personally.

    Shoot. I'm rambling. Hope you can make sense of what I'm saying.

    For me….I'm pretty, have naturally light, naturally curly hair that is the envy of others; I know and accept my current body size and dress for it; I'm strong, work out, generous, cheerful, loyal, love working with youth at church, and am quite friendly.

    Good luck on your journey to total self-confidence!

  29. I just discovered your blog today and just wanted to say your style is absolute perfection.

    I have been struggling with alittle self-esteem issues lately. (Normally I'm a very confident) But I came across your blog and said wow…that's it…that's the look I've been going for…it is possible.

    You're absolutely gorgeous and I love the haircut!

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