My sister commented on this note in my kitchen while she was visiting at the weekend. It’s a blog I thought I’d write a year ago last time I watched a bit of Bridget Jones’ Diary. You know those evenings where you’re just flicking on the telly, not really watching anything in particular and happen across a film you’ve seen loads so you know it will entertain you without requiring any brain effort and it doesn’t even matter that it’s already half way through? I was having one of those evenings.
And then I had a similar evening on Friday and remembered the blog I hadn’t written and wrote a note to remind myself to write it.
It’s not exactly an earth-shattering, thought provoking movie, is it, Bridget Jones’ Diary? What on earth could I have seen that would make me want to write ‘the Bridget Jones blog’?
Well, there’s a part in the movie where Mark Darcy informs Bridget that he likes her very much. To which she says something like ‘apart from the smoking, and the drinking, and the vulgar mother…’ And he says, ‘No, I like you very much, just the way you are’. Cut to her friends who have just been told about this conversation, confused faces and comments such as ‘Not thinner?’ ‘Just the way you are..?’
I wonder how many people reading this can genuinely say they like themselves just the way they are? It’s a powerful way to feel and a powerful thing to know, that you are OK just as you are. To not need to be anything more or less.
Why do we find it so difficult to simply accept ourselves just the way we are? In this world where we find it hard to disconnect it can be easy to believe that everyone else has a perfect life – Facebook, Instagram etc are full of photos of wonderful moments and beautiful people, filtered snapshots of imperfect real lives that paint a perfect picture. It can be easy to feel that we don’t measure up to the lives that others seem to be living.
We are also programmed from an early age with messaging about what life ‘should’ be like. We are set up early because really no one lives these perfect fairy tale lives. And yet, when our life doesn’t live up to the fairy tale that others seem to be living it’s tough to believe that we are OK. In fact, life whatever it holds for you, is hard work and some courage and self-compassion are absolutely vital to navigating our way through.
Now I’m clearly a major fan of personal development so I’m absolutely not advocating the fixed mindset attitude of ‘this is who I am, take it or leave it’. I’m very much an advocate of lifelong learning and developing as a human being. I think we can all be better versions of ourselves. All the ‘non-fairy tale’ stuff in my life has offered me a whole lot of opportunities for learning about myself and making some changes.
So work on yourself, work out who you are and what matters to you. Commit to being the best version of you that you can be but don’t do it from a place of hating who you are right now. Don’t do it because you think you’ll be more attractive that way or because you’ll be more popular like that or because you think everyone else is perfect. Do your work because it matters to you. Do it knowing that you are already good just as you are.
Do the work – life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself
Have a growth mindset – know that you can be different if you choose to be and commit to making changes that you want to
Appreciate what you have – the life that you have right now is so valuable
Celebrate your achievements – it’s too easy to concentrate on our failings
Let go of perfectionism – you are a human being and that means that you are not perfect but that’s OK, no one else is perfect either. Be kind as well as courageous
Learn to say ‘I like me, just the way I am’