We all have traits we don’t particularly like about ourselves. The challenge lies in accepting them as parts of ourselves and embracing them as gifts. In this article, mindfulness guru from Southland Russell Jack shares his three favorite ways you can embrace your flaws and rewrite your life story.
We live in a world surrounded by unrealistic expectations of the human body shown on social media. Polished and photoshopped images reflect flawless beauty and lifestyles that most of us can only dream of. When we go up to the mirror or look at ourselves in comparison to these “perfect” pictures and lives, we often feel like we have many flaws and our life experience is not as exciting as that of the others. So, how do you embrace yourself the way you are in these circumstances?
Step 1. Look at a bigger picture
Although it may look like most people are living the lives of their dreams, the reality is often not shown on social media. Things like personal struggles and self-criticism, low self-esteem, and relationship problems are not something people like to talk about publicly. Everyone struggles at one point or another, and the polished experience we often see is only a facade that covers a multitude of daily pains and challenges. Think about it; you don’t share your most vulnerable moments with a stranger; you only share them with your trusted friends or family members. So why would an influencer with many followers share their most vulnerable moments with all of them? Many bullies on the internet are waiting to use such information against those who share it. Seeing this bigger picture should help you resize that what you often see on social media is only a tiny part of people’s lives.
Step 2. Get to know yourself
Many people live their lives without getting to know what truly makes them tick. They go through the motions of everyday life and rarely stop to ask themselves, “How am I feeling right now?” or “What can I do for myself today?” These seemingly simple questions help develop self-care and compassion, which are crucial in accepting and loving our flaws. When we sit down with ourselves and take the time to discover and explore who we truly are, we find that we are unique individuals with talents and strengths that other people don’t have. And usually, our flaws are also very interconnected with our strengths. For example, if you think you are a people pleaser, it means you are empathetic and care about others.
Step 3. Practice mindfulness
The main feature of mindfulness is non-judgemental observance. It teaches us to sit with our emotions and not judge ourselves for having them. By practicing mindfulness at least once a day for 10-15 minutes, you are teaching your mind to slow down and your body to relax. There are various types of mindfulness, including meditation, mindful eating, walking, and breathing exercises worth trying. Learning to accept your feelings and not fight them or react to them is a first step in understanding that your flaws have the right to be just like your strengths. Remember, there is nothing “wrong” in the human experience. We just learn to judge ourselves and who we are as we grow up, and we have to “unlearn” it if we want to embrace ourselves fully.
About Russell Herbert Jack
Russell Herbert Jack, a Southland-based yoga and mindfulness teacher, specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations. Russell is passionate about animal rights protection, regularly volunteers with the World Animal Protection Organization, and donates to protect endangered species in New Zealand.