How did you start accepting yourself
Self-acceptance and practical tips.
Hello and welcome to "From mindful to sugar-free - the Audi BKK health podcast".
This is extensively devoted to one topic in each season. Here: self-love.
Hello and welcome to a new podcast episode. I am very happy that you tuned in again for the second episode of the Audi BKK podcast. Haven't you heard the first episode? Then I recommend you take a look there. Because the Audi BKK podcast is structured in seasons. The first season is about the topic of self-love, whereby in episode 1 some basics were conveyed and, for example, the term was also explained a bit. What do we mean by self-love anyway? And why that has nothing to do with narcissism at all.
Once you have heard the short version, but would like to have it refreshed again: Self-love does not mean obsessively loving everything in itself, but rather being satisfied with yourself, even if you don't like individual aspects that much.
This episode is about how you can manage to accept and love yourself and possibly even use your weaknesses to your advantage. In addition, I have three wonderful interview guests for you, who each say in a short statement or mini-interview what their own journey has been, what their own point of view is on the subject of self-love. What I'm particularly happy about is that the people are all very different and I find that they complement and enrich each other very nicely. At the beginning of each episode, our guest introduces himself briefly. The first thing we hear now is Luisa, because she describes very nicely what it is like to live a long time without good self-confidence and without the feeling of personal acceptance.
LUISA: Hello dear Ilka, your episode today is about accepting and loving yourself for who you are. And then you asked me if I could tell you a little bit about myself in relation to that. But first I would like to introduce myself briefly: My name is Luisa, I am 23 years old, I am married and have been a trainee speech therapist since last year. But I am also severely disabled due to a rare neurological disease that I was born with. As a result, I am now dependent on walking aids and a wheelchair. I think self-love and self-acceptance play an important role in my life. First of all, it would be important to mention that although I was born with my disease, I only received a really precise diagnosis at the age of 22, because my disease and the associated genetic defect are simply very rare.
Even when I was a child, I noticed that I was different. I needed surgery and I wore an orthopedic corset for a long time. It was like some thick plastic armor that went from my shoulders to my waist. And I wore this corset for eight years, 23 hours a day. In general, I just wasn't as strong as other kids and couldn't run or jump properly. Everything that children actually like to do. In order to keep up, I tried different sports.
But sooner or later it always happened that even beginners and younger children overtook me, so that I actually always had the feeling that I wasn't good enough. I just had no explanation for why I was who I was and always thought that it was my own fault. I was bullied over and over again in my childhood and youth because of my disability and was actually rarely accepted for who I was.
This bullying then escalated more and more and at some point I developed a severe anxiety disorder and even kept thinking about killing myself. As a young adult I developed increasingly severe symptoms as a result of my neurological disease and looked more and more intensively for the one big diagnosis.
On this search, I unfortunately met many people who only take a disease seriously once it has a name. That means: Even when I slowly started to stand up for myself, there were always people who misjudged my condition and assumed I was lazy or sloppy, for example. So of course there were many situations in which I doubted myself and found it difficult to accept myself because I never had an explanation for all of that. Already during this search for my diagnosis I created my Instagram account “Wunderkrabbe”, on which I documented my search and slowly began to show myself for who I really am.
Even as I got worse and worse, this newly acquired self-confidence helped me to accept my walking aids and to carry them confidently. For example, I was ashamed of my severely crooked spine for most of my life. But at some point I just took all my courage and took photos of myself from an angle from which I would not even have looked at myself in the mirror at the time. I then also posted these pictures on Instagram, whereupon I received a lot of positive feedback. But not only that, I also got to know many other young people with chronic illnesses and / or disabilities who told me about similar experiences and yes, I slowly learned that I am not wrong, but that many people deal with the topic Disability is just wrong.
Because I want to prevent more people from having to feel the way I felt, since then I have been trying to create more awareness of this whole topic and thereby appear to be more and more self-confident about my disability. I believe that you always have to make the best of a situation and so now I even enjoy matching my walking sticks to my clothes, for example.
Of course, I also have phases in which I feel bad again or compare myself too much with others. Phases in which I find it difficult to accept that I just can't do everything I want. And yes, because I just might have to deal with other topics than my peers have to. For example, despite my young age, I already have an artificial hip.
In such rather dark phases, my husband often builds me up again and just stands by me, which I think has helped me a lot in the last few years to find myself. By now I would definitely say that I accept myself and yes, also that I have learned to love myself.
ILKA: What I find really exciting about Luisa is that she didn't know what she had for so long. In my case, for example, I was born with a crack in my face and I was aware of that from the start. I was never looking for anything. I practically served the cause on a silver platter and could always persuade myself that all of my self-doubts are of course only related to the cleft on my face. Of course, if I had been born with a symmetrical face, everything would have been very different for me. I would be super safe and would never have any doubts. It was different with Luisa. Luisa had to deal with this feeling of otherness because she simply noticed again and again, as she described,: I can't do what the others can do. I'm being overtaken by younger students, by younger athletes. That must be a totally frustrating feeling and you can also feel when she tells it, how hard these years must have been. This search for yourself. I can really empathize with it.
So I'm all the more pleased that in the end you really hear this very blatant arc, about how much better she is now and you can also see that pretty well on Instagram. In the punk, her path then resembles mine, because I also started to be active on Instagram and to show myself there as I am and then received a lot of positive, loving feedback, which was incredibly encouraging. This is definitely not the right path for everyone and you have to be careful not to become too dependent on the opinion of others, that you don't get addicted to this recognition that you get thanks to social media. But I don't see any danger at all with Luisa.
But it's exciting that our lives have changed a lot to the point that we have used Instagram for something that is already therapeutic. So that is apparently a way how you can gain self-confidence, that if you have seldom experienced this, if you have always felt very different, that you get encouragement, especially for your own kind. And what it is also said that she really enjoyed the exchange with other people with similar problems there, that you just notice: I'm not that alone at all. For example, I found it very cute: Your comparison that she now has fun choosing the color of her walking sticks to match her clothes. That shows exactly that: It is wonderful when you can turn your "weaknesses" into your strengths and can stand above them. And one of the ways in which she transforms her disability, her illness into something positive is that she gives other people courage. So we're going on a similar path and both of us said after years of being dragged down by who we are, let's take advantage of it now. Draw our strength from this and encourage other people.
Now that we've heard what it's like to be full of self-doubt and what life can be like if it's not made easy for you, we're now listening to the next audio file from Peter, which I find very appropriate at this point because he goes into a little more general background, why self-doubt can arise and what can be done about it.
PETER: Hello! Nice to have you on this podcast episode. My name is Peter Beer, I am the author of several specialist books, I am a psychologist and the founder of the mindfulness academy. And so that you can get to know me a little, I would just like to tell you a little bit about myself. Before I went to psychology, before I wrote all the books, I was an engineer in the automotive industry and caught myself in this hamster wheel of hustle and bustle. And yes, things didn't go so well for me and after many years of personal development, a lot of self-love, which is what this podcast episode is about today, I decided exactly what I'm allowed to do here now to bring into the world. More mindfulness, meditation, awareness, so that we can lead a really conscious, joyful, balanced life. And self-love is such an important component.
With self-love, we are allowed to understand at the beginning how it came about that we do not love each other. And for that we can look back to our childhood. And it doesn't take long to understand that. I myself have an eleven month old little boy who loves himself and the world. Quite naturally, without making anything of it. But when we look at our lives, we often see a lot of self-criticism, a lot of criticism of the world. We want to be fitter all the time, we want to be more successful professionally, we want to be more socially respected, we want to be further.
Completely according to this performance-based principle of faster, higher, further. How did that come about? It arose in our childhood through first: Our parental inflexions, which also grew up in a performance society. Then of course the society itself in which we moved. The school system and all these factors that have shaped us over all these decades. Always with a keynote of: The way it is now, it's not ok. You are not ok the way you are. And we have adopted this pattern of: “We are not ok” as a program within us. My young son, who is just eleven months old, does not have this program. And hopefully we won't get it either, but in our society this program is all too often programmed into us and then in adulthood we find ourselves again with all these self-negative thoughts of constantly getting better with all these attempts. Trying to get love
And the thoughts that we then hear in our head that tell us: Ok, we still have to do something. The pressure we feel in our body because we feel that we are not enough. It is a result of our imprinting, of our conditioning. So what is that, what you, I, what we can all specifically do in the direction of more self-love, if we notice in our everyday life? First: Thoughts come up that want to tell us: I'm not ok, I still have to make things more perfect, I still have to make things more beautiful, I still have to be professionally successful, I have to work harder, I have to get fitter, I have to become even slimmer, I have to become even more beautiful or only notice that very subtly in our behavior, because we are not even aware of the thoughts, we are allowed to pause. Take a breath and realize that I am basically not me, that are the influences of my parents, of society.
And in order to create a distance from it, to recognize: It wasn't me as a little baby. I accepted it at some point. And the way I learned it, I can now unlearn it again. And that can be done by firstly being aware of it. And then there is an important component: We decide for it. And please feel this power now while listening to this podcast, that you are making a decision. Decide to let this be, allow yourself, with a strength and an inner clarity, that you are allowed to be exactly as you are. And I love the quote from Suzuki Shunry ?, one of my favorite Zen masters, who always said so appropriately: "You are perfect the way you are there is a lot of room for improvement."
What it means is: You are perfect the way you are and there is enough room for growth. Because what many people then think: Ok, when I accept myself just as I am, when I choose to love myself like that, is not just in this moment, but continuously. Every time such offers of thoughts come into my head, every time I tell myself to love myself and take this pressure off by choosing to be who I am, then many people believe: Then I'll develop unable to continue. This is nonsense. We no longer make this development out of internal pressure, no longer out of lack, but out of joy or because growth is completely natural. Every tree grows, the grass grows. Everything grows and flourishes. It is a natural process of love and it doesn't need pressure, it doesn't need self-doubt, it doesn't need lack. You can grow from joy, you can grow because you feel like it, you can grow because you choose to.
But the starting point where we begin this growth was born out of a love, out of an acceptance. And this love and this acceptance is a continuous decision to observe oneself in one's everyday life, to perceive oneself. Where in my everyday life do I always call it “thought offers”? So thoughts in my head that tell me: I'm not ok yet, the way I am. I still have to do something.
These thought offers are impressions from our childhood, where we learned: We have to be something different from what we are. And as kids it was love and as adults, if we're honest, it still is. But to understand there, to decide in each of these moments. And it has an inner power to choose a quality: I am as ok as I am and I can still grow. I allow myself to be who I am. I love myself the way I am. And you can also try it out with a very small exercise, for example by standing in front of the mirror. In the morning and in the evening. Look in the mirror, look yourself in the eye and say once: "I love you." Say this to yourself once.
You can now do it in the podcast while listening and then it is very exciting to observe at the beginning: What kinds of ideas come up, what kinds of imprints come up. From: “I can't love myself yet, I'm not me yet” or “I still have to do this, I should get slimmer, fitter, something.” And that is normal at the beginning, because when we start to love each other love, these programs come to the surface. Then all we have to do is choose to let them be peaceful and recognize them for what they are. Namely just old programs that no longer serve you. And all that matters is the choice to love you.
ILKA: Oh, I just always enjoy listening to Peter. He definitely said that self-love is a super important component of a joyful life and I can only absolutely agree with that. I was also very happy that he made the comparison with his little son, because I always argue similarly: When we are born, we have no self-doubts or anything. And I'm also sure that Peter didn't mean to say that we are actively involved in a nasty, nasty environment, that our parents are always suppressing us or something, because these are more fundamental pressures, requirements that are transferred to us, which he does yes also thinks.Through society, through the school system. It's not that someone is saying: I want you to have total self-doubts now, I'm holding you down now.
That certainly happens sometimes, but as a rule, we all somehow have self-doubts. In most cases, however, we have parents who want what's best for us. You'd think that doesn't fit together for now. Perhaps about Peter's statement. But the point is that parents want our best and not just our parents, our environment, but also the school and society. And they set different standards for this, because they all squeeze us into a kind of the same scheme.
There is a lot of pressure to perform. It starts at school, when I sometimes talk to people whose children are now in elementary school, it seems to me as if this is already a completely different elementary school than I was in then. Where the heavily elaborated presentations already have to give in elementary school and so there is more and more pressure to perform because they want to prepare us so well for life, because they want to give us a lot, but maybe sometimes we don't need the ultimate weapon of knowledge but just feel a little more inside yourself.
I also really liked Peter's comparison with growing, that if you love yourself, it doesn't mean that you don't develop further, that you simply say: The way I am now I will stay forever. Therefore - this is not a general criticism of the school system or something, so please don't get it wrong. It should rather say:
If we manage to initially accept ourselves basically as we are, then change and further development is something totally beautiful, which can come on top. First of all, we are basically satisfied with ourselves, that is self-love for me too, that people say: I have a healthy relationship with myself, I may not really like everything, but overall I can now accept the whole package. And then, as Peter says, you can be like a tree. You can just keep growing and trust that you can develop yourself further. But you can't force anything either, that's a constant compromise, constant weighing - where is it now perhaps worth investing the work and time and, most importantly, the question: Do I want that from the bottom of my heart? If this development comes this desire to develop myself, because I absolutely want to lose 5 kg, what personally do I really get from losing these 5 kg? Am I absolutely convinced that this will make me happier? And if so, where does this belief come from? Or is that maybe just an ideal that I run after because you have to be slim or something.
So I think there were very, very many important points with Peter, where I would say: Just listen to this again and again and let it sink in. That doesn't sound so profound at first, I think, when you hear that sometimes. But that also shows where you stand in your life. So no matter where you are at the moment, you take something different with you every time. So great, many thanks also to Peter. And then let's move on to the last part, which was a little mini interview with dear Bettina.
ILKA: Hello Bettina, how nice that you are here. Please introduce yourself.
BETTINA: I'm Bettina, I'm 30 years old and have been active on social media for a very, very long time and I've made it a little bit my task to bring a little more real talk into the world, including about topics that might be in ours Society have not yet been so well received, just self-love. I suffered from an eating disorder for a long time, I had this performance-based mindset for a long time and that's why I don't just want to write a little about fashion or how I eat, but simply give an insight into how my trip was. And because maybe other people, whether male, female or diverse, inspire that they see: They are not alone with their problems.
ILKA: Self-love is felt on everyone's lips. There are many different terms that are circulating there. Can you still hear the term self-love? And what is it that you can best identify with?
BETTINA: Well, I think I have fewer problems with self-love than with the word “Bodypositivity”, for example, because I have the problem with “Bodypositivity” that it somehow reduces people to the body. Then I would use “self-positivity”, for example, to emphasize not just “body” but the whole self. And when it comes to self-love, I think it's a very good synonym. Stop like love - and love can mean so different things. For everyone love is something different and self-love means nothing more and nothing less than the relationship to yourself. What I think I can no longer hear are tips like: "Just love yourself and you love yourself", but, that you take the whole thing really seriously. It's a long story and it doesn't just happen overnight or through a weekend workshop. So self-love doesn't fly to us overnight.
ILKA: What would you recommend to anyone who wants to start dealing with the topic now?
BETTINA: There is a wonderful book by Sandra Wurster's stomach women, which means: “Life is too short to pull in your stomach”. They also do seminars and, for example, Sandra tells her own story, how she found herself, what problems she had on her way. And there is also a book by Miyabi Kawai last year that means: The sea doesn't care if you have a bikini figure. It's written a bit more anecdotal. But I also think it's very nice and that's a bit of light fare, for example, where you can first see: How is my feeling, where is my feeling? To just somehow get a feeling for this topic first and what you can of course do yourself and what I did very, very intensively, after a phase where I worked almost 5 years at a time, really rocked down, really terrible relationship and everything behind me was that I sat down and reflected. That I first sat down and wrote down and that I also looked for help. So I actually did couples therapy with my last boyfriend, with whom it was really catastrophic, and that made me love myself a lot more than anything else as a couple did. But it has helped me a lot more, including for future relationships. I'm married now. It is simply better to listen to myself, to act with myself, not to want to please everyone and I think first of all to get a little input from others and then just look for yourself: Where are my wounds Points? Where are my problems? And not to be afraid to get help from a pastor or a therapist. There are so many possibilities and if you notice that you are in better hands with a coach or for someone else it is better to go to a monastery and be silent for a week, everyone has to find their own way and - small spoiler -Alarm: If you dig any deep, you will always find something. How you can deal with yourself somehow and where you can then simply see: Ok, it didn't go so well in the past and maybe it's better if I treat myself differently in the situation.
ILKA: When I want to support someone, when I feel that the person may have a lot of self-doubt or notice that they are not doing so well. What can i do there?
BETTINA: That is a super difficult question. Because that's a big problem. For years people approached me, especially when I had this really intense relationship and said: Is that so good for you? And then I was more like: Yes, especially now! Basically at the time I already knew myself that this is a crazy idea that you were doing right now. It's a relationship that's a downward spiral. You are not doing well, he is not doing well and accordingly I would proceed very carefully. I would say: You, I notice at the moment I have the feeling that I can be wrong, that it is bad. Maybe like a feedback sandwich like simply saying: yes, you look good right now or some nice compliment at the beginning and then saying, I currently have the feeling that you are standing a bit next to you, at the moment I have the feeling that you are feeling yourself not so comfortable in your body right now. I mean, in our society it is always very superficial, that there are always stories like this when you meet after a long time. Tell me, did you gain weight, tell me, did you lose weight? And stories like that and that you just tend to go into the inside. So instead of asking “Did you lose weight?”, Just ask another question: “Tell me, how does it look inside you right now?” And of course that also means that the other person is ready to open up. Of course you can't force that, but you can at least show willingness and signal that if you need someone to talk to, I'll be there for you in case of doubt.
ILKA: Finally, what would you like to say to the listeners of this podcast?
BETTINA: One thing I want to convey along the way is that self-love doesn't end with saying somehow: I've found it now. It goes on and on. In my circle of friends and in my relatives I deal with people who have just become mothers. Their body has just done a really tough job and accordingly it doesn't stop. Self-love is something that goes on and on, that's the only relationship you can't run from. But you shouldn't be afraid about it, because on the other hand you are the person who is still there for you in case of doubt and the person who can always take care of you.
ILKA: Those were the contributions from our three great guests today. Thank you for being there and for giving us your tips, your food for thought and also an insight into your life. What you can actually see quite well from it and if you take a really honest look around your environment, and get confirmed again and again, is that the absolute majority of people are not completely satisfied with themselves. Sometimes you look up at others in admiration and perhaps even wish for parts of their life, wish for their life, wish for their appearance. But they also have construction sites, we just aren't always aware of them. For me, for example, I used to look up very hard at people who simply have a perfectly symmetrical face, which corresponded to my image of a beautiful person at the time, and then I kept getting to know exactly such people and then they had maybe psychological problems or had something else and even if it wasn't serious. It doesn't always have to be a psychological problem or something, but we all have some little things, even if it's just that they are often reduced to their appearance.
What I'm saying is that there is no point in being in someone else's skin. She has her own problems and somehow that always calms me down. In addition, I think we saw this episode quite well, that it is a process that can really drag on over a long period of time and that, as Bettina just said at the end, is never completed. There is no such thing as one tip for building up a lot of self-confidence and self-love. We can just listen to ourselves consistently, even as Peter said it and see: What kinds of thoughts are coming? And then tell us again and again: In the vast majority of cases, these are actually not my own thoughts, but are some thoughts, some programming, yes, as he calls it, that were imposed on us by others, who come through pressure to perform and those through a distorted ideal of people is coming. But it's actually not my own thoughts. Do I really want to be like this? Is it really important to me to have this thin figure to go to the beach? Isn't it much more important that I'm just there, that I can maybe even enjoy the time there with nice people?
Does my figure have any influence on that? But of course it is also, as Luisa says: Of course everything has an influence on us at some point when the external environment gives us the feeling that we are not really right. That is why I would like to say again at this point: Always think carefully about what you say about others. Because none of this is without consequences and it can mean much more to the other person than you think. If you say something, Bettina also said, for example, you should perhaps sometimes concentrate more on the inside. Is it really necessary that when we see a person again we comment first or at the beginning: “But you have lost weight!” Or “You have gained weight”. Why is that more important than really seriously asking: What does it look like inside you? I hope this episode just gave a lot of food for thought. Ultimately, everyone will always have a different opinion and that is completely ok. Perhaps consider this episode as a small buffet where you can help yourself first to get an introduction to the topic. Whether you stand in front of the mirror like Peter, tell yourself that you love yourself and find out what feelings this triggers in you. Or whether you do it like Luisa and I - to show you on Instagram and to look: Are the reactions of the others really as I thought they would? It is also a very nice opportunity to exchange ideas with others. Or the point from Bettina: Just read a couple of exciting books on the subject, maybe get professional help. There are many possibilities and it was only a small glimpse at first, because the whole package cannot of course be covered in a podcast episode. If you are starting to be interested in the topic, I can really only sincerely recommend that you just take a look around.
There are so many people who deal with the topic and not everyone is sympathetic to you. Everyone does it a different way. Just have a look around, no matter whether it's on Instagram or Facebook, whether it's somehow general podcasts or blogs. There are many people who now dedicate themselves to this topic and I am also very happy because everyone is different and communicates things differently. Just take a look around. It was like that for me back then, it just got a ball rolling and started a development that I would not have thought possible. I hope you will too.
That was the second podcast episode. Thanks for listening! We are really happy, also about the positive feedback we got after the first episode. Subscribe to our podcast "From Mindful to Sugar-Free". You can find it on all major players. And feel free to leave a review. The next episode will be out on June 15th and we look forward to seeing you again.
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