I caught a glimpse of a woman in the bathroom mirror at work the other day. I thought she was pretty, that her hair looked great, her lipstick popped, and her outfit was put together.
A moment later, I realized it was me.
I honest to goodness didn’t recognize my own reflection.
In the last few months, I’ve started to invest in myself. I hired a nutrition coach – coaches need coaches – and the body composition changes are starting to become apparent after a few months of reverse dieting. My personal style has shifted. I’ve found the confidence to try styles I normally wouldn’t, to take a chance on a trendy top or a color or pattern I wouldn’t normally wear because it was “too bold.”
I started curling my hair. I like how it looks when its wavy and it brings about a fair amount of compliments. I experimented with lipstick brands and colors until I found what I like. I started following a skincare routine and regularly getting my eyebrows waxed. I watch YouTube videos, slowly but surely teaching myself how to do my makeup. For the first time in my 33 years, I’m consistently putting effort into my day-to-day appearance.
My mom didn’t teach me a lot about hair and makeup. She never really had a skincare routine. Money was tight and paying for things like an eyebrow wax or a razor that cost more than a couple of dollars was considered a luxury. She was pretty in her own right, but didn’t prioritize self-care. Without ever meaning to, I picked up some habits and beliefs from my childhood that no longer serve me as an adult.
I read a lot of books about mindset, manifestation, and the power of positive thought. I believe fully that you attract what you put out there and me? I’ve spent a lot of time downplaying myself, trying to hide behind top knots and less flattering outfits. We won’t even begin to get into my mindset about money this post, but I’m working on that, too.
One consistent theme throughout these books is the need to prioritize one’s self.
Think about it.
When you wake up in the morning feeling crummy, your day tends to go south, doesn’t it?
What about those days in which you wake up feeling energized, put on a favorite outfit, and walk out the door, coffee in hand, just knowing you a) look good and b) are going to own the day? Those days tend to go a lot better, don’t they?
I’ve had people comment on how there is something “different” about me, and they’re not wrong. I’ve started to find my self-worth, wrap myself up in it, and own it. I show up differently now. I have more confidence. I don’t hide. I’m finding my voice and no longer spinning my wheels worrying that people may think I’m full of myself or a fraud or whatever else I dreamed up. If they think those things, they aren’t my people anyway.
Spending $18 plus tip to get my eyebrows waxed and investing in a razor that doesn’t need to be thrown away after 1-2 uses has done wonders for my self-worth and in turn, my confidence. So has asking for help with my nutrition and performance goals, buying clothes I like instead of clothes I think will “camouflage” parts of me I don’t like. I even spent $30 on CONCEALER last weekend.
Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m now on the Tarte Shape Tape bandwagon.
Our self-worth isn’t directly linked to the material objects that we accumulate. Our clothes, hair, and makeup don’t define us. But there is something to be said for recognizing that you deserve to feel good about yourself and giving yourself permission to invest in the “things” that make you feel good, whether that’s an eyebrow wax or a grocery haul from Whole Foods.
I think the same can be said for our surroundings. I don’t own expensive furniture or even high quality linens, but I’ve cultivated my space to feel good. My apartment lacks in some ways, but it makes up for it in the feeling of “home” my living room and bedroom in particular illicit when I’m in them.
I like the person I’ve become in the last few months. Sometimes, when I’m painfully honest with myself, I recognize that a lot of these changes came after my mom’s death. Something about her ending brought about a new beginning for me, as morbid as they may sound to some of you. This version of Sarah – the one that caught my eye in the bathroom mirror – is one I really, really like. She feels poised to do some big things in the coming weeks, months, and years. She feels like she’s finally found herself, or is at least closer to finding out who she really is.
I didn’t realize how little I thought of myself until I started thinking of myself as worth the investment. Not all of my “investments” are material. I spend a half hour or so each morning journaling, praying, and saying positive affirmations, a ritual that has become imperative to my day. I end my nights with my Bible and another good book, prioritize rest, say no when I want to, unfollow people on social media that don’t make me feel good.
We all know we have self-worth. Humans are smart enough to identify self-worth as “something we have.” But I don’t know that we all know how to embrace our self-worth, realize that we have the right to claim it, to do nice things for ourselves.
It’s a game changer – a life changer – when you do.
Do me a favor.
Take a few minutes and think about what you do for YOURSELF.
For some of you, the list might be long.
For others, it might be woefully short.
But make the list anyway. Then add to it. Or take away from it, if something isn’t working for you.
Invest in yourself worth.
Do it consistently.
See if you recognize yourself in the mirror in a couple of months.