Our emotions are often triggered by what others say or do to us. But the hard truth is really what I say to myself matters. It is all about the stories that I tell myself to create the reality of my life.
The second year after I moved to America from China, I started working as a Chinese tutor at our local public schools to help a few Chinese kids. Most of those students spoke almost no English. At that time, my English was quite limited as well. I felt very uncomfortable with speaking and writing during our weekly tutor meeting. I took notes by writing it in Chinese and other tutors laughed at me. I felt embarrassed when other tutors correcting me with certain pronunciations. I felt they thought I was stupid because I couldn’t speak English as well as they did to express myself.
I hated my job but I didn’t want to lose it since we were very tight on money at that moment. One day, one of my 4th grade Chinese girls came to me with a big smile on her face. She told me that she thinks she is very special because she is Chinese. There were so many people in her class that want to be her friend. In my head, I was like “Wow, I am a Chinese too but all I felt was no one likes me!”
Now when I look back, I realized the totally opposite feelings between my student and I was what we said to ourselves. I told myself a victim story and she told herself an adventure story. I could tell myself that other tutors were helping me with my pronunciations, instead of they were criticizing me or trying to embarrass me. I could tell myself that I was pretty awesome that I went to volunteer at the school and the principal loved me so much so they offered me this job. I often forget how many great things that I have achieved (Like getting this tutor job) and only focus on what I don’t do very well at that moment (Like my English skills).
When I was little, my mom, and her side of family, often told me that I am such an ugly girl that I look just like my dad. Even my brother sometimes would say things like “No matter what beautiful clothes you put on, you just don’t look good”. As a young girl, I believed them. I believed that I am not a good-looking girl.
When I was 30 years old and met my late husband in Shanghai, he was the first one who ever said to me “You are beautiful!” I was like “I don’t think so. What do you want from me?” Lol. Then I moved to America and there were more and more people telling me that I am beautiful. I didn’t believe them and take it as they were just being polite. 4 years ago when I started my blogging career, there were even more people telling me that I am beautiful in a daily basis. But I still didn’t believe.
It was till last year I finally believed that I am beautiful whole-heartily. It took me 44 years to believe that I am beautiful. Why? Because the belief that I had programed and conditioned when I was young are so powerful. It runs for so many years and it runs automatically without me even knowing it. I am ugly was the self-talk and story that I kept telling myself.
Last year I started to learn more about myself and realized those blocks are just some ill beliefs that I was conditioned to when I was little. Now as a grown up and capable women, I have the ability to remove those none-sense beliefs and replace them with very positive and loving self-talks and stories. Nowadays, here are what I say to myself when I look in the mirror “You are beautiful inside and out. You are capable to achieve whatever your goals are and you are good enough to deserve all the loves and joys in your life.”
What do you say to yourself?
Photo credit: Grace Liang
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