What do you say when you talk to yourself? Are you cruel to yourself on the inside? Do you constantly second guess, put yourself down, tell yourself “So & So would never dress like this” or “say that,” or do you worry about what people are thinking the MINUTE you say something out loud? I struggled with whether to blog about this or not, because it IS so deep and so personal, and to be honest, it’s kind of a Debbie Downer … BUT I think this is something that all women can relate to. No matter how externally outgoing and chipper I may seem, the truth is I’m exceptionally hard on myself internally. Now, that doesn’t change my “self esteem” … but it does make life pretty exhausting in the meantime. What I’ve come to realize over the years is that, it doesn’t matter what walk of life, what color, what region of the world … I think we are internally made to compare, worry, and judge ourselves. Even the most confident of women still struggle with this concept. Call it “Keeping Up With The Jones” … but I call it the struggle of self acceptance and self compassion.
Why do women struggle SO much with self acceptance?
This is a topic that’s very close to my heart. No matter how happy I am with my weight, my outfit, my kids, my house … I am always trying to do just a little bit better – there’s always ONE (or lots more actually) area that someone is doing better than I am. Maybe their house is neater, they are more organized, they have on a cuter outfit ….. why does this bother us? WHY are we so hard on ourselves? I can’t really pinpoint (in my life at least) when this self-inflicted pressure began … or WHY … but it just was.
I see my husband and his friends and NONE of them struggle with this (so it seems). They just do the best that THEY can do and they’re happy with that. *Sigh* If it were only that easy for US! Where does this notion of perfection come from? Trust me, I’ve had some pretty seemingly “Perfect” friends throughout my years … and guess what, we ALL have our short-comings. It’s just a fact. And we all have the same “not good enough” thoughts occasionally.
So, ladies … how do we move past this? Because we all want to, right? I know I do! And I’ve made it a goal of mine to accept and take it a little easier on myself from here on out! In everything that I’ve read … to begin making the changes we need internally, we need to adopt a more loving stance towards ourselves, called SELF COMPASSION.
Okay, here’s how that works … growing up we got affirmation from our parental caregivers (depending on how accepting they were of us, and how much “unconditional” love we received, we differ in ability to self accept), and NOW, as adults we transfer this need for acceptance over to the general public. So we are looking for affirmation from the people around us (a need to demonstrate our worth to others).
What can we do to change how we feel/speak internally to ourselves:
1. Identify what you don’t particularly LOVE about yourself and what your ultimate goal is. I’ll use ME for example: I don’t love the fact that I’m unorganized and my house usually looks like a tornado has struck. BUT, I need to tell myself that everyone has flaws and that’s okay that I’m a mess bc my kids are happy. I spend time with THEM and that’s my ultimate goal.
2. Make a CONSCIOUS effort to change your UNCONSCIOUS negative self-talk. You wouldn’t talk to ANYONE in the world the way you talk to yourself. I know I wouldn’t! So stop! Love is more powerful than fear … change your inner dialogue to a more encouraging voice. Or just think about something different … something that makes you happy!
3. Think like a MAN! Nobody is perfect … it’s time that we, as women, are O-kay with that! Realize that we do the absolute best that we can …. and it’s GOOD ENOUGH! We are GOOD ENOUGH. Comparing ourselves to others and telling ourselves how we’re not perfect and could better is WASTED ENERGY.
I ran across a quote the other day on Facebook that REALLY struck a chord with me.
It’s true. Flowers don’t wish to be another color, they don’t feel insecure about the pace at which they’re blooming …. the just reach for the sun … and BLOOM. What a relief it would be to JUST BLOOM. Let’s all make a pack – a conscious effort – to take it a little easier on ourselves these next few days. Hey, they say 21 days forms a habit. So let’s work on our inner voices, realize the main goal … and just BLOOM.