Hey you...yes you, the one saying all of those nasty things about yourself. Do you think you can stop talking bad about my friend, because I think she is actually pretty amazing. When is the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and said, "you are doing such a good job" or "you look really nice today"? Do you give yourself enough credit or even any credit at all? I see and hear it almost every day and once in awhile I even catch myself doing it. It makes me more sad than anything to see how hard some of us are on ourselves. We tell ourselves that we aren't thin enough, or that our jobs aren't worthy, or even that we are failing as parents. We find reasons to bash ourselves into thinking that we aren't good enough....but good enough for who? Do our husbands really care if we are carrying a few extra pounds? Do all of the other parents and teachers think you are the world's worst parent because little Jimmy said a curse word in preschool this morning (of course he didn't hear it from you)? Absolutely not. So, who is it that makes you feel like what you are doing or who you are as a person isn't enough. Nine times out of ten all you need to do is look in the mirror, because that person who is doing all of the bashing is you.
I'm sure you're thinking, "I know I can be own worst critic, but I don't know how to change. I seem to always find something else wrong with me." What would you do if your friend just got the most adorable new hair cut? You'd compliment her, right? How about if one of your family members just quit a lifelong habit, such as smoking? You'd tell him or her how proud you are and encourage him/her to keep going. Where am I going with this you ask? How about you stop always trying to find more things wrong with you and instead focus on all of the good things about you! Start complimenting yourself, giving yourself encouraging words, and reminding yourself how proud you are (of yourself) DAILY. It can be the smallest thing, but find something (anything) that will allow you to speak some kind words to yourself. There will be times when it seems impossible...you feel bloated, your split ends are crying out for a visit to the salon, and you just broke out with "adult acne." I know, I know...the world seems like it is coming to an end. Instead of immediately criticizing and getting down on yourself, do yourself a favor and take a deep breath and look into your heart. My mom always used to tell me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." When you are young, this is the kind of advice that drives you absolutely nuts, but now when I think about it... gosh darn is my mother smart (thanks mom)! Before you start bashing, think about all of the amazing traits and characteristics you possess (both internally and externally) and find a way to speak lovingly about them. "I am a strong, independent, and beautiful person and I will not let something so small bring me down today!" Or "I may feel like total crap right now, but I am so proud of myself for being such a positive role model for my children and showing them how to speak kindly about themselves and about others." Or for some of us, a little humor may be just what we need..."I may look like something that came straight off of Walking Dead right now, but I must say, I do have one nice looking booty for a zombie!"
Whatever works for you and however you need to do it...just go ahead and do it. Love yourself, compliment yourself, be good to yourself. I'm not saying to be completely self-centered and conceited and if that's what you're thinking, you're missing the point here. The point is that you need to be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time, isn't it? Treat yourself the way you would want others to treat you and if you haven't told yourself today, let me remind you, you are an amazing, unique, beautiful person and you should be proud of who you are. Now go ahead...you try!