No matter how many times I read or hear about how good enough or lovable I am, I relentlessly compare myself to other people. Frequently, I look for evidence that I am a nobody that I don’t deserve to be liked, loved, or that I’m not living up to my full potential.
There is generally a lot of pressure to “stack up” in our industry work culture. We sometimes feel as if there is something wrong with us. For example, we’re still in the same position, while others around us are consistently being promoted. Perhaps we don’t make a certain amount of income, don’t have a large social circle, or don’t look and act a certain way in the presence of others. The list could indeed go on forever.
At times amid all the pressure, I seem to forget all the beautiful, unique things about myself. I get stuck in my head and allow my inner critic to completely tear apart my self-esteem until I put myself in such doubt that no matter what I try to do I can’t seem to make it happen because of uncertainty.
The other day, while I doubted myself over something I can’t even recall at the moment, I read a comment from someone telling me that one of my posts got them through the night. Literally. If that one comment was used in the intended context, this person was telling me that one of my posts gave them guidance for which provided a solution to their struggles.
Such interactions have opened my eyes to all the things that we beat ourselves up over that don’t matter. Lately, I’ve been focused on catching myself when I feel a non-serving, self-deprecating thought coming on. And, let’s face it, in our industry, you can’t tell me you haven’t. And I may let these thoughts slip at times, but that’s okay because I’m only human.
While I am on this self-love journey is on-going, here are a few things I try to remember when I’m tempted to be mean to myself and thought it’s important to share in hopes it will help you too.
We all compare ourselves to other people, and I can assure you that the people who seem to have it all do not. When you look at other people through a lens of compassion and understanding rather than judgment and jealousy, you are better able to see them for what they are—human beings. We are all beautiful, imperfect human beings going through the same universal challenges that we all go through.
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Our minds can be a very convincing deceiver. I have caught myself reacting when a discouraging thought goes through my mind. These thoughts are just thoughts, and it’s unhealthy and exhausting to give so much power to the negative ones. So, I have created a morning and evening meditation times. There are all kinds of mediations, and for me, it’s a priority.
How about you? Do you have time for you? Do you think you’re important? YOU ARE.
There is more right with you than wrong with you. This powerful reminder is inspired by one of my favorite quotes by Pema Chodron – “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” As someone who sometimes tends to focus in on all my flaws, it helps to remember that there are lots of things I like about myself too—like the fact that I’m loved, creative and able to pave new paths whenever I choose. I have the power within and be the change.
You need acceptance the most when you feel you deserve it the least. This was a recent epiphany of mine, although I’m sure it’s been said many times before. I find that it is most difficult to feel accepted from others when I’m in a state of doubt, anxiety, or depression. But adopting the above truth has shifted my perspective and made me realize that acceptance is the greatest gift I can receive.