Do you struggle with self-esteem, confidence and body image? Do you find that no matter how hard you push yourself, what grades or results you get that there’s a part of you that just isn’t fully satisfied?
Whatever aspect of your life it may be: relationships, health and fitness, school or even just your hobbies if you find you are being too hard on yourself ask yourself why. A lot of the time the answer will be because you think you can/should be doing better or are able to do better. Sure, it’s important to strive for greatness, but change your attitude towards yourself as you are doing so and know when you have pushed yourself to your limits.
A very wise woman once told me that ‘the only person that we’re guaranteed to be with us the whole way through our lives is ourselves and it’s important to be nice, mind and like the person we’re stuck with.’
One of the most important things that you can ever learn and come to terms with is that you are the most important person in your own life. Now I don’t mean this in a way that you should be self-centred/isolate yourself or anything negative like that.This simply means that you have to invest in, love and mind yourself. In saying this we recognise that this is a lot and we mean A LOT easier said than done. As a whole self-love, acceptance and appreciation are three things that we seem to struggle with. However, the younger we learn to love ourselves the better.
The Friendship Test:
Look at this way – imagine someone talking to your best friend the way you speak to yourself. Would you let it happen? How would your friend feel? Or imagine every horrible thought you’ve had about yourself, now picture someone saying that to one of the most important people in your life. I don’t know about you but that thought alone is enough to have me stop in my tracks.
We bet that you see all sorts of great qualities in your friend that she can’t see in herself. Do you think this only applies to her? Nope! Now think of all the great things your friends might saw about you, or have said to you, that you brushed off, and try saying them out loud to yourself. You ARE funny, you ARE caring, and you ARE really good at French!
Another way to look at it is to imagine all the things you said to yourself in your head were said out loud. Imagine if everyone could hear every time you gave out to yourself or put yourself down. What do you think they’d say? Would they view you differently?
Sometimes it takes stepping out of a situation for us to realise what we’re doing wrong. Subjecting yourself to constant abuse all day every day is overtime going to wear you down even if it is coming from yourself.
Life is long, and wonderful if we’re lucky, but there’s no doubt that we all have down days. Days where we may not perform so well, where we may forget something important, mess up when we really can’t afford too or just simply say the wrong thing. It happens. Although at the time it may seem like the end of the world and you honestly can’t even deal with how angry, upset or embarrassed you are with yourself make sure to take a step back.
Imagine if it was your best friend who made the mistake – what would you say to them? Probably nothing near as harsh as you would say to yourself. Constructive criticism and a little tough love can go a long way but it is important to know when to draw the line. You are the only person you’re guaranteed to be with for the rest of your life – make sure you aren’t too hard on yourself, it’s a long road ahead.
Words: Nicky Anderson