Life, Love, and the Pursuit of… Self-Love!
As long as I can remember, I always had negative thoughts about myself. It’s like a little voice inside my head that wouldn’t shut up and would just continually tell me how I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, “__” enough, however I filled in the blank. Always criticizing and comparing myself to other girls/women while putting myself down in the process. When they say “we are our own worst critics”, I 100% can agree with that statement, but why? Why is it that the one person we should love and encourage the most, we put down and criticize?
Growing up, I had a very strong independent, hardworking, caring and loving mother who was, and is still, an amazing role model for my siblings and I. My parents always spoke words of affirmation to us and they always supported us by telling us we could do anything we set our mind to.
So it makes me question, where did the little criticizing and negative voice come from? Where did I learn this behavior? Did I learn it, or was it always there? Is it the skinny unrealistic Barbie dolls that we grow up playing with or photoshopped magazines, movies or TV shows that we watched? I’m not sure, but it sure does make me wonder!
Until recently I realized, I’m not alone. So many women struggle with these same insecurities, self-doubts and are listening to their inner critic. I never really thought about the negative thoughts and realize how big of an issue it is until this last year. I guess I just looked at it as a normal part of life. The question is, why would I? Why would I ever accept this inner criticism and feel it to be so normal?
I feel like with society, it’s so easy to get stuck into this loop of comparing yourself to the models in the magazines, social media, the women on TV and trying to fit into this box of how women should act, look and be. I carried these negative thoughts and this self-criticism with me throughout my entire life and just accepted it instead of figuring out how to fix it and realizing what an effect it had on me.
For me, my negative thinking would go something like this: wake up, look in the mirror and think “wow, I need makeup”, while looking at the dark circles under my eye’s, acne on my neck and uneven completion. As I’d get ready for work, I’d look in the mirror while trying on a few outfits and think, “Dang, I need to lose weight! Why would anyone take advice from me on a blog with fitness information when I’m not even fit?” After finally settling on an outfit, I look in the mirror again and tell myself “whatever, I guess this will have to do”. And these are all thoughts I’ve told myself before I’ve even put my shoes on and left the house.
With consistent thoughts like this, wow, it’s no wonder I had such negative feelings about myself some days. It’s no wonder why I needed to start working on loving myself and appreciating all that I am! If this was a friend standing there whispering these words in my ear, there’s no way I wouldn’t be friends with her anymore. With all of these negative thoughts, it’s no surprise I wasn’t feeling good about myself. I’m not going to feel good in my clothes if I don’t feel good about myself before I put the clothes on. I sure like a lot more of my clothes if I’m loving myself before I put them on!
What I realize is, it’s not about the clothes or the make-up it’s about loving yourself and changing your mindset. When you start to work on improving your mind, that’s when everything else falls into place. That’s when you can improve your body, your relationships, and whatever else you are striving to improve in your life.
I finally understand that I don’t need to accept that criticism that I was creating for myself as a normal thing. Instead of accepting the criticism, I’m working to shut that little voice up and start counter acting those thoughts with positive ones about myself instead. So…let’s try that again!
Wake up, look in the mirror and think “Good morning beautiful”
I need makeup, while looking at the dark circles under my eye’s, acne on my neck and uneven completion my big blue eyes and beautiful smile and remembering all of the amazing things I have in my life. As I get ready for work, I look in the mirror trying on a few outfits and think, “ I need to lose weight I’m going to inspire so many women to start loving themselves for who they are instead of what society has cut out for them.” After finally settling deciding on an outfit I look in the mirror again and tell myself “ whatever, I guess this will have to do I am smart, driven and enough! I can inspire others while still working on myself too!” I will make a positive difference in someone’s life!” And these are all thoughts I’ve told myself before I’ve even put my shoes on and left the house! 😉
Imagine where we could all be in our lives and how we could feel about ourselves, if we started to reverse our mentality of negative thoughts. We could start loving ourselves for who we are, right now, and inspire others to do the same. Instead of telling ourselves how we’re not good enough, we’d start telling ourselves how we are. We start pointing out what we love about ourselves and what we appreciate in our lives and all that God has granted each and everyone one of us!
Self-love can be a hard thing for me sometimes because this little voice inside my head has been telling me these horrible things ever since I can remember. It’s like a buzzing mosquito right by your ear that you just can’t stand but can’t help but listen to. Correcting those thoughts is hard after 20+ years of habit but it’s something I’m determined to work-on and improve about myself. I’m no longer going to tell myself that I’m not good enough, when I know that I am.
I’m me, and you’re you, there is no one else in the world that can be us, so instead of tearing ourselves down, let’s work to build ourselves up and own our uniqueness! When we hear that little negative voice, let’s work to counteract it with a positive thought. Let’s work to be more grateful for the body and life that God has given us because it’s pretty amazing and we have a lot to be grateful for!
I was listening to a podcast, The Chalene Show: 004 – Crazy Confidence, recently and she said, “You believe what you tell yourself, so if you’re telling yourself negative things, you’ll start to believe them”. I complete agree! You can’t live a negative life and expect a positive result. The more you start telling yourself “I am, I can, I will”, the more you will start living that positive life and believing in yourself!
Of course, I still have my good days and bad days and negative thoughts but instead of listening to them, I’m working to be more conscious of them and aware of the effects they have on me. I’m working to tell myself “I am, I can, I will” because the more I tell myself these things, the more I’ll believe them.
The mind is amazingly strong and when you put your mind to something, you can do anything! As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Start counteracting your negative thoughts with positive ones and appreciate everything life has for you.
You are amazing and beautiful and you can do anything you put your mind to and you will achieve everything you set your mind to!
xoxo – Katie
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt