We all do it. I wish we didn’t, though. And I’m making a promise to myself to stop.
We make comments about ourselves along the lines of:
“I hate the way my arms look.”
“I wish my hair was straight.”
“You are going to need to Photoshop me.”
“I have the worst wrinkles.”
“Why did I wear that outfit? I look fat.”
It has become such a common bad habit for people to make negative comments about themselves. To make it known that their are certain parts of us that we hate. For me? It has always been my face and my posture. I have never liked the way I look when I smile really big (my BFF and I have lovingly dubbed the creases I get in my face when I smile really big “the dents”) and my posture is god awful and then there are my puffy eyes (my left eye has been chronically puffy since pre-school and I have been asked more times than I can count if I have a black eye). I catch myself in a mirror sometimes and I notice these things right away. And seeing myself in a video? Extra-double cringe.
Why in the world do I focus on the things I don’t like and instead of noticing the things I really do like about myself? Why is it much more common for people to tell others what they want to change about themselves instead of the things they embrace and love about how they look? This needs to change.
I was recently on creativeLIVE for three sessions, each were 7 hours of filming, for something called Restart. This included lots and lots of time being filmed while talking, photographing, eating, looking awkward, laughing, and observing.
I wasn’t planning to watch the course afterwards out of fear, but curiosity took over and I made myself watch some of it the other day. I started out feeling horrified. I was pointing out every little flaw that I saw in myself. It was sad, really. But, then, something came over me and a giant wave of acceptance hit me like a ton of bricks. And I smiled. All of a sudden, I had this feeling that I am okay with myself. I am okay with how my eyes get huge and my forehead wrinkles up when I’m talking and that I slouch and that my voice doesn’t have Adele’s sultry quality to it and that I sometimes look like I was in a boxing match and that I have “the dents” when I smile. Because these things are part of me. I felt a warmth towards myself that I can’t say I have ever felt before. There was something about forcing myself to watch what I actually look like, while talking, laughing, crying, that brought acceptance. It was very powerful for me.
I decided that I am done pointing out my faults to myself and to others. Done. I have worked really hard to try to continually better myself as a person, so why in the world do I keep knocking myself down? It’s very counter-productive and I have been focusing on being more efficient lately…so, it only makes sense.
So, I have made myself a promise. If a negative thought creeps in, I will kick it in the shin. Or bust out a ninja move on it. And replace it with a positive thought. I am replacing hate with gratefulness and acceptance. And I know this will take practice. It can take time to change a pattern of automatic thoughts that I have had my whole life. I won’t beat myself up if a negative thought creeps in. Instead, I will acknowledge it, replace it with gratefulness, and move on.
Life is too short to not live it positively. Too short to be our own worst enemy. Although, even if life was too long, we still shouldn’t be so negative and mean to ourselves, but you know what I mean.
And I’m challenging anyone who reads this to start replacing their own negative thoughts with positive thoughts! To be grateful and to feel acceptance of yourself. To heal from the inside out by loving yourself. Let me know how it goes for you and I’ll also post an update from time to time with how I’m doing.
p.s. Thank you to my beautiful friend, Stacy Gendreau, for giving me the notepad 100 Gathered Thoughts (For My Dear Friend) & Papers for Brilliant Ideas & Laundry Lists, which is where I took the quotes from.