We all have weaknesses. My biggest one is my lack of self-confidence, which leads to a weird form of perfectionist OCD and self-loathing. But, since I must practice what I preach, I am a work in progress. Just like the rest of you lovely folk out there. And while I’m at it, one more confession for the new year, I’m a bit of a passive control freak. Yes, that’s right. It must be my way, or the high way. Until I need help and your way just happens to work out, but let’s not talk about that right now.
I’ve noticed that it is SO easy to berate myself, to beat myself up over silly little things. And the not so silly. Yes, I know, and even I find myself annoying at times. This comes from a bad habit, instilled by a lack of self-confidence and some bullying issues I ignored as a child. Yeah, I didn’t fit in. I still don’t. But now, I’m really OK with that. So, let’s talk about a few ways you can start 2017 with some serious self- loving.
Raise your hand if you’re a perfectionist. WOW! See, I knew I wasn’t alone. Perfectionism is a trap. Like a steel bear trap, and ouch, that really hurts. Perfectionists stop acknowledging their accomplishments. We always hear a teeny tiny voice in our heads saying that we could have done better. It’s a disease. Perfectionists spend more time worrying about failure, than focusing on what they’re trying to accomplish. I need only look at the bin filled with crumpled paper and the three lines of prose awaiting a middle and an end to be submitted for publication. I think I used up a few trees, and yes, I feel bad. So how do you change? It’s rough, but try to focus on what you have already accomplished. Find a strength that you can use to help you get to the next step. Loosen the noose and let go of that need to control everything and be perfect. It’s frightening, but gives you the freedom to enjoy more of life. There’s nothing wrong with needing or wanting to do better, but as you learn and grow, stop, tell yourself what an amazing job you’ve done. Stop being so hard on yourself.
Next, boundaries. You need to set healthy boundaries. Personal and professional – this is major. We grow up being taught to put others first. And that’s great, except, it becomes totally unhealthy as adults. We lose ourselves in trying to care for everyone else on the planet. If you are that one friend that everyone knows can be called upon, sometimes last minute, and you rarely hear a thank you – you have boundary issues worse than the borders in Risk. You need to learn to say no. It’s been rough, but I am doing it. It has given me back some control over my life. When I stopped giving away all my time and energy to others, it was life changing. Maybe it seems selfish, but I am tired of always doing favors for others and being unable to focus on what I need to get done. And yes, I’ve lost some friends, but I find I don’t miss them. The parasites have gone, leaving stronger, truer friends in their wake. Setting healthy boundaries is one of the most important acts of self-love. You set boundaries because you deserve it, and no, it’s not being selfish. It’s self-preserving.
Last, you need to learn to be good to yourself. And no, this doesn’t mean running out for a pair of new and unnecessary shoes because you feel like it. Be gentle when you talk to yourself (oh come on, we all have those voices in our heads). Be mindful. Stop being over critical and judgmental . Beating yourself up will NOT make you feel better, and it will hinder future attempts at success. Self-love isn’t just about loving yourself and being comfortable in your own skin, it’s about appreciating yourself. It’s about telling yourself every once in a while, “hey, you did a great job!”
I know you guys think I talk about self-love and self-care a lot here. But it’s important. I tortured myself (in my mind) for years as the misfit teen and angst filled young adult. I bet many of you did too. It’s time for victories now. It’s not selfish to love yourself, or to think to yourself that your better than someone else at [fill in the blank]. It’s not conceit. It’s love.
Let me know what you love most about yourself. I mean, REALLY think about it. We all have something. We are all special. Love you, and love me.💕
Happy New Year Peeps.
Stay motivated and caffeinated! 😉 ☕