This morning I woke up, walked into the bathroom, and weighed myself. This is a pretty normal part of my routine because the older I get, the more that I realize I have to do this or my weight will get out of control. I don’t necessarily feel any type of anxiety about it anymore, it’s just a normal part of my routine.
The number had fluctuated upward by about 4 pounds. I haven’t been consistently working out the past couple of weeks with the power going out and all of the running around I’ve been doing. We also ate out a lot given that we had no power for days. Also, I’m a woman, and we know how that affects our weight fluctuation. So, this wasn’t entirely shocking, but I didn’t focus on why or how it happened. I focused on how careless I felt I had been repeating things in my head like, “How could you let this happen?” or “Of course you let your weight get out of control again.”
I say all of this knowing fully that I will be able to drop these pounds pretty quick with some consistent good days of working out and eating right. But for whatever reason, I struggle to think that way when it comes to me. I am just so hard on myself.
Ironically, this month, Cali Creates is celebrating wins, no matter how small. When I picked out the theme for July, I had no idea how difficult, yet healing this topic would be for me right now.
Celebrating wins seems like a fairly easy task, right?
How hard could it be to praise myself for all the good things that I’m doing?
As usual, I was wrong.
Cue my feelings this morning. I focused on the flaws vs. the good things I am doing and the circumstances I am in.
If you’re not used to celebrating your wins, it’s hard to just wake up one day and be kind to yourself. It’s much easier to engage in negative self talk than to engage in positive self talk.
Answer this for me:
Are you someone who finds it hard to accept compliments and praise from others?
Yes? Well, then, you are probably someone who struggles with praising and complimenting yourself as well.
I have absolutely zero issues praising others and celebrating their wins. In fact, I enjoy it!
But, when it comes to me, I put myself under a microscope and look at every flaw.
I find myself constantly thinking:
Why am I so hard on myself?
But, the cycle continues and the pattern doesn’t change.
So, today, I’m on a mission to change that. There’s got to be a way to be kind to others while also being kind to myself simultaneously.
But the question is… how do I get there? And, how do we get there?
Well, I imagine it’s much harder than it seems.
I often find that when I write out my feelings on a topic, I can see my issues so much more clearly. This instance is no different. So, let’s do an activity together!
I encourage you to grab a notebook, or open the notes app on your phone, and get writing. If you also struggle with celebrating wins, try jotting down some of your own “good” and “bad” facts.
Let’s take a look at my facts:
The Good Facts
I have no problem looking at others and praising them for their good deeds and accomplishments.
I wake up every day and try my best at whatever needs to be tackled that day.
I try to spread kindness and joy to all that I come into contact with.
And, I often give others the benefit of the doubt.
The Bad Facts
I am very self critical.
I often jump to conclusions before knowing the full story.
And, I don’t give myself the benefit of the doubt.
Now it’s time to dig deeper. I found that my so-called “good facts” are mostly things I try to do for others, while my “bad facts” are things I do to myself. After writing them out, I can tell that my bad facts list is the reason I struggle with praising myself. These facts are holding me back from being kinder to myself. I just know it.
The only way to the end of the journey is through, so it’s time to dig deeper into what’s holding me back. And, I hope you follow suit.
I figure if I can get to the root of why I am so hard on myself, then I should be able to attack that head on. By doing that, my hope is that I can get to a place where I am celebrating myself vs. tearing myself down.
So, the next step is diving into my “bad facts” and continuing to ask myself “why” until I can get to the root of the issue. I call it the “why game.” It may seem silly, but trust me, it works. By continuing to prime yourself and ask WHY, you will eventually find a deeper reason as to why you feel the way that you do. Get that pen and paper back out and let’s get started:
1) I am very self critical.
Why? I feel the need to appear perfect or like I have it all together, all the time. Why? I’m afraid of what others will think of me if they really know what’s going on with me. Why? Because then I’d look flawed and in turn feel worthless. But, why would you think that? I weigh my worth and value on what others think of me. What would they think if they saw how flawed I am?
Ouch. Sometimes it hurts when you hit that big WHY. After all the soul searching and therapy I’ve done, I still struggle with finding my TRUE worth. Until you find your own true worth, it won’t matter how many people tell you how wonderful you are. You won’t believe it. You have to find your true worth, believe your true worth, and live a life loving who you are. Until then, you will doubt yourself and continue to feel worthless at times of hardships.
For me, it can be really hard to crack that hard shell exterior. I built this exterior shield over many years to protect myself and to show everyone on the outside that I was okay. But now, I realize it has become something I never intended. Now, it has become a barrier. It has blocked me from being vulnerable and authentic.
I know now that I have to get back to sharing my true feelings so that I can in turn heal and grow again. The more I share, the more I grow. It’s always worked that way in the past, but I got lost and needed a boost back to reality.
My true worth comes from within and above. I hold the truth of who I am. And, God empowers me to share and care for others through my stories and experiences.
Key Takeaway: I am flawed, but I am beautiful. I am a mess at times, but that is what makes me real. And it is okay to not be okay sometimes.
2) I often jump to conclusions before knowing the full story.
Why? I guess I just assume the worst is going to happen or that someone will leave. Why? Because bad things have happened before. Things that left me broken and lost. But, why does that make you jump to conclusions? I’m afraid of falling back into a dark place.
I find that my biggest barrier often is fear.
Fear of not being good enough for others.
Fear of failing.
Fear of losing myself.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of the unknown.
I get lost in those feelings at times, and I start to question everything. Honestly, I think a healthy amount of fear is perfectly fine. We all have our fears, but when they go unchecked and also get to a place of absurdity, it’s time to have a reality check.
I didn’t even realize I was feeling this way until I started to explore this deeper. The fact of the matter is that if I continue to work on myself, I will continue to grow. By doing that, I should be able to keep myself afloat even in times of darkness and hardships.
So the key takeaway here is: Do The Work.
3) I don’t give myself the benefit of the doubt.
Why? Well, honestly. I don’t think I ever have. Why? Deep down, I think I’ve always just been unkind to myself. But, why? Well, when I was young, I was bullied by my peers and it happened for so long that I just started to believe the things they were telling me. Why? I guess it was easier to be prepared for the worst. So, I bullied myself. That way I was protected.
Another ouch. This one hurts. I often cry the most when I open up about being bullied as a child. No amount of therapy has taken that pain away. I feel it differently now and I’m able to talk about it freely without getting choked up. But, it still hurts.
That time in my life changed my trajectory. In a way, being bullied is what pushed me to lose weight and put myself out there more. And that wasn’t a bad thing! But, the bullying didn’t necessarily stop, it just changed. You would think that fact would help me to understand that what others thought of me was not what makes up my worth. But, I didn’t learn that. And, I wasn’t celebrating myself for all the hard work that I had put in.
I just got harder on myself. The bullying continued. It wasn’t as bad and now it wasn’t weight related, but it still happened. So, I continued bullying myself. I remember thinking things like:
You need to lose more weight.
Your hair is too curly. You have to straighten your hair.
Your hair is too long. You need to get it cut.
You need to learn how to put on makeup.
All of those thoughts were fueled by my bullies. And that meant I needed to change.
But, none of that was true. I was beautiful just the way I was! But, I let what others thought of me change the way I felt about myself. I made their thoughts about me factual. When in fact, they were by no means factual.
THEY WERE JUST MEAN.
And, this still happens today. So, parents, check on your kids. Mine checked on me all of the time, but I kept lots of this in. I was embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to know. Honestly, that’s the soundtrack of my life.
I often withhold my feelings when I am embarrassed, hurt, or scared. But, it’s time to be vulnerable. I’m done holding all of this in. I’ve learned that when people say mean things about you or are ugly to you, it’s just a reflection of the way they feel about themselves. I’m sure each and every one of my bullies had a bunch of things that were hurting them as well, so all I can do now is forgive them and move on.
Key Takeaway: I’m doing just fine! When things don’t go my way, I have to give myself a little grace, because I’m doing the work. It’s time to be kind to myself.
I hope you were able to get to the root of your “bad facts” so that we can turn them into “good facts.”
So, let’s circle back to the main topic of the blog and see if you are able to answer this question:
Why am I so hard on myself?
For me, I’ve been letting the fear of what others will think of me rule my life lately. I’ve also been afraid of falling back into a dark place. Once I nailed that down, I was able to figure out a way to change that mindset.
Here are my key takeaways:
Key Takeaway 1: I am flawed, but I am beautiful. I am a mess at times, but that is what makes me real. And it is okay to not be okay sometimes.
Key Takeaway 2: Do The Work.
Key Takeaway 3: I’m doing just fine! When things don’t go my way, I have to give myself a little grace, because I’m doing the work. It’s time to be kind to myself.
If I continue to work on myself and practice self-care, I’m confident that I can get to a place where I’m able to celebrate my wins. If you struggle with this too, I hope this was the push you need to be kinder to yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing the best that you can.
What key takeaways were you able to find? What next steps can you take to be kinder to yourself?
Until Next Time,