Sometimes, in life, we really can be our own worst enemies.
I’d never take my best friend to one side and say “You’re a bad Mum, you’re a horrible person, you’re worthless, you’re ugly etc…”. I’d be the first one to celebrate how amazing she is and how lucky I feel to have her in my life and chances are you’d do the same with yours wouldn’t you?
So, why do I often find I’m doing the above with myself?
Why am I quick to berate instead of celebrate myself? And, perhaps I’m going out on a limb here, but I bet there’s many people out there who do the same. Perhaps you’re reading this article now and you’re nodding along, comfortable in the knowledge that you, yourself do this on the regular.
If someone pays me a compliment, I’ll often roll my eyes and slip back into my chair (if I’m sat in one) wondering how to react and often feeling totally undeserved in being a recipient of that comment.
Say for example someone says I looked nice in a recent photo, the first thing I will think and more than likely say is “ah but I look like shit on a stick today”. When really I should just thank the person for their kind words and accept their compliment (although more often than not I do look like shit on a stick!).
Being a Mum, I often find myself in this negative trail of thought. I’ve written before outlining how guilt is a feeling I often experience as a Mum, and while it’s a futile emotion to feel it’s often one that is hard to escape.
It doesn’t come with a manual does it, this parenting malarkey? We’re handed a baby and then more or less sent on our merry way to raise that child to the best of our ability and I’ll be honest here, there are times over the last (almost) 3 years where I’ve felt like I’m not doing it to the best of my ability.
But that’s just a thought isn’t it? There’s no evidence to support that. My child is healthy and happy (bar the odd tantrum he likes to throw, namely when we’re in public; yeah, cheers for that kidder!) and the very fact there are times I doubt my parenting ability surely means I am a good Mum? If I didn’t care then I wouldn’t worry?
Negativity breeds negativity. If I’m feeling in a particular ‘woe is me’ mood, perhaps I’m tired or not feeling too well, then that’s it; getting out of that mind-set can be overwhelmingly difficult to do and before I know it I’ve found myself on a downward spiral of self-loathing. “You’re fat, you’re rubbish at your job, your nose is too big blah blah blah, you’re no good at anything” are just some of the thoughts that will reverberate around my mind.
How is this going to help me? How is this going to make me want to get up in the morning and go about my day? If anything, it’s going to make me want to take to my bed and not face anyone or anything and before I know it, a vicious circle has erupted.
So, I’ve made a pact with myself.
NO MORE BERATION AND MORE CELEBRATION.
No, I’m not going to go and become this egotistical nightmare who thinks they’re amazing at anything and everything – there’s nothing attractive about that.
Moreover, I want to stop this negative thought pattern I often find myself in.
Cliché perhaps, but it’s so much easier to love others than to love yourself isn’t it? But why is that the case? You’re less likely to let yourself down than others’ (unless like me you show yourself up when you’ve had a few wines) and you know more than anyone what you like and what you don’t like in life. You know what you’ve achieved and you know what makes you happy, so focus on that.
Remember why you’re loved by the people that are in your life and celebrate your good points.
I refuse to look in the mirror and focus on the things I want to change anymore. Yes, I’d love a nose job but I’m not going to be finding myself on the surgeons table anytime soon so let’s appreciate my side profile for what it is, because criticising myself over it isn’t going to change anything. It’s only going to lead to more self-loathing.
The overriding point I’m trying to make in this post is this: Life is tough, bloody tough at times, you only need to open a newspaper or turn the news on to see what’s going on in the world at the moment. Being a friend to yourself rather than an enemy can only be a good thing, it can only make you happier in life and like negativity breeds negativity, positivity breeds…yep, you guessed it!
Go on Jess Glynne, sing it to me!