This might seem so obvious as to be ridiculous, but I couldn’t move forward until I learned to be nicer to myself. I have spent most of my life as my own worst enemy. No one could ever make me feel as low or as bad about myself as I did. It has been a constant struggle learning to quiet the nasty comments in my head, and to speak kindly and encouragingly to myself.
You know the old trope of the angel and devil sitting on each shoulder, telling you what to do? For most of my life, I have had the equivalent of Tania Degano (Muriel’s Wedding), Sadie Saxton (Awkward), and Regina George (Mean Girls) sitting on my shoulders telling me what a loser I was. Sadly, I believed them when they said I was fat, ugly, worthless, and not worthy of being loved.
The truth is what other people say to you or about you isn’t nearly as important as what you say to and about yourself. It has been a long, difficult process. I started by trying to compliment myself more. I worked on trying to forgive myself for past mistakes. To let myself be less than perfect. Even recognizing that this is an essential part of my journey, I find I have to re-learn this lesson over and over.
Despite my best intentions, these “mean girls” still come out from time to time. When I choose to veg out on Netflix rather than get my workout in, for example. Or when I backslide on my food plan, treating myself to something “off limits.” It takes a lot of work and effort to quiet their shrill voices.
I find that I’m most successful when I try to imagine what I would say to my daughter, my sister, or my mother, and then say that to myself. But why do I find it so hard to be nice to myself?