I’ve got two huge questions for you:
Why do we exaggerate our failures and ignore our successes?
Why do we observe the strengths of others with 20/20 vision
while our strengths are blurred?
These two deep thoughts I grabbed from the hilarious and wise Jen Hatmaker.
Really, I think I’m going to move to Texas just so I can bump into her around town and magically become great friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of constructive criticism…especially self-constructive-criticism (I’m not sure if that’s a thing…I may have just made that up….oh well, I’m going with it)
I think taking an real good introspective look at how you spend your time and even more importantly, where you spend your energy is super important.
As Jen says in her book “For The Love:”
“Self criticism sometimes improves best practices, but it can also lie to you and probably has.”
She then says this, (which I loved so much I had to make it into a pretty picture):
Most of the time, we fixate on the bad. Especially about ourselves.
But here’s the bottom line people: Why do we exaggerate our failures and ignore our successes? WHY? (I’m really asking, I don’t have an answer to this question!)
Why do we extend compassion, support and love to others then turn around and instantly began berating ourselves.
I think many of us are not even aware of the negative voice we have going on in our head a lot of the time. So maybe that could be step 1? (since I like steps so much)
Step 1: Recognize the voice in your head. What are some common negative or damaging themes you have running through your head? (for me? I’m a bad mother because I don’t spend enough time with my children. I’m a bad wife because I don’t let loose and act silly with my husband enough, I’m all business all the time. I’m a bad fit for the work environment I work in because I’m constantly asking “who made that rule?!?! And why do we have to follow it?)
Step 2: Once you’ve recognized it, make it a game of opposites day. You know the game opposites day right? The one where you say something completely opposite of what you mean, then you say “it’s opposites day!” and giggle? That’s a fun game.
And that’s what you do with those negative thoughts in your head, you hear them and then say “it’s opposites day!” (you get 10 points if you say this randomly out loud…) (can you IMAGINE?!?! That could be HILARIOUS! You’re checking out clothes as Macy’s and you start telling yourself “that’s cute but it wouldn’t fit over my fat hips” and then you just say out loud, in the middle of Macy’s “it’s opposites day!” and smile like a crazy girl. Oh man, that would be amazing. If you do that, please tell me!). ANYWAY….sorry, I had to type out what was going through my head. Sometimes my head is a pretty fun place! (obviously). SO, switch those negative puppies around. It may seem silly at first (negative me: “that’s cute but it wouldn’t fit over my fat hips.” Opposites day me: “that’s cute and it will look amazing on my hips!”) but it will make a difference, pinky promise!
Step 3: WWLD Remember how everyone used to wear rubber bracelets that said “WWJD” back in the 90s? WWJD stood for “what would Jesus do” and was meant to remind us to think before we act etc. Well, WWLD means “what would Lorena do?” See, Lorena is my bestest of bestest friends. And she’s always honest with me and even better, she is honest and kind at the same time. So, that’s the next thing to do, think of someone you know and trust, if you love them even better. And ask yourself “what would ____ do?” And then say that to yourself! (better yet, go ahead and ASK them)
Step 4: Give your inner critic a name…..a really dumb one! Dr. Brene Brown (who is also the bomb.com) calls her inner critic The Gremlin. The bottom line is, it’s hard to take that horrid voice seriously if it has a ridiculous name.
Step 5: Embrace your imperfections You could do a google search, or even better, a PINTEREST search (goodness gracious I love Pinterest) and find a bajillion articles on how to embrace your imperfections. So there’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t already been said…but is that gonna stop me?! Nope! Ha!!
In fact, I love the way Jen Hatmaker says it in her book I mentioned earlier (For the Love, in case you forgot)
“Condemnation is a trick of the enemy, not the language of the heavens. Shame is not God’s tool, so if we are slaves to it, we’re way off the beaten path. And it is hard out there, debilitating actually. If your inner monologue is critical, endlessly degrading, it’s time to move back to grace. Ten we can breath and assess ourselves with the same kindness we extend to others…”
And don’t forget: