I’m sure you’ve seen this quote kicking around the internet at one point or another. I have this posted on my vision board (I don’t much like this term, but it’s what I’ll call it for lack of a better one) which is one of the projects I have undertaken since January. I’ll share it with you in a future post, but right now there is something that I need to get out there.
I’m privileged to work alongside women who are also my closest friends, a few of whom are on the YearCompass journey with me. These women are some of the strongest, most ambitious women I know and I hold them in the highest regard. They are not only bringing their all to the table at every meeting they attend or every project that they work on, but they are also caring, compassionate, kind and endlessly generous. Yet, regardless of how successful and accomplished we each are, we all have the ability to undervalue ourselves on a daily basis. And not just undervalue; if you look deeply enough you will find self-doubt and self-deprecation. We are our worst critics. We are masterful artists, weaving the judgements, comments, and attitudes of others into our perception, our beliefs, our decisions. It’s no wonder we are exhausted and lacking direction in finding our passions. We’re burning out and a large source of this is coming from within.
Some of the thoughts that we have about ourselves is among the harshest criticism we will ever face. We justify talking to ourselves in a way that most of us would never think to utter out loud about or to another person. When I started focusing on where I was expending energy, I realized I was losing some of it to that inner voice, and what she was saying in certain areas was nothing kind. I know that I am not alone; a friend recently shared a photo of herself and two friends. The women were smiling and clearly enjoying each other’s company; they looked genuinely happy. However, the intent of the email was for her to point out how disappointed she was in herself, that she had honestly felt quite good about herself that day until seeing the photo. This was all shared as the marking of a moment of motivation for her, but it was heartbreaking. It makes the hair on my arms stand up and tears well in my eyes because she is such a kind, loving, compassionate and beautiful person, and the amount of sadness and guilt and flat out terrible feelings about ourselves that we carry around and tell ourselves is such bullshit.
We need to stop replacing the happy. We need to become aware of how we speak to ourselves, and break the cycle of negativity. We need to be as nice, as loving and as encouraging as we are to our dearest family member or closest friend.
I encourage you to take some time over the course of the next day or so and really focus on your internal dialogue. Celebrate yourself. Accept compliments (this is a tough one I find). Find pride in your accomplishments. The foundation for building who you are, to pursuing your passions and putting yourself out there relies on your ability to support yourself.