Can you look at yourself in the mirror and compliment yourself? Do you find it easy to accept praise when someone tells you that you look good or have done a great job? Few of us really are that comfortable with ourselves that we are able to do both these. It is much easier for us to criticise whether that is us or others. We find the weakness, the problem, the issue and we will pick away at it.
I was lucky enough to spend three hours today considering why we are so hard on ourselves. Not all of us, but a lot of us find it so difficult to be easy on ourselves and to avoid that negative commentary. We would not treat our friends the way we treat ourselves for much of the time. That was the key that we discussed. After all how can we love other people if we don’t love ourselves?
It is great to be able to discuss these issues with a group of strong women who were able to help and support each other. That was as important as the discussion that took place, being in a space where people were not judging each other. One of the things that had an impact on me from today was the impact that language can have on us and those around us.
As you can imagine with the work I do I believe words are very important. Finding the right words is more challenging than you may think. Writers often struggle and find it is what you leave out that is as important as what you keep in. As a journalist you are taught to try and reduce those unnecessary words. So, we can’t deny that what people say and the words the use can affect us. If we are using negative language to ourselves then how can we feel able to take those compliments from others?
It was less than an hour after I had finished the session today that I found myself saying ‘I am not very good at that’ but I corrected myself to thank someone for stepping in for me. Thanking them is the positive whereas criticising myself for not being able to do it was wholly negative and damaging. The plan for me for the week ahead is to try and check myself when I feel those negative words coming into my head or my mouth.
*If you are interested the session was run by Amy Lawrenson who I am very grateful to for having a positive impact on my life. You can find out about her here http://www.silverdaisychain.co.uk/