Full disclosure: The last few days have been rough. There has been a lot of despairing, crying and tantrum throwing. I even had a nap today, and I usually don’t do naps.
I am somebody who gets upset about one thing and then thinks “well, might as well get upset about everything”. I am aware it is not the most healthy habit of mine, but usually I just have a wee cathartic cry to get stuff out of my system and then I’m fine. This week though, there has been a bit too much on my plate.
Because there has been so much going on, I have felt like I haven’t been doing a good job at anything. Not at work, not at home, not at writing, exercising, looking after myself or any of the other things I care about. There are some big changes afoot and I have been feeling guilty for how inward looking and focussed on myself I have been.
Post-tantrum, my partner said to me that I needed to read my own blog-posts. It really stung. I felt like a big fat hypocrite, like I’ve been sharing advice with people that I can’t even take myself.
Now that I am in a more rational frame of mind, I can see that what was probably meant by his comment, was that I knew deep down, that I was stressing about things that I knew didn’t actually really matter to me; or at least wouldn’t matter for very long.
Having strong views and ideals doesn’t mean that you are immune to criticism or self-doubt. In fact, I find it pretty tough to not hold myself to an almost impossible standard of just being on top of everything all the time. I have come a long way with the relationship I have with myself but all relationships take work.
The best analogy for self-love in my opinion, is treating yourself like you would your best friend. Tune in to your inner dialogue and check in on how you’re talking to yourself. The world is a harsh enough place, there is no point in adding to it by being your own worst critic.
It sounds silly, but inner dialogue and mental strength go hand-in-hand. Yesterday I went trad climbing for the first time in a while. For anyone not familiar with it, it’s a style of climbing where you place your own gear to keep you safe, rather than just clipping yourself into bolts that already exist. You have to really focus and keep your head in the game and not think about what could go wrong.
I really surprised myself with how positive my self-talk was without me having to make too much of conscious effort about it. I heard myself saying “I can do this”, “I can climb” and even “I am a bad-ass”: That is what climbing has done for me. I started off enjoying the physical challenge but now I enjoy the satisfaction of surprising myself with how strong I am and what I can do.
I’m not saying I’m amazing at it, but I am better than I ever thought I would be and every time I go over more than maybe ten metres off the ground, I feel like I have accomplished something. I am actually pretty scared of heights, funnily enough.
So I guess my point is that we all have ups and downs with how we feel about ourselves. Having good friends to pick you up is really awesome but being your own best friend is really important too. If you are experiencing self-doubt or low confidence then you need to find something that makes you feel strong and fabulous, whatever that means to you.
Find your thing and do it. Do it whenever you can and screw anyone, including your inner-voice, that tries to say that you aren’t doing your best or you don’t matter. Prove them and yourself wrong and just go on being your bad-ass selves, because the world needs you!
Peace and love