Time will go by where I genuinely feel as though I am pleased with the way I look. And then days come where I am staring an inch away from the mirror because I feel that my nose is 0.01% crooked, and this might just be the end of the world. I wish I was joking. Before I know it, I’m feeling weak and defeated. And then it snowballs into me feeling guilty for critiquing myself when I use this platform to tell YOU that you are uniquely, wonderfully gifted and beautiful just as you are.
Why? Because I’m human. We’re all human. And the vortex of criticism is a slippery slope. Before we know it, we realize we’ve spent way too much time staring in the mirror allowing ourselves to be fed negativity. We let our guard down and become trapped in a place of dissatisfaction, hating on the very thing that is the home to our life, our dreams, our soul. It’s frustrating, I know. We know it has no benefit, and yet it is so hard to beat the battle in our minds.
But I am realizing that this is a battle worth fighting. And spoiler alert, you have the upper hand. The negativity, the criticism, the lies - they may still come knocking but they won’t last as long if they aren’t entertained.
So today I’m calling myself out. I am choosing not to be a host of negativity. Are you with me?
Here are a few things I’ve learned in the battle of those thoughts:
1. FIND THE ROOT
What triggered these thoughts? Maybe you’ve been having a bad day or your daily routine was messed with. Maybe someone spoke to you without filtering or you are comparing yourself to someone else. It is hard to make change if we can’t evaluate the root. Find it and recognize that perhaps this criticism is being triggered by other factors. Identifying the root helps give the perspective needed to pull that sucker out.
2. SHUT DOWN THE PARTY
The longer you entertain the guest of negativity, the more comfortable it will become. It’s like a houseguest who won’t leave, has their feet on your coffee table and apparently needs a GPS to find the garbage - all because you didn’t set an end time to the party. When negativity is throwing a party, shut er down. What does this look like? Maybe it means telling yourself that your body doesn’t deserve this shame. Or banning yourself from all the mirrors in the house (I did this to a child when I was babysitting once, haha). Or posting notes in your phone, in your locker, beside your bed - reminding yourself that hate crumbles when love rises. When it comes to self-hate, I’m giving you permission to fight back.
3. PROTECT THE TRUTH
We put a security alarm on every window in our house and yet we let self-hate and negativity strut into our minds like it owns the place. Our house - it keeps us dry in a storm, offers light when it’s dark outside, keeps us warm when winter hits. Our body - it is the home to our passions, our gifts, our capacity to love. Both are designed to protect what is on the inside, what matters. Both deserve to be seen for their value and strength. Protecting this truth isn’t always easy... I know. I really do.
So, knowing that the mind game isn’t an easy one… Knowing that the negativity may still come knocking... Let’s forgive ourselves for those moments where we open the door a little too wide. It happens, I’ve been there. But let’s also be a little more ready for the next time we hear a knock.
Next time you and I look at our reflection in the mirror, let’s remember…
Your mark on this world comes from the impact of your heart, not the number on your clothing.
Let’s repeat this over and over and over and over. Even if our voice shakes and we feel weak. Even if we are having trouble believing it. I’ll keep repeating it for you, for me and for every her out there.
All I know is that somewhere between the mirror and me, I don’t want to lose the reflection of truth.
The truth? It’s worth the fight.
Cheering you on,