Confession time: I’ve been way guilty about breaking one of the cardinal rules of self-love this year- don’t compare yourself to others. It seems simple enough to follow, right? Don’t spend hours lurking other girls’ Instagram accounts wondering how to look more like them. Don’t pity yourself because someone else’s career is advancing. Don’t think extravagance always necessarily relates to happiness. Don’t believe that the brightness of someone else’s glow means yours shines any dimmer.
Turns out it can be pretty dang tough to overcome. When I’m in a rut and feeling low, everyone else’s accomplishments and perfect social media feeds feel like a personal attack on my self-esteem. As someone who truly believes in celebrating themselves and the successes of the women around them, I know that this behavior isn’t reflective of the person I want to be. So what do we do? It’s impossible to escape scenarios where we’ll be tempted to play the comparison game and running wouldn’t do anything to solve the root of the problem, anyway.
Here’s the deal- the problem isn’t with others, and it’s not that you’re not doing enough. The problem is remembering to love yourself more. Giving yourself more credit. For every negative thought we have about ourselves or our journey, counter it with two ways you’re killing it. Try this: think about your best friend, I mean reaalllyy think about the person that they are and how you view them. What comes to mind? I sincerely doubt you thought about the workout they skipped, the money that they kept meaning to save, or the job that they didn’t get (and if you did, maybe we need to assess this friendship, girlfriend). I bet you thought about something more along the lines of their fierce determination, their heart for giving, or any of the ways you’re infinitely proud to be their friend. And guess what? This is how people think of you, too! It may feel like the negative things you think about yourself are on display for everyone to judge, but the people who love you are thinking about your infectious smile, your inspiring willpower, and your overall girl-bossness! So why don’t we think about ourselves the way we think about our best friend? After all, we’re the person we spend the most time with and want the best for!
If you know anything about Creative Souls Tribe, you know we’re all about celebrating the wins. A win doesn’t have to be anything life-changing like a promotion (but if it is, all the better!) A win can be anything as seemingly small as cooking a great dinner, squeezing in a workout, or trying something out of your comfort zone! I’ll be honest here, because I don’t want to be a hypocrite- I’ve let ugly thoughts creep into my head this year; I’ve caught myself thinking I wasn’t good enough, hating myself for being awkward and introverted, and feeling constant anxiety that I wasn’t where I should be in my journey. When I focus on these things, it’s easy for me to believe that this was a bad year, that I didn’t accomplish anything.
Then, I remember to take a step back. If I think about myself like I would my best friend, what amazing things do I see that I would be so proud of her for?
I graduated college. (HELLO, first generation and debt-free at that!)
I worked an internship with a female business-owner (and fellow CST member!)
I celebrated my five-year anniversary with a company that I’m proud to be a part of.
I started a blog with my best friend that has allowed us to meet other incredible women and be creative in ways that we normally wouldn’t.
I won a sustainability grant (out of three winners in the country) that supports a non-profit
that I’m passionate about, and I get to lead a volunteer project with my co-workers.
I stepped outside of my comfort zone and volunteered as a committee member for a non-profit festival.
I started going to counseling and actually figuring out my anxieties instead of bottling them up and shoving them down. (A major win! Please, never be afraid to seek the help you need.)
I’ve said, “yes”. I’ve shown up. I’ve been vulnerable. I’ve asked for help. I’ve given help.
Wow. Can you believe I let myself be anything but proud? That’s why it’s SO important to remind yourself of all that you’ve done! We hold on to our failures and let them gnaw at us but are so quick to forget all of the amazing strides we’ve made in our journey. Yes, maybe you were too tired to finish your to-do list today, but it’s probably because you were so busy being awesome yesterday! It may seem cheesy, but make a list like the one I made of everything that you’re proud of yourself for. Each and every little accomplishment. Read it when you’re feeling down and tell me you don’t feel proud to know you afterwards!
Here’s the win I’ll be working on in the new year, and I hope you’ll join me in this resolution- practicing radical self-love. Giving every win the celebration it deserves. Speaking kindly to yourself and holding back the criticisms. Cheering for yourself like you would your best friend.
Nashville native Holli Edmonds is one half of the Nashville blogging duo, BoringGirlBlog. She has many passions including community outreach, writing, and constant self-improvement and exploration. She is a fierce believer in collaboration, the power of women, and always eating dessert. Feel free to reach out to her through Instagram or Facebook!