If you are reading this, I know for a fact that you have been told to be kinder to yourself and to trust your process more times than you can remember. In the occasions that you have been told, you probably felt good at that moment, left a kind note for yourself on your phone and repeated affirmations in front of the mirror but then life happened like it always does, and you went back to regular programming.
I, too, am guilty of this, I cling on to pockets of inspiration in my spare time but then I miss a beat, and I go falling down the rabbit hole of doubt and self-criticism. After a bad day, I go to bed and watch a playback of all the things I could have done better throughout the day. I wonder if I would be the woman I dream of becoming much quicker, if I had the versatility of Doja Cat, or if I was as fierce as Beyoncé. A part of me knows that comparing myself to women that I have never met is ridiculous, but am a woman existing in the digital age, and let us not forget that for centuries women have been told that they are not good enough, so this is the norm, right?
Comparison is the thief of Joy
I go on social media and I am told that my waist is not small enough, my bank is not big enough, and my life? not extravagant enough. I put down my phone and start chasing my dreams, and I am told that I am too opinionated but simultaneously not opinionated enough, I am told that I have talent but not talented enough. I am told that I have an incredible work ethic but am too ‘’soft’’ to lead. There have been moments where I have been made to believe that everyone is doing ‘’better’’ than I am so evidently the ‘’problem’’ is me. Again, I know for a fact that at some point in your life, you have felt this way too. In my opinion, Theodore Roosevelt was wrong about a lot of things, but he was certainly right when he said that ‘’comparison is the thief of joy.’’
You are enough
Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t one archetype of womanhood, success actually doesn’t look or behave one particular way. The older I get; I realize that success is subjective. Everyone is walking their journey, learning, and growing at their own pace. There are nearly 8 billion people on the earth and none have had an exact life experience like yours. You are unique and in your uniqueness lies your power. Doubt and comparison disempower us by making us believe that there is a better way to be. I would like to remind you that you are enough, even when you don’t feel like it. The desire for self-improvement does not need to be anchored in doubt or a need for external validation.
‘’Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.’’ – Beyoncé Knowles
According to a study conducted at Cornell University women are more critical of themselves than their male counterparts. The study found that men overestimate their abilities and performance, while women underestimate both. A report by Hewlett Packard concluded that women are robbed of opportunities due to a lack in self confidence.
Tips to help you overcome toxic self-criticism:
- Pay attention to your thoughts – recognize your thought patterns and how they affect you.
- Do not dwell on mistakes – accept your errors as an opportunity for learning and change the channel when thinking negatively.
- Examine your negative thoughts – not all your thoughts are true, whenever you have a pestering negative thought examine it.
- Actively replace negative thoughts with realistic statements.
- Consider how bad it would be if your thoughts were true.
- Give yourself the same compassion that you would give to a friend.
- Balance self-improvement with self-acceptance – accept that you are a work in progress and show yourself kindness.
DreamGirls Academy virtual seminar
I challenge you to be kinder to yourself, to acknowledge your achievements, to celebrate all the little wins. To embrace your journey and accept that you are doing better than OK. I believe that when we fully accept ourselves and our journeys, we can pay it forward and inspire others to do the same. When we empower ourselves, we also empower others to rise. DreamGirls Academy will be hosting a virtual summit in collaboration with mental wellness experts to empower the DreamGirls alumni. More details will follow via the DreamGirls Academy social media and communications platforms.