We teach our children to treat others the way we would want to be treated, and yet the reality is that many women struggle showing themselves the love and respect that they would show their own neighbor. Living in a world that is consumed by things like outward appearance, the pressure to succeed and a social media feed that proves only to show the highlights of one’s life doesn’t exactly mix well for a recipe of self-love. The solution here isn’t as complex as changing the world, but learning how to change the inner monologue you speak over yourself every day.
As simple as it may sound, creating a kinder world really does start first with the kindness you show yourself.
“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.”
– Sophia Bush
Think about who you are and who you are fighting to become. Just because there are goals and challenges in front of you doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the journey you are on and show gratitude for everything that makes you wonderful before you even begin moving forward. Remember that you are whole right now and that the things you are working toward aren’t missing pieces of a currently lacking woman. Speak words of affirmation over yourself and try to set goals in the present tense and read them as if they are currently happening. Instead of, “I am going to work on my anxiety and feel better,” try phrasing it, “I am working on my anxiety and feeling better.”
“It takes grace to remain kind in cruel situations.” – Rupi Kaur
Sometimes there are life experiences in your past and even in your present that lend a hand in molding the negative self-talk that comes so naturally. There are pressures, painful memories, unfair blame, and unkind actions that you have to fight your way through to get on the other side. This isn’t an easy task and takes lots of practice to remind yourself that you are special, worthy, and deserving of kindness and self-love. Finding encouraging quotes, scripture, and positive reminders to yourself that you can place in different locations in your home or office can help be that beacon pointing you toward kindness when you need a reminder.
“You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way.” – Jennifer J. Freeman
Think about the last time you received a smile from a friend or even a stranger; the welcome and warmth. When you look in the mirror, are you smiling back at yourself? Are you giving yourself permission to be happy and lead the life that you want most? There are moments in life, some simple and some more complex, where you will be the only thing standing in your way of happiness. It can be as small as putting on your swimsuit when you would rather sit covered than be with your children on the beach having fun. It can be as difficult as letting go of that relationship you have held onto out of habit and the fear of others’ opinions. Think about the choices in your life big and small and remember that you are the captain of the ship. When that false narrative of inferiority or scarcity comes into your mind and plays on your decision making, remind yourself that you are in charge of your happiness. What will you decide?
Begin to speak kindness over yourself slowly and every day it will begin to not only get easier, but become the bar to which you hold others as well. Kindness is truly contagious!