[Views expressed in this post are my opinion]
This post was originally published on Mother.ly and can be found here: https://www.mother.ly/child/our-kids-are-watchinglets-teach-them-how-to-love-who-they-are
I am my own worst critic. I am the toughest judge on how I “perform” as a mom, as a woman, as a wife, and the list goes on. Sometimes I bully myself into thinking I’m not enough.
I often find myself worrying about being judged by others when what’s really happening is—I’m judging myself. I’m constantly worried about the mistakes I’m making as a mother, as a wife, as a friend that I’m missing out on my successes.
The world may see the good I do—but I don’t. I’m blind to it. I’m blinded by my own disapproval in myself. I’m too busy throwing myself down on the ground, and then yelling at myself to get up and be better.
Where on the continuum of life do we learn to do this to ourselves?
At what age do we start to criticize ourselves, to focus on our pitfalls and shortcomings, to tear ourselves down?
When do we start learning how to bully ourselves into thinking that we aren’t good enough? That we’re failing at everything?
I wish I had the answer. I wish I knew when this whole thought process started. Not only to have helped myself sooner, but to make sure my daughter doesn’t fall into this same situation.
I am very good at uplifting others. I’m good at seeing the good in them, praising them, supporting them. I find some of the women closest to me are equally good at this. They pick me up when I’m self-loathing and self-hating, they save me from hitting rock bottom. They support me when I’m scared of my future and worried about failing.
My question now is—why do I do this for others, but not for myself? Why do so many women find themselves in this position?
It’s time to change. It’s time to be our own cheerleader, to pat ourselves on the back and to cut ourselves some slack. We are doing our best.
It’s the dawning of a new wave of female empowerment and the energy of this time is incredible—but its success depends on the ability to not only lift each other up, but to lift ourselves up as well.
We need to change the narrative. I see so many articles, blog posts and inspirational quotes about not judging other moms, but instead supporting one another and cheering each other on. And make no mistake—these are vital messages to spread—BUT, we’re missing a critical piece. We have to do this for ourselves, too.
Young girls—including my own daughter—need to see me, and other women like me, celebrate our successes. Our future generation of women needs to see this transformation—this newfound ability to focus on our contributions, our achievements, our strengths and love for ourselves.
This is a concept that’s easier said than done. Because somewhere, at likely a very young age, we learn to compare ourselves to others and to judge ourselves unkindly. We learn to focus on our failures more than our successes.
This is not to say that mistakes don’t exist—but rather, that mistakes happen to the best of us, and that they do not define us.
We can all strive to be better mamas every day—I know I do—but we shouldn’t be beating ourselves up because of a faulty thought process that creates self-doubt and allows that question of “Am I good enough?” to creep in.
Because I’ll let you in on a little secret—you are good enough, and so am I.
So, let’s continue to foster this wave of empowerment and continue to lift each other up—but first by strengthening our own personal kindness foundation within ourselves. We owe it to ourselves. And we owe it to the future generation who is learning how to love themselves by listening to us, watching us, and acting just like us.
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