Learning to Be Nice To Yourself

Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like you just can’t get anything right? You know, when you’re struggling just to get something down pat, only to fail. And father than allow yourself the mistake, you beat yourself up for it?

You’re not alone, here. I do it too.

With that being said, how to we nip that habit right in the bud? How do we, instead of getting frustrated with ourselves so easily, learn to take a deep breath and say, it’s okay. I can do this. 

I say, with practice. Naturally, it’s easier said that done. But, I bet you can do it.

Okay, so how?

Let’s take when you’re new at something, for example. Often, you don’t pick something up right away. Do you remember when you first learned how to drive? Chances are, you didn’t do perfectly the first second you got behind the wheel. However, over time, you’ve managed to not only brake easily, but also feel comfortable driving around other cars. Therefore, we have to learn that since we’re new at something, we need to give ourselves a chance to get used to everything — whether it may be a new job or even a semester.

Patience, people.

Furthermore, we also need to work on learning to be nice to ourselves. That means giving ourselves a break when things don’t go right. That means changing our inner dialogues so that we can instead focus on what we learned from the mistakes that we made instead of yelling at ourselves. That means changing our outlook.

It also means giving ourselves a break.

At the end of the day, not everyone is perfect. Not everyone is going to be the top of the class, or adapt to something easily. And, that’s okay. It doesn’t meant that they aren’t good at it. It means that they are human.

Therefore, everyone — myself included — should take note.

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Living For Loving (Yourself)

It’s safe to say everyone out there at one point or another often lacks confidence. It can be the teenager who lacks self image due to bullies in the high school hallways. It can be the result of a diet of magazines and feeling like one is not enough. Or, finally, it could be the result of being in a relationship where your partner (or even someone who is supposedly your friend) would continually work to cut you down. And, while the relationship is long over, the effects of it still remain ingrained in us for God knows how long.

If I’m being real here, I can especially relate to the last one. I had experience with former friends and partners that just continually cut me down. For example, I have an ex that sometimes during a relationship tried to cause me to feel completely and utterly stupid. He would constantly dismiss my love for teen romance novels and say that my writing needed work (I mean I’m not perfect and can take criticism, but I do think it’s offensive for your partner to say that it’s a chore — and really he said that — to read your articles that you work so hard on).

And, that’s only one major example. I’ve had friends insult themselves in front of me, which in turn, helped me question my own self image and myself in general.

Needless to say, that caused me to feel subconscious about myself.  While the relationship is long over and I’m even in a new one, the effects still remain. Every now and then, I question whether or not I’m good enough or pretty enough.

But, I am working on it.

However, I’m going to be honest here. I am absolutely certain that I am not the only one who has or does feel this way. And, there’s a number of reasons why someone would be feeling that way.

With that being said, I do have a message for all of those who do. Repeat this mantra to yourself as much as needed, because I think that this something that everyone needs to hear.

And that mantra is:

You are wonderful. You are beautiful. You are intelligent, and you are an awesome human being. Why? Because you are you. It doesn’t matter what size you wear, or if you’re the top of the class. You are worthy and deserving of love, and wonderful things. And, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

With the rise of social media — in our culture in general — we often lose sight of ourselves. This, meaning that we don’t see ourselves too clearly. I mean, we see thousands of stimuli daily, and it’s bound to create some insecurities about our lives. I am guilty of this. But, we don’t need to be.

Therefore, I am going to work on seeing myself as the wonderful being I am. But, sometimes, I need some help. So, here’s how I’m working to see myself clearly — even when I feel awful upon myself. Hopefully this inspires you to get going as well!

  1. Keep a journal and write in it regularly. You can do a few different prompts with this. One thing that I like to do when I’m feeling down about myself is write a list why I am awesome. Another thing is to write down your feelings. Chances are, the more you do, the better you’ll feel.
  2. Do something that makes you feel good. For me, that’s putting on some lipstick or remembering to wear makeup. Others, however, can have a different approach. For instance, some can wear an outfit that helps you radiate confidence. Whatever it may be, it’s okay to pamper yourself and remind yourself that you are awesome.
  3. Look up positive quotes on Pinterest/Google. After all, it means a lot to see it on your phone. And, you can even download them onto your phone and use it as a wallpaper. The more you see it, the more it resonates.

Don’t Knock It Til You Try It! Positive Thinking Really Works!

One of the biggest cliches out there is to stay positive whenever you’re having a bad day, and somehow things will get better. I always questioned that mentality. I mean, how could you maintain a positive attitude at all times? After all, there are some days that it can be difficult.

For example, yesterday I was having an awful day. I woke up and was feeling awful — I had a terrible stomach ache and had a headache. Despite my illness, I decided to go into work, and try my best at the tasks I was assigned to do.

It was a struggle, I will admit. However, deciding to just say hello to people and smile changed my entire outlook. I went out of my way to help others, whether it was holding doors for them or greeting strangers in a coffee shop. I kept on reminding myself that “while I feel like crap now, I will get through it and go home to rest.” And, I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch.

Those little things made a huge difference. While it didn’t change how I was feeling physically, it changed how I approached things. I think that’s crucial, because instead of dwelling on how I was feeling, I was focusing on doing something for the greater good and trying to feel good. It worked, because while I was still feeling awful, I attacked my day with a positive mindset. 

So, at the end of the day, we have those two options: to complain or try to be positive. For me, this seems to be the one that works much better. But, that’s just my opinion.

With that being said, it has become a pet peeve of mine when someone complains or continues to dwell on the negative. I hate to break it to you, but you’re not going to get much accomplished or even feel good if you continue to do so. Furthermore, if you’re not doing whatever your best to try to get to change that situation, chances are you’re going to continue to be in it.

So, with that being said, I invite you to look at things with a positive outlook like I did yesterday. And, while things might not be ideal right this second, give yourself the right tools to help you power through it. Chances are, you’ll have a sunnier outcome. 

Let There Be Light

Nowadays, I can safely call myself an optimist. You know, someone who sees the light in the situations — awkward scenarios, and life taking unexpected turns that left me thunderstruck. While they were the cause for worry, I always made sure that going in, hey man I try to make the best of that. I try to sit down and come up with a plan to make things better. After all, sometimes it can turn out great? Right?

With that being said, what makes someone an optimist?

To me, someone who considers themselves to be an optimist is someone that always looks to the bright side to things. She is someone who sees the benefits, which outweigh the overall pitfalls. She is also someone who sees the glass as being half full versus half empty.

For example, let’s say you’re asked to work on a Saturday or holiday. Let’s be honest — it sucks working on a Saturday. Looking on the bright side though it’s more cash in your wallet.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about optimism and pessimism. I’ve been surrounded with a lot of pessimists and people that see the downright negative in every single thing that they are surrounded with. Sometimes, I try to be the light in their darkness. Like, if a friend is complaining about something that she frequently complains about, I try to get her to see the positive or ask her what’s good about her day. However, at other times, I just try to shake it off as being an eclipse on my otherwise sunny day.

However, becoming an optimist wasn’t easy. It was the result over a year of therapy. You see, when I first entered therapy, I was as a pessimist through and through. My world at the time was full of darkness, and I wanted nothing more than to poke my heads through the storm clouds and bask in the sunlight.

My therapist taught me how to make my own damn sunlight. She would constantly ask me whenever I would complain about something, well what was good in your day? Eventually, that became a thought I’ve began to ask myself. Sometimes, whenever I would have a bad day, I would go to my journal and write a list of all of the good in my life.

With that being said, I’ve learned that while I am not in control of circumstance, I am in control of how I attack scenarios. Therefore, I try to make the best out of it. I try to smile. I try to think of ways to change it, and remember that everything does happen for a reason. And, I may not know that reason at the time, but hopefully I’ll figure it out.

Most importantly, though, I learned that I can choose to be the light or the darkness. So, I choose to be the light. After all, the sun poking out of the clouds after a lengthy storm is the first sign that it’s over right?

Right. That’s why they call it calm after the storm.

In Bloom

“Some kind of magic happens late at night

When the moon smiles down at me, and bathes me in its light”

Brand New Day, Josh Radin

Lately, I have been obsessed with the song Brand New Day by Josh Radin. I first heard the song when a friend from high school sent it to me to soothe me after a breakup with my first boyfriend, but lately it has held a new meaning to me.

As the April showers begin to clear up, it seems almost as if everything is brand new. It seems as if there is an endless plethora of new opportunities, all within reach. The mistakes from winter seem to be washed away, and all that is left is just sunshine and beautiful flowers.

I feel almost as if this season is a brand new day for me. For the first time in God knows how long, I truly feel as if I will be okay. I am peace with what happened in the past, and plan to leave it in the past. Now, I am ready to look and move forward. I am ready to seize every opportunity that I possibly can, and to look at the new ones that I am so lucky to have with a new lense. The world is my oyster; I am ready to take the pearl.

So, in some senses, I am in bloom like the flowers outside. I am done hiding the weight of my mistakes, broken hearts, and anxiety. I am ready to leave that behind for the beauty of a new tomorrow. And to quote the song once more, for the first time, in such a long time, I know I will be okay.

And, that my friends, is such an awesome feeling.

Raise your latte cups and let’s celebrate new beginnings. Let’s embrace every opportunity that comes our way, and let’s try to have a clean slate. For some, this may be just a celebrating a new season. For others, it may be more literal, as you graduate and begin a new chapter. Either way, you too will be okay.

You too, will be in bloom.

Make It Happen

My biggest pet peeve is when someone talks about something they are unhappy about in their life that they have the power to change, or make better. This may be in any aspect of life, from where you work, your state of mind to relationships. Chances are, there is something you can do to alleviate that stress or change it. It starts with you.

Throughout my life, I’ve had many shitty things happen to me. To top that off, I also have anxiety. These things were definitely roadblocks in the road to my happiness. Thanks to my therapist and Jen Sincero (the author of You Are a Badassgreat read by the way), I have learned just because I have anxiety doesn’t mean that I can’t change or control what is bringing me down.

Whenever I want something – from a job to a boyfriend to an outcome – I ask myself what can I do to get there? I then ask myself what steps I can take to get there.

For example, I want to write a novel — a daunting task. To get the outcome I want – a completed novel – I ask myself what I can do to get it done. I can do NanoWriMo. I can write a chapter a day/week. I can schedule a dedicated writing time, and progress further and further. I have options. I have a plan.

By having a plan is the first step to completing that lofty goal.

This isn’t the only aspect of life that you can apply this mindset to. I have anxiety, which causes a lot of unhappiness. With anxiety, you have two different options. You can either just accept panic attacks as a reality, or you can do what you can to change them. This same philosophy applies to when you are dealing with an awful situation, whether it may be dissatisfaction in a job. You can change it by finding a new one, or doing whatever you can to change the circumstances.

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You have the power to change that. It’s up to you.

No matter what you want in life, there’s always a way to change it. You just have got to figure out the steps to get there. And, then you do them.

As the weekend commences, think about what outcome or goal you want to get to. Then, think about what you can do to get there. It may be writing a few pages a day to get that novel done. It may be learning to see the good in everyday to make it stand up against the bad. It may be immersing yourself in getting back out there to meet new people.  If you want to go to France, ask yourself how am I going to get to France. Whatever outcome you want, you can make happen.

So, my concluding question is: what’s stopping you?

Attracting Positive Vibes

In life, there are some people who just seem to be negative, and weigh you down instead of lifting you up. Those are the people who often spend their time looking at the glass being half full instead of empty, using the social media as a blank canvas for their complaints, and insert negativity into the world rather than positivity.

I’ve had friends who are like that. Every time that I would go out with them, I would feel ten pounds heavier after. These are the friends who are the drama queens, the ones who get more out of life by trashing others behind their backs. When I was in upper high school and lower college, I would find it amusing. Then, as I began to fall into the rabbit role of the effects of anxiety, I began to see them clearly. Instead of finding my outings with those friends to be amusing, I began to dread them in the way you would a dentist appointment. I then realized that it was because of how I left every encounter, every coffee date, and every shopping trip. Therefore, I realized it was time to leave those friends behind.

Positivity Attracts Positivity

Someone, maybe my therapist or Buddha I can’t remember, once said positivity attracts positivity. I believe that is true. By cutting the negative people out of my life, I am realizing that I am left with one thing – positive vibes.

By cutting the negative people out of my life, I soon evolved into an entirely different person. I became happier, and looked to enjoy the positive things in my life. You see, by hanging out with people who are negative, you become negative. By surrounding yourself with positivity, you become positive. It’s not rocket science. It’s just simple.

However, how can we become more positive beings? Leaving the friends who are negative influences is only one way. But, there is so much more you can do. You can look at the bright side of things, even when there is pouring rain outside and everything is wrong. You can learn to treat yourself well, by spending time alone in libraries and cafes. You can make time to do things that you love, such as reading books or magazines in subjects that interest you, doing crafts, and doing the things that make you smile. That way, you too can become more positive. It’s that easy.

And the more that you fall in love with your life, the less negative you’ll become, which will spread to those who you are surround yourself with.

So, yes Mondays pretty much suck. However, they don’t have to be. Start by looking at the positive in every situation. I can guarantee that you’ll find happiness in it.