When I think about describing myself to others, I have the hardest time. This is especially hard when you write a bio about yourself for a dating sight. I just have to say this, I usually lead with a joke or sassy saying because I don’t know how to talk about myself. The idea of this comes up when I go on dates, because that is what single people do is date and we are forced to talk about ourselves and not the bad parts that we constantly think about but the good things that others will like about us. So recently I have found myself thinking about not only relationships with friends, family and myself but I have also been thinking about my fondness for over-analyzing and criticizing myself; where it comes from and why at 35 I am still like a neurotic teenager. Here is my amazing revelation…I’m not alone. I am pretty sure we all have this crazy person living in our head pointing out the negative and the things that could possibly go wrong.
There is never a time in my life that I have been super secure in this skin I am in. I have always wanted what I saw as perfection, a variety of beauty traits that I thought men found desirable. The voice in my head has been there since I can remember and I am pretty sure that the voice in my head would sound like Lauren Bacall, all raspy and smoked out because in my head that is what I sound like except more girl and less sexy. Anyway this voice has had her way with my ego since I was in my teens, like most people I am sure, this is when I discovered sex or the idea of sexuality. This is when I became insecure of my flat chest and growing belly and not growing limbs, they still refuse to become longer which I am sure is due to early coffee addiction. Years later I still struggle with this voice in my head when I look in the mirror and see parts of my body which I find difficult to love.
I am pretty sure that I am not alone in this voice telling me negative things. Recently I read an opinion piece on how we are good enough and the thing is, it is hard to mute the crazy person living within the grey matter. This troll of a voice goes from a whisper to an undercurrent of emotional backwash, telling me that I am never going to get that job, I need to loose 5 lbs, he is just going to be like the last one so why even try. More than anything this can lead to deeper emotional scars that flare up like arthritis in the rain but here are some things I have thought of to be more comfortable in the skin that is home for my lives on this earth and I want to share it with you.
1) Stop Negative Self-Talk If your friend was saying negative things about him/herself would you agree and be like, “well you have been power housing down the chocolate or booze and that can stack on the gut.” No, my hope is that you would not say that to someone else…that you would be a good friend and be like, “you look great!” So if you would not talk to your friend like that, why the hell would you say it to yourself??? So stop, seriously, stop.
2) Embrace your Experience Everyone has a past and it is there, in our past as an experience that we have lived through. Take from it something you have learned or if you were hurt, embrace your pain and know what you will not put up with in the future but try to move forward, one step at a time. PS I find this one especially hard as it affects the next one.
3) Take a Chance Your inner voice is there for a reason and trust your instincts but also sometimes we need to take a chance. I did this when I moved out here to the Pacific Northwest and I love it here, rain and all. Sometimes our lives need some change and we need to embrace that change by taking what our past has given us and move into our future selves. Again, this is hard for me when it comes to relationships but I repeat to myself… “you will never know if you don’t try”.
4) Let yourself make mistakes For real, we are not perfect, we are human and prone to mistakes. So many people make mistakes and learn from them. We need to stop beating ourselves up for stupid shit and every little mistake. No one is perfect and being perfect may not make you happy. How can we grow as people if we never learn from our mistakes or poor choices. So go ahead and fuck up, reflect and move on, maybe in another direction that will take you farther.
5) Be Present I struggle with this so I know it is hard but here is a reason to be present and in the moment. If you are looking at all the bad and the shit that has happened, you will never notice the beauty in the moment you are in. So often we look down rather than looking up and this is a defense mechanism to close ourselves up when we feel vulnerable. We look inward and forget that the outer world is there, waiting for us to embrace it. I know, some people will find this helpful but this is the way I think about it, I frown when I over-think things and well it takes more energy to do this than if I am to smile.
So there you have it 5 ways to shut down the crazy person in your head and be happier in the skin you live in. I am not a self-help guru but I feel that from life experience this is not complete crap and may help someone.