We live in a world where Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and every other social media app dictate how we should live our lives. We absently scroll through our feeds without much thought, yet we take in all those images and silently start to judge ourselves.
“How is her life so perfect when I can barely comb my hair some mornings?”
“She’s so lucky, her husband bought her a gift for no reason and clearly adores her. Mine can’t even be bothered to ask me how my day was…”
“At any given moment, I feel like I’m going to lose my sh*t, yet she’s skipping through the park with ice cream wearing WHITE pants looking perfect. My life is so unfair.”
We look at our messy, complicated lives and feel inadequate, insecure, and like a giant failure.
I get it...I’ve been there. I love nothing more than to waste some time on my phone oohing & ahhing over the beauty of other’s lives.
It can be hard to take all that in and then return to my own life and feel anything but disappointment.
Sadly, we no longer allow ourselves to be beautifully flawed or charmingly unique.
We want to look like we have our lives under control and we’re juggling everything flawlessly. So, we hop on that bandwagon of showing our most “perfect” selves via social media to impress everyone around us.
Yet the self-doubt, insecurities, frustrations, and self-judgment continue.
This has to stop and the key is learning to accept yourself exactly as you are - flaws and all - by not trying to be perfect (you’re not), not comparing yourself to others (apples and oranges), and not judging yourself too harshly (you’re perfectly fine as you are! I promise!).
Let’s talk about each of these so you can stop the insanity and see yourself and your life in a completely new way.
High achieving women tend to be perfectionists. As a recovering perfectionist, I know it all too well!
We want to aim high and be the best. We were raised to believe that we could do anything and ‘have it all’.
We set goals and we set them high. Anything less than perfect is just not good enough for us.
Am I right?
Do you know what perfectionism really is? A big ol’ mask for insecurity and fear of failure!
We can’t let anyone see us without everything under control!
So, we aim to lead perfect lives.
The problem with this is that no one is perfect and no one has a perfect life.
We are terrified of being judged by others, and as a woman, I get it. One of the tools women use to ‘control’ others and to beef up their own insecurities is to judge other women...harshly.
But, here’s the thing about that...when someone else judges you, it has nothing to do with you. It’s all about them and their insecurities.
You’re driving yourself crazy to try to be perfect to soothe their broken spirit. That’s for them to fix...not you!
Also, think of someone that has openly failed at something and then turned it around for a win. How much do you admire that person? How strong do they seem in the face of failure?
When you drop the perfect facade and embrace your imperfections, you project confidence and a realness that makes you much more likeable and desirable.
It’s natural to compare ourselves to others. We start doing this as small children. We want to be accepted, liked, and ultimately loved.
We also compare ourselves to others to measure our “success”.
The Smiths have two brand new cars, go to Europe every year, and just had their kitchen redone. They must be doing well! I, on the other hand, have a beat up car that barely makes it to work, I haven’t been on vacation in five years, and my oven just broke, so clearly they’re doing better at life than me.
When we see ourselves come up short, we want what others have because we feel that will make us look and feel successful too (stores and credit card companies work very successfully on this mindset!).
Unfortunately, what we’re comparing ourselves to is not the full story.
We have no idea if the Smith’s have an incurable disease or debt up to their eyeballs. Maybe Mr. Smith is cheating on his wife with every woman at the gym.
How is this possibly fair?
We can’t stop the human nature to see others and compare ourselves.
But, we don’t have to feel like we come up short. If we remind ourselves of everything we have to be grateful for and that we don’t know their whole story, we can stop the mind games we’re playing with ourselves.
You know the old saying “Eyes on your own paper”? Yeah...live life with your eyes on your own paper and you will transform your existence.
We're our own worst critics. We hold ourselves to a much higher standard and extend very little compassion to ourselves.
The perfectionism tendency plays a big part in self-judgment. Fix that desire to be perfect and you’re a long way towards not judging yourself too harshly.
You’re being a bully towards yourself.
You judge yourself so harshly that you routinely feel you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, successful enough, etc.
You remind yourself of your shortcomings to push yourself harder. Yes, this can sometimes be motivating to keep you moving forward, but at the cost of inner peace and self-acceptance.
But, you can still motivate yourself without tearing yourself down.
When you stop judging yourself, you open your heart and mind to new opportunities, experiences, and you may even see a new side to yourself that you like even more.
The key to this is learning to accept yourself as you are and giving yourself space to make mistakes or be less than perfect.
When you accept yourself and stop judging yourself, you start to see you are more than a number, a diploma, a job, a size, etc.
We are so afraid of others judging us and not liking us, yet through our own behaviors, we're doing that to ourselves.
We're never good enough and that mindset is keeping you from not only enjoying yourself and your life, but from getting ahead.
When we constantly judge ourselves, unfavorably compare ourselves to others, and strive for perfection we end up hating ourselves because we’re not accepting who we are and where we are in life.
It’s perfectly fine to want more and to have goals, but when you go for those goals with compassion and self-acceptance, you give yourself the space to achieve more than what you imagined possible.