On Being Nice to Yourself.

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Ok. So I’m struggling. This has always been a very difficult thing for me to practice, but this is a journey to learning the art of self love so let’s dive in!

I am a definitely a perfectionist, but I am really trying not to be anymore. But part of my perfectionist personality is to put myself down whenever I don’t do something exactly right. It’s so silly when you write it out like that. In my head I’m thinking, really? Why would you be so mean to yourself? But it’s not just me, thousands of people do this on a daily basis. It’s just something we have become used to. We have these high expectations of ourselves, and when we do not meet them, we beat ourselves up. We have little patience when it comes to our own failures.

I didn’t realize how negative this was for my well being until recently. You wouldn’t believe how much it seriously effects your self esteem and feelings of self worth because essentially when you self-sabotage, you are rejecting yourself instead of loving yourself. And we never want to do that! We should always be loving and accepting of who we are, regardless of our current or past mistakes. People were made to be imperfect! We are human! If we were perfect, then we would be God.

The Self Love Daily Challenge #021: Stop being mean to yourself!

Just be nice! You know how to be nice to other people, so why can’t you be nice to yourself too? Give yourself some slack. Lighten up! NEWS FLASH: YOU DON’T NEED TO BE PERFECT!

I’ve been struggling lately with a few different fears that I thought I had gotten over, but I guess they are deciding to rear their ugly heads up again. I am kind of embarrassed and ashamed to even bring this up, but it’s all about vulnerability and connection here right? So, for the past few years, I’ve been struggling with this fear of driving. It all started because of a car accident I was in on the freeway and ever since then I’ve developed this weird fear, but it has grown and evolved of course because of my anxiety disorder. So first I was only afraid of driving on freeways, but then other incidents would occur, such as me being an inch away from being massively t-boned at an intersection, which led to the fear of making left turns. And then another incident occurred where I became stuck in MAJOR traffic because of huge accident and there was literally no where to turn around or escape to, so I had to sit and wait in my car for hours, which led to having a panic attack because I was all alone and afraid that something bad was going to happen to me and no one could get to me in time because I was stuck, so that led to me being afraid to drive alone.

Despite this fear, I have kept on driving. Trust me, it is definitely NOT an easy task by any means. Every day there is a struggle between my mind and me – my mind telling me to panic and freak out, while me telling my mind “it’s ok, we can do this!” With a lot of careful route planning and comfort zone safety measures, I have been able to drive every single day to wherever I needed to go –be it work, the store, etc. Of course, there are some days when it literally takes me a half hour to get to somewhere 5 minutes away because of all of the stops and pulling over, but I still have managed to do it.

During my time off work when I was on leave for my breakdown, I decided that this was the best time to really work on getting over my fears. I was working through my anxiety and with having medication to calm me down just in case, I thought, hey why not really try to get over it for good so I can begin driving confidently EVERYWHERE. So I worked on it nearly every day since I had the time. I took baby steps. Driving here and there. Following someone I felt comfortable with to go on roads I felt uncomfortable taking. And so on and so forth. I was finally making some real progress. I was driving pretty much everywhere. I even drove on the freeway – can you believe it? I was so proud of myself and began feeling more and more confident.

However, as soon as I returned to work, the fears started popping up again. I have this feeling that when I am under a ton of stress, my fears also start to intensify once more because my brain is just so overwhelmed that it decides to stay on high alert for EVERYTHING. And my job is extremely stressful, so it makes sense that returning to work would begin to trigger my fear back up. I did pretty well for the first month or two, but the last two months have been a bit of a struggle and more so, more recently. Of course, once you feel what it’s like not to have anxiety or fear over something, when you begin to feel it again, you start to literally hate yourself for allowing it back into your life. The self blame begins and you think that somehow it’s your fault for not being strong enough to get rid of the fear for good.

So essentially, this is what I have been struggling with on and off. Between hating myself and then trying to be loving towards myself and instead try to be patient that with time, I can get over this again. But it is hard! So this is where the being nice to yourself part comes into play.

How do you be nice to yourself? Well, let’s start with just giving yourself some slack. Try to be accepting that you are an imperfect human being and that it is OK. Try to be ok with having struggles, because having struggles is also part of the human condition. Try to also be ok with the fact that you won’t get over your struggles in a flash, but that it takes a lot of time and effort and maybe even a few relapses, but it will get better!

My favorite quote in relation to growth and progress is this:

Growth is not a steady, forward, upward progress. It is indeed a switchback trail: three steps forward, two back, one around the bushes, and a few simply standing, before another forward leap.

I’m not sure of the author, but the quote is definitely relatable. It’s basically saying BE NICE TO YOURSELF. That you are not going to magically get it all perfect in one shot. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to fail. It’s ok to be imperfect. Just keep going. Keep trying to make progress. Yes, you may fall back a few times, but in the end you will make those forward leaps. So be nice t yourself people, it’s so much better and healthier than being mean. Because when you constantly are hating on yourself, you’re just going to feel lousy and not make any progress at all. It just doesn’t work that way.

xx

Christina Ciro

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