Since the beginning of time, men and women have tormented themselves with self-criticism. A pastime as old as dirt. As we ready ourselves for the day, and take that one last look in the mirror the gremlin voice of negativity chimes in, “My hair looks terrible; If only it was thicker. Ugh, these damn gray hairs are out of control and my colorist missed this whole area on the side.” Whether you’re dissatisfied with your hair, your thighs or eye bags, there’s a list and it seems to get longer with age. The endless pursuit of perfection has no reward, except for dissatisfaction. At one point do you look and feel good enough?
The Stories We Tell Ourselves Become Our Truth
Everyone has a story that comes with a few suitcases. The question is, “Are you living out the story?” Or creating a new and different one to fit the vision of who you want to become?
Since this blog’s audience is predominantly women who are forty-five and beyond, you have some life experience that has influenced your worldview, how you see yourself and how you believe others see you. For most of us, our lives have had twists and turns like any good novel but what we often forget is that we are the author who gets to decide how things turn out. It’s the reason we’re so drawn to films about underdogs who overcome great odds. There’s a part of ourselves that identifies with the struggle and that archetype is universal. At some point in your life, you had a hurdle whether big or small and you survived and perhaps even thrived! Something that gave you grit and confidence to keep going.
Your Sense of Value is Intrinsic
One of the assets of growing older is the wisdom and perspective you gain.
Compare that to the confidence that many girls have before age ten which starts to wane with the onset of puberty, the societal focus on appearance (more so in Western cultures), and the constant stream of social media that can distort reality. It’s now the norm for ten year old kids to have an iphone. Thirteen year old girls post videos of themselves dancing provocatively on TikTok sending the message, “I’m young, pretty and don’t you want me?”
The desire for attention and validation, in the way many young girls understand, will usually circle back to one’s gifts and talents, going from extrinsic to intrinsic. As I watch my own fourteen year old daughter grow up, I’m reminded of the importance of reinforcing her abilities so she knows where her sense of value comes from. My child is old school and a rarity because of her disdain for social media. I consider myself lucky that she recognizes the harm it can potentially do and prefers a good book instead. She knows her worth and it’s not from how many “likes” she gets on a post.
As Within, So Without
We’re all familiar with that annoying little gremlin voice that criticizes, complains and says mean things to ourselves. It rattles off a laundry list of cruelties, but did you know it can and does have the capacity to transform into a kinder, gentler and accepting friend. The expression, “As Within, So Without” states that your outer world and all the things you experience is a direct reflection of your own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. It may sound simple, and essentially it is, but it does require a small investment of your time to honestly examine your mindset. This is why journaling can be so powerful and life changing. If you want to experience more happiness, health, confidence, physical fitness, try the following tips below that can help you to feel and know you are “Good Enough.”
TIPS for Cultivating Self-Compassion
- Stand in front of the mirror and acknowledge three things you appreciate about yourself. Focus on positive aspects that go beyond physical appearance.
Breathing Exercises for Presence
- Practice mindful breathing for a few minutes each day. Inhale deeply, hold, and exhale slowly. This simple exercise can ground you in the present moment.
- Keep a journal to note down three things you are grateful for every day. This can shift your focus towards positive aspects of your life. Gratitude is gratitude and the size of it doesn’t matter. It can be as simple as how much you love having a comfortable bed to sleep on or a raise at your job. Make it easy, and start with one thing you’re grateful for, if it’s hard to come up with three things every day.
In the quest for emotional well-being, the Tapping method, or Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), offers a unique approach that melds ancient wisdom with contemporary psychology. Tapping involves gentle stimulation of specific meridian points on the body, creating a powerful mind-body connection.
How Tapping Works:
1) Identifying the Issue:
- Tapping begins by identifying the emotional issue or concern you want to address. This could range from stress and anxiety to specific fears or past traumas.
2) Setup Phase:
- During the setup phase, you acknowledge the problem while simultaneously tapping on the karate chop point on the side of your hand. You articulate a short statement, known as the “setup statement,” that acknowledges the issue but also affirms self-acceptance.
3) Tapping Sequence:
- The main Tapping sequence involves gently tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while focusing on the identified issue. The points include the eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collarbone, under the arm, and top of the head.
4) Affirmations and Expressions:
- As you tap each point, you express your feelings, thoughts, or affirmations related to the issue. This process helps to release negative emotions and disrupt the energy patterns associated with the problem.
- After completing a round of tapping, you reassess your emotional intensity related to the issue. The goal is to gradually reduce the emotional charge associated with the problem.
6) Benefits of Tapping:
- Stress Reduction: Tapping has been shown to lower cortisol levels and reduce the physiological effects of stress.
- Emotional Release: The method helps release pent-up emotions, providing a sense of relief and relaxation.
- Promotes Mind-Body Connection: Tapping aligns with the concept of energy meridians in Chinese medicine, promoting balance in the body’s energy system.
Tapping is a versatile and accessible technique that empowers individuals to take an active role in their emotional well-being. By combining the principles of acupressure with psychological acknowledgment, Tapping offers a holistic approach to managing emotions, fostering resilience, and enhancing overall mental health.
Body Appreciation Ritual
- Before bed, take a moment to appreciate your body. Touch areas with kindness, acknowledging the strength and resilience it has shown throughout the day.
You Are Good Enough
Embracing imperfections and practicing self-compassion leads to a more fulfilling and confident life. That includes saying no when necessary, letting go of what others think of you and being kind to yourself. You are good enough!