We all know the dreaded feeling of not knowing if you’re good enough, if you will make it, if you’re doing the right thing… However, sometimes, moments of this horrible feeling can be a good thing. I haven’t always struggled with self-doubt. I am typically someone who backs myself to the fullest extent and jumps into new experiences head-first. However, in the past year or two, as I have watched SBN flourish, my relationships develop, and my self-love evolve, I have also received criticism… Criticism from my family, friends, and strangers. Sometimes it is kind, constructive and helpful, and other times it is hurtful and heart-breaking.
As someone who never really struggled with self-doubt when diving into new experiences, I have struggled a lot with beating myself up. And there is a difference!
I truly believe that doubting yourself occasionally is okay. It is okay to wonder for a minute or two if you are doing the right thing – this is essentially a ‘double-check’ of your actions. However, what is NOT okay, is beating yourself up. Self-doubt is a safety net for your body; your natural ‘flight’ reaction to hide from new and uncomfortable situations. Beating yourself up about whether or not you’re good enough to achieve something, is just being mean to yourself.
What I have discovered about myself is that I let others’ criticism affect me personally – and this triggers my brain to allow me to be mean to myself. Now in saying this, I always welcome constructive and kind criticism – but it’s the deprecating criticism that hurts me. I tend to take it to heart and allow strangers and peers affect how I feel and how much I back myself. In learning this about myself, I have begun trying to implement a change – by simply reminding myself that nasty criticism is always a reflection of the critic themselves. I don’t always remember this truth. I have days where I cry and feel so down because I wonder why people say hurtful things. My mind tells me ‘well, if THEY say it, then it must be true’… And I know for a fact I am not the only one.
So, to the ladies who like me, struggle with nasty words, hurtful criticism, and upsetting judgement – remember that if it’s not kind, it is purely a reflection of the critic. Don’t allow others’ judgement to affect your mental health and happiness. Reside in your truth and know that only YOUR judgement counts, only YOUR ‘second-guess’ is okay. Don’t allow your mind to start beating yourself up because you absorbed the rude opinions of others.
Backing yourself to the fullest is your power. A moment of self-doubt is okay to check that you are on the right path; however, hating yourself is not. Now this message may seem cliché, but as a 40-year-old woman I have only JUST started to deflect negativity from my life. It has taken me a lifetime to learn not to cry over those negative-nelly comments, and to only accept criticism when it comes from a good place. As I said before, I still have my bad days – but the sooner you learn to start applying this reminder into your daily life, the sooner you will feel better and have less days of crying.
Big Girls Do Cry, but there are definitely ways to reduce the tears ☺