The other day I saw the cutest meme on social media. It was a classroom assignment where the kid had been asked to name one of his/her heroes. The young student replied “ I am one of my own hero. First I am kind to myself and Second I do things I want.” I can’t even tell you how much that resonated with me. It might not be grammatically correct but it hit the nail on the head! “Why can’t we all be that kid?” I thought to myself. I immediately threw it into my IG story encouraging my friends to think about it too but I couldn’t get it out of my head. As a matter of fact, my daughter and I quote the kid all the time now. Doing or not doing something for our own good is “I’m being my own hero!” We say it in jest but the truth is we all need to do a little more of this! So here are three things we can all do to make that meme a reality.
Reframe our dialogue-It’s easy to say “Be kind to yourself” but what exactly does that mean? I believe it has to do with the way we talk to ourselves (internal dialogue) and the way we talk about ourselves to others (external dialogue). It is easy to focus on our mistakes or shortcomings because those are the things that we pick up on the most. We often forget all of the wins and focus on the one loss. Instead of saying “I am not good at”…or “I always forget, mess up or miss…” reframe your words so that they are honest and supportive. “I am working towards being better at…” or “I missed my mark but I did accomplish ______ and next time I will make my goal with a little more_________.” It really boils down to being compassionate to yourself. If your daughter or best friend said something overtly negative about themselves you would likely not jump on the bashing bandwagon (unless you’re the Regina George type) you would reframe it just like or similar to, the examples I used above. Be THAT friend and not a frenemy to yourself.
Don’t play the comparison game– We’ve seen tons of memes and messages on the web about this one. You know why there are so many of those circulating on social media? Because we all do it. It isn’t just happening on social media either. We compare our lives, our jobs, our marriages, and our children. We are all looking for confirmation that we are doing what we care about well. Seeing what others are doing helps us (or so we think) evaluate where we stand. We use the comparison game as some misguided litmus test. But the reality is that no two: situations, friendships, marriages, children (I could go on with the list forever) are going to be the same and you couldn’t possibly compare your real life to a glimpse you get from someone else’s. Everyone is dealing with some kind of mini or macro trauma-life is full of suffering. And you know what it is also full of-joy! I believe that if you focus less on what others are doing you can enjoy the joy in your own journey instead of being a spectator in someone else’s. Every time you start to compare yourself (employ the Marie Kondo philosophy) ask yourself “Is this bringing me joy?” If it isn’t, click off of the page, end the conversation or change the channel.
Speaking of changing the channel, that brings me to my final point…
Realize that it is okay to choose again-we should all be doing things we like to do but sometimes we don’t know what those things are until we try them. I am the kind of person who when I say yes to something I feel an overwhelming need to see it through even if I realize I am no longer enjoying it. Sometimes that works out, for example, all through my new Barre class I kept asking myself “Why in the world am I torturing myself? But then after I felt really proud for pushing through, but there are other times I have attended an event or worked on a project that I didn’t really want to because I didn’t want to let someone down, only to feel miserable the entire time and wish I could get those hours of my life back! But the reality is we can’t and your time is precious. So, say YES when something stirs your soul. Say NO when it doesn’t and realize that it is okay to change your mind and choose again. It’s your life! What you owe the people who you care about is the happiest and most whole version of yourself.
So, those are my tips on how to be your own hero. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Until Next Post,