The other day, I had some pictures taken for a project I’m working on. The amazing photographer I worked with, Meredith (http://mercarty.com/) and I spent a lot of time talking during the 3 hour shoot. I’d previously worked with Meredith through a group that held workshops for women, and which offered some coaching in the process.
I told her about my coaching business and ask we were talking, mentioned that I’d also been working with a nutritional psychology coach (www.lolonutrition.com ). As she positioned me for one of the shots, she had me twist a ring around on my finger. I told her that ring is something I bought when my good friend and peer coach told me to get something to remind myself to “be nice” to me since I was so hard on myself. I told her how my coach and I had been working on my internal dialogue about my body and what a lifetime battle that had been. Meredith echoed that she had the same battle with her internal voice.
And it occurred to me that, as women, we often think our struggle with the internal dialogue is ours alone. It doesn’t come to our minds that other women struggle with the very same thing. That’s just a big lie! It keeps us isolated in our struggle and without the support of the very people we need. And sometimes we even judge those other women, thinking they have it all together, or that they could never relate to us. In fact, they may share the same internal pain. That makes me sad, makes my heart hurt.
What would it take for women to feel like they could share their internal struggles, the things they say to themselves when they’re feeling down, with others who’ve felt their pain? Who’ve looked in the mirror and immediately said things to themselves that they would never say to anyone else. The thought of having that kind of group, encouraging others, and myself, through the struggle, brings me joy. That’s what I want to focus on in my coaching practice. The worst thing we can do for ourselves is think we’re alone. We’re not.
I challenge you to take a step with me. When you hear inner voice, the things it says to you, pay attention. Don’t automatically believe it. Question the truth of what is said, challenge it. Like I was encouraged to do, find something, some object, that reminds you to be nice to yourself. Those mean things we say to ourselves, we need to take steps to change that. We are unique, amazing, beautiful women in all of our shapes and sizes and we need to embrace that.
Starting today, take time to love yourself. Think about something you love about yourself and appreciate that, cherish it. Pay attention to the compliments people give you and believe them. Don’t dismiss those encouraging words. You were made exactly as you are for a reason, embrace it, and embrace you!