Self-improvement isn’t easy. It means you have to face the parts of you that you don’t really like. It means you have to get outside of your comfort zone to change them. And it means that you are going to have to be persistent and consistent in your efforts.
When I first learned about personal development, I quickly realized many of the things that were wrong with me. After all, the first step is to change, is to become aware of the problem, right? I was too negative… so I thought, I’ll just become positive! I am too hard on myself… so I’ll just start being nicer to myself! I binge eat and yo-yo diet… so I’ll just use force and will to get my act together!!
Easier said than done.
I would inevitably fail at “fixing” myself, and end up beating myself up and eating all the cookies.
Have you ever noticed that there are two parts of you?
One part that is constantly telling you what you are doing wrong and criticizing your every move. “How could you possibly eat all those cookies, you pig!” “Why can’t you just get your act together?”
Then there is the other part… the voice of reason. The part that sticks up for you and knows that you have potential. Every once in a while it pokes its head in to say “Hey, its not so bad after all! Let’s look at the bright side of things.”
I know these two voices all too well. I spent my youth and early adult life with that negative voice yelling in my face, though I didn’t even realize what was happening. Instead, I numbed myself with alcohol, food, and parties.
After a while, that got old. I started to pay attention to my thoughts, and gave more power to the voice of reason. It started getting louder and eventually started to over power the negative voice.
To be honest… things can get a little loud up there. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a constant argument with myself. Slowly but surely, however, the negative voice gets snuffed out.
Self-improvement isn’t about fixing all of your problems… its about acknowledging them.
I’m getting much better at acknowledging my struggles. At least I know what I struggle with. When I catch myself in the act of body shaming or assuming the worst, I can pause and take a step back. I can choose in that moment to change the habitual thoughts into constructive ones. I can forgive myself and encourage myself to keep going.
And you can too.
It’s really important to realize that just paying attention to your negative voice isn’t enough. You can very quickly get caught in a vicious cycle of beating yourself up for beating yourself up again. It’s how you react to the negative voice that matters.
You need to give yourself space.
Space to breathe.
Space to make mistakes.
And space to support yourself.
Knowing what you struggle with doesn’t stop the struggle from happening. You may need to continue to manage the negative voice that habitually tears you down. Pay attention to the way it makes you feel, and then stand up for yourself with pride. That part of you that believes in your potential is your soul, your spirit, and your truth.