I once read somewhere your imperfections are your beauty marks.. and I loved that.
As women, in particular, we strive for perfection.
Perfection is our guiding principle, a marker to define who we are in society.
We’re told to hide our crazy. To fake it till we make it.
Add in the complexities of social media and the ever vicious cycle of comparison and we are drowning in our own critical demise.
The story we tell ourselves is one based on some fictional story we have been reciting for years.
But… how many times do we feel absolutely depleted just trying to keep up with the Kardashians.
Forget about the Jones’-they’re so yesterday.
The rhetoric we tell ourselves is so much the norm that we don’t even question it.
Just because that group of soccer moms seem to have a full buffet of only the best organic after game snacks, adorned in their finest Lululemon, and their kids all have matching embroidered back packs, doesn’t mean they have it altogether.
Some people just hide it better than you.
Say it out loud, some people hide it better than me.
And how many times have we gone out with a significant other and allowed ourselves to feel less than because someone across the room may have on a cute outfit.
Which clearly meant they were prettier than you and obviously your date wanted to dump you immediately, and settle down with said women.
This mystery women no doubt was not only wearing an outfit we could never afford but likely has a high profile job and could speak conversations around us that has everyone laughing.
Or… is it possible that her outfit was borrowed and she is living paycheck to paycheck and hates small talk and is in fact intimidated by you?
Yes you. I know, I know.. but hear me out.
We are never how we see ourselves.
Read that again, we are never how we see ourselves.
To you, you are the exhausted mama on the hamster wheel called life.
Your makeup routine is the same as it was in high school and your laugh is so loud it makes you cringe.
You had children later in life which affected how quickly you could climb that corporate ladder and no matter how organized you feel, you can never seem to make enough time for your kids.
Spouse? What spouse?
The harsh reality we serve ourselves on the silver platter of life is … aggressive.
But here’s the alternative.. you actually aren’t as fat as you think you are.
Most people find your laugh contagious and your spouse, even though a bit rough on communication, does adore you.
The corporate ladder is not a ladder at all, it’s a moving sidewalk that goes side to side, powered by internal politics that most don’t realize exist.
Still not convinced? I got you.
Let’s look at it this way, you’re dating someone new and they say, “that dress is a bit snug, you sure you can eat in that?”
Or “you’ve been at the same company for how long and your’e still at the same level?”… “if you’re not reading several books before bed, are your kids even loved?”
Would you actually sign up for date #2? If you said yes, please reach out directly because we have more work to do.
No… you would likely never tolerate someone speaking to you like that, yet you do it to yourself everyday.
I was recently at lunch with a friend who found herself questioning whether or not breaking up with her gem of a boyfriend (insert sarcasm) was a regret.
I sat quietly for a while listening intently when all of a sudden the narrative shifted too, “maybe it was me”.
Despite all the rude and ridiculous statements this man had made throughout their time together, I saw her questioning whether she made a bad decision and it was heart breaking.
In a desperate attempt to snap her out of her inner dialogue I said, “what if your daughter told you this was how her boyfriend spoke to her?”
With a face full of disgust she immediately said, “no…that would not be ok!”
To which I responded, “then why do you allow it for yourself?”
In her case, it was just a relationship that didn’t work out. Two people who weren’t compatible due to a set of circumstances that were hard to forgive.
But… instead of seeing it this way, she quickly shifted allowing her inner critic to take over and put herself down for not being enough.
How you speak about yourself-to yourself dictates how you think, feel and act.
It affects how you present yourself to other people, if you stand tall and proud or if your shoulders are rounded and your chin is down.
But that is all just a learned narrative that can be changed.
We were not all made to be the same. We are beautiful, strong, capable women… if we allow ourselves to be.
Stop believing every stupid thought that comes to mind and instead change the narrative to reflect where you are in the moment.
Begin to shift your focus to the wins no matter how small they are. Live with intention and not by the rules someone else has determined for you.
We must choose the road less traveled, that is.. to not tolerate our inner critic.
Eviction notice sent.