The Lies We Tell Ourselves and What to Say Instead
By JJ Pierce
You will never be enough. You will never have enough time, you will never have enough money, you will never be pretty enough, smart enough, liked enough- you, at your core, will just
never. be. enough. These are the things we tell ourselves. The lies that needle their way into our brains. These lies are reinforced by the images plastered all over social media showing the Joneses down the street with their brand new car heading to their awesome vacation down in the Florida Keys. No matter how hard we try, we will never catch up. We will never be enough- I will never be enough. And because I’m not enough, because there is no way I can keep up with the Joneses or Susan in PTA or John at the office, what’s the point? Why even try? Why should a failure like me deserve anything?
Because, friend, you are MORE than enough. Your life is not meant to be measured by the Joneses (who, by the way, are so far in debt they can’t even see the sun because they’re competing with the Williams two streets over). The life you have is measured by one simple principle, “The grass is greenest where you water it.” It’s an old phrase and one that is usually accompanied with an eye roll because WE’VE ALL HEARD IT BEFORE! But whoever came up with it wasn’t wrong. Yes, your bff may have the newest version of the iphone and your co-worker may have every designer label known to man; but their belongings have nothing to do with the life you lead. Yet, we (talking to myself here too) fall into this trap where we believe that because we cannot live up to a certain standard of living, then we’re failures who deserve nothing. We don’t deserve caring friends, loving family, or even an uplifting comment. “Hey, you look nice today.” “Thanks, I feel like crap.” Why? Why on earth would you need to say that? Why do you think that the bad must, somehow, outweigh the good?
This lie that we buy into is simply that, a lie. You’ll hear social media influencers preach self-care, which don’t get me wrong, is important. However, it’s time to take it to the next level. Self-love is so much more than taking a bubble bath while pretending you’re not about to eat that entire box of organic chocolate truffles you just picked up at Trader Joes. Self-love is, not only accepting yourself, but loving yourself-flaws and all. Regardless of the car you drive, the title you hold, or how much money is in your bank account, self-love says “Who I am is enough. I am enough.”
Yet, the journey to self-love isn’t as simple as stating you are enough. There is an entire mindshift that has to take place. The neuro pathways in your brain are conditioned to default to negative self-talk and must be retrained. For example, you’ve had a long, crazy day and you come home only to trip over the bag of trash your partner promised they would take out this morning. Instantly you’re filled with frustration and anger and start running through a laundry list of negative attributes that you can’t stand about them. Instead of venting all your frustration out (which may feel good in the moment), take a moment to state three positive attributes that you love about your partner. This exercise slowly retrains those neuro pathways to default to a positive self-talk.
The same principle applies when you talk to yourself. Whenever you have those moments of doubt or failure, stop and remind yourself of three things that you know to be true.
“I am an exceptional mother.”
“I am a determined entrepreneur.”
“I am a loyal friend.”
You’ve heard the phrase “Fake it ‘til you make it”. Never has this phrase held so much weight. Even if you struggle to state three facts about yourself, keep practicing. Eventually, it will become second nature. You won’t struggle to see yourself in a positive light. You won’t wonder what others see in you. You, yourself, will know that you are a worthy individual who deserves all the good things this world has to offer.
Once you have started the practice of retraining your brain, a second step is to declutter your life. I’m not just talking about your closet or your pantry. I’m talking about taking a good long look at who you are surrounded by. It is said that you are most like the five people you are closest to. Are you struggling to have a positive outlook on your life? Are you constantly combating negative self-talk? Do you wonder why your life is so hard and meaningless? Not to say that all your problems are the fault of others, but it is a good idea to take note of who you hang out with and the kind of impact they have in your life. Maybe you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings by withdrawing from the relationship. But may I ask you something? Why are their feelings more important than yours? To Quote Elsa from Frozen,
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway”.
Last but not least, show yourself grace and speak kindly to yourself. It may be easy to acknowledge there’s an issue, but the road to mastering self-love takes more than a snap of your fingers. It takes practice, it takes redirection, and it takes persistence. It takes time to retrain those neuro pathways. You will have hard days and there will be days that you want to throw your hands in the air and give up. Yet, it is vital in this journey to speak to yourself how you would speak to your best friend. Would you get up in your friends face and tell her how worthless she is? Would you call her a fat and ugly? Would you tell her that nobody likes her and she deserves nothing in this world? No. I can guarantee you would do everything in your power to speak gentle, truthful words to her. You would want to uplift and support her. So why wouldn’t you do the same for yourself?
Retrain your thought patterns. Let go of the negative relationships that drag you down. Speak kindly to yourself. The change starts with you and you are so very worth it. You are enough,
Save it for later!