Most of us want to be our best selves and if you’re reading this then you probably fall into that category. Welcome! I know how useful accepting my negativity has been for my own personal growth and I want to share that with all of you.
It’s currently pouring outside in Chicagoland and it feels like the perfect time to hunker down to write a few articles with a glass of ice cold kombucha. I’m about to start the Tone It Up bikini series so I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to what I want my intentions to be over the next 8 weeks. The series isn’t just about making your body fitter and healthier. It’s about making your mind healthier too so it fits right into what Buddha Belly stands for. Plus, it has a great community of women.
I digress because this post isn’t about TIU and the fact that they’re awesome. It’s about learning to be your most kickass self by accepting your negativity. You can be a kind, intelligent, boss babe and still think negative thoughts sometimes. By accepting your negativity you are embracing everything that makes you human. Trying to squash your negativity down each time it bubbles to the surface will only create frustration and resentment. You want to really learn to love yourself and send good vibes into the world? Learn to accept the good and not so good parts of you. A part of that is accepting your negativity.
Keep reading to see why I think accepting your negativity is so important.
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I’ve read self-help book after self-help book from “The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith” (love this!) to “Daring Greatly” (also fab) by Brene Brown. I’ve read communication books from “Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson to “How to Talk to Anyone” by Leil Lowndes. I’ve journaled, meditated, practiced mindfulness, exercised regularly, tried every wellness trend under the sun and so much more. I have been around the self-improvement block a time or two.
I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I kept thinking I’d eventually reach true enlightenment (or be woke as the kids say) and be in this blissful place where I wouldn’t dream a negative thought or ever find myself in a bad mood. All my self-help, spiritual and communication gurus seemed to have it all figured out and when I never reached this enlightenment, despite all my efforts, I kept pushing harder.
Each time a pessimistic thought popped into my head like “I’m never going to get better”, “how does she stay thin so easily?”, or “I could do that better” I would beat myself up.
Are those thoughts good? Heck to the no, BUT they are human.
No matter how much meditation you do, positive self-talk or yoga you are never going to be a perfectly kind and considerate human being. We are flawed. We mess up. We are hot messes. There’s a reason the quote “to err is to be human” is cliche…it’s so darn true!
I was out on a mindfulness walk the other day and a car didn’t stop at a stop sign and nearly ran me over. I was fearful after almost being roadkill and I threw up the middle finger at them as they sped off probably not even realizing they just ran a stop sign. After 5 minutes when my heart rate started going back to normal the negative self-talk kicked in.
“What the hell? Why did you react so poorly? Put kindness out into the world. You should never flip someone off. That’s not the kind of person you want to be.”
And so on and so on…
It was about 10 minutes after that as I was playing back everything in my head that I realized being a perfectionist was not what all the work I had put into myself was about. Part of loving yourself is accepting your humanness and I had missed the mark on that one.
Somewhere deep down I had a fear that if I ever did anything wrong the cosmic universe was going to smite my ass and that’s just not how it works. When I got sick I started thinking that maybe I did something to deserve it. When you get a chronic or life-threatening illness your mind goes to some nutter butter places. Nothing is going to give you bad juju just because you think an unkind thought. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to be the best you can be, but it does mean that just because you screwed up doesn’t make you a screw up.
“There is no way to genuinely, powerfully, truly love yourself while crafting a mask of perfection.” -Vironika Tugaleva
Your thoughts are powerful and so are the vibes you put out into the world, but a middle finger here or a lie there does NOT make you a bad person. It makes you human. If you mess up then apologize to those you need to mend fences with if anyone else was involved and forgive yourself. A mistake does not wipe away all the good you’ve done.
I meditate, read, journal, etc. so that I can grow emotionally and spiritually, but I will never be perfect. Some days I’m just going to be a hot mess, especially when my period comes. Most of you ladies know what I’m talking about. Near my period, it’s just me and some Halo Top ice cream ugly crying at funny animal videos while incoherently sobbing “how…how…how are they so CUUUUUTE. We don’t deserve them.” I legit think my BF thinks I’m nuts sometimes, but…hormones. Shrug.
Those spiritual and self-help gurus that we look up to HAVE these moments, but most of them just don’t publicize it. People are much more likely to heart an insta photo of a smiling girl under a palm tree looking carefree than a chick in bed with a messy bun ugly crying with ice cream dripping down her chin. Sidenote to self: Take ugly crying photo for insta because I can.
I love social media, but it really has done nothing but makes perfectionism worse and made accepting your negativity so much harder. 99% of the posts we see on Instagram are polished and poised to perfection. These are the posters’ happiest moments (or seemingly) used to get your attention and when you only ever see those it’s easy to think that person has the peachiest of lives. You don’t know that the yogi who can contort her body in amazing shapes has negative thoughts about her body or that the bikini model got in a fight with her boyfriend that morning because his beard shavings where all over the bathroom counter. You probably don’t know that I hate the gap in my teeth and even though I’m wearing a retainer to take care of it again I still think it’s all people notice when I’m feeling self-conscious.
If you are working on yourself remember to work on accepting your negativity too. Try and be the best person you can be, but if you find yourself having one of those bitchy moments or snapping at someone it doesn’t mean all your work was for nothing. It simply means you are human just like everyone else. I’m pretty sure even monks wake up on the wrong side of the bed somedays.
Take a deep breath, smile, and just love exactly who you are at this moment. You’ve worked hard to get here.
I want to know!
- How has perfectionism caused you to stop growing?
- What is a moment you aren’t proud of but learned a lesson from?
- What is one of the flaws that make you human that you’ve embraced?