So many women struggle with self-worth. We feel we need to be a certain way. Do more. Be better. Be a certain weight. But these are not truths. These are lies. Our culture and our minds tell us these things and keep us from seeing how valuable we really are.
I’ll admit, I have those same feelings more often than I would like. I’m always striving to improve, do more, be better, run faster. In my mind, I’m just trying to improve different areas of my life. And although there is nothing wrong with self-improvement, I’m realizing that the reason behind my “self-improvement” mentality is because I don’t believe I am enough. When I tell myself that I should run faster, what I really mean is that I’m not running fast enough and that running slow is bad. When I think that I need to get out of my recipe rut for meals each week, I’m really telling myself that I’m not a good enough wife because I cook the same meals each week. Or when I feel the constant need to “be productive,” at home after a long day in the office, I’m really telling myself that I don’t deserve to rest because I still have a long to-do list at home.
I see so much beauty and worth in everyone I know (yes, YOU included!), but it is SO hard for me to see my own beauty and worth. Does anyone else struggle with this? I think this is more common than we think, especially for women. However, we rarely talk about it because it’s hard to admit that we feel like we are falling short of some standard that is completely made up.
I’ve been realizing the mentality of mine a lot over the past couple of years. (Marriage seems to make you aware of things that you never even knew existed!) I’ve also come to realize how detrimental this is to my life, my health and to those around me. When I am in this constant state of needing to do more, I am putting a stress on my body and mind which affects all areas of my life
With the help of my husband, close friends, and counselor (Yup, I see a counselor and think everyone should!), I am learning to be nice to myself. Tell myself positive things. Ask for encouragement when I need it. And most importantly, I’m learning to stop those negative thoughts when they enter my mind.
You may have seen my post yesterday about the #racheltennylovenotes I received in the mail. I was so excited when Rachel launched these last week, and I knew I had to get a set for myself. Because I’ve had a negative mindset about myself for so long, it is hard to retrain my brain. I have to be intentional about it every single day. I want to know my worth and know that I am enough, regardless of what I do, how fast I run or what I look like.
One way to stop these negative thoughts is to think positive thoughts. I may not believe them right away, but over time, those negative thoughts will be replaced by positive thoughts. There is even research that shows that positive thinking can rewire your brain to encourage positive thinking. These positive affirmations designed by Rachel are just one step that I am taking to strive to be nice to myself every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Do you have some of these similar feelings of inadequacy or feeling like you are not enough? If so, I encourage you this week to find a positive affirmation to focus on and repeat to yourself each day. Take notice of the areas of your life where you are negative, stop that thought, and replace it with something good. And believe it, because you are enough. You are valuable as you are. There is no need for you to do more to be “better.” YOU ARE ENOUGH. Let’s believe this about ourselves together.
P.S. You may be wondering what this week’s Tuesday Takeaway has to do with health? Well, I am a firm believer that health is not only our physical health, but also our mental health. These two things are connected, and you cannot have one without the other. Read more about how I define health here.
More resources on how your thoughts can shape your brain:
This article in the NYTimes.
This TED talk.
This post in Huffington Post.