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May 15, 2013

Be Kind to Yourself

by Tracy Jensen

I do it, and I’m sure at one time or another, we all do it: make some negative comment about how we look. For me, it’s almost always a crack about my weight. I could stand to lose a few pounds, and when I am nervous or whatever, I make a little joke at my own expense to “lighten things up.” But these things we say to ourselves, even as jokes, how much do they really affect us? Does what we think about how we look interfere with our confidence, our willingness to put ourselves out there and reach for success?

There is a series of ad campaigns that questions that very concept: how a woman’s perception of herself is not only harsher than the perceptions of strangers, but also in girls, how it prevents them from doing things they love; that internal voice that says, “You are not good enough to be up in front of everyone playing soccer, dancing, giving a speech…”

Where does that voice come from? Psychologists could weigh in here and probably give you a great answer. But I worry that I am teaching my own child to be self-critical (she sees and hears me doing it), particularly after reading this article about a mom-and-daughter workshop where tweens talk about the “body messages” they get from their families. So today, I am pledging right now to stop, for my child. It is not okay for her to think that way about herself, and the best way I can prevent her from doing it is by not doing it to myself.

I found this great piece on FIT Teen on the lies that inner voice will use to mess with you, and how to fight back. One way is to say something positive to yourself. So let’s start now by sharing in the comments one great thing about yourself. GO!

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