“It is a lot easier to pick someone else a part than it is to put ourselves together.” It is a lot less painful to look outside of ourselves than it is to look within.” These are two statements that I heard on an empowerment call as a young lady was sharing her story. I lead discussions for another group called Built to Bounce Back and I presented the very same topics to them generate another level of discussion.
One group member said, “I think it’s a deflection tactic, if you point out the flaws in others then maybe everyone won’t notice yours… I used to take part in this in my younger years but now it’s a glaring sign of insecurity to me. Once you become confident with who you are, you start to see the positives in others too. Positivity breeds positivity.”
I totally agree with their response. Drawing attention to someone else and their issues is often an attempt to take the attention away from yourself. Focusing on someone else provides respite from that internal voice that asks questions that you are afraid to have answered…”Why am I so damaged? Why haven’t I pursued my passions? Why I am still in this relationship? Why haven’t I worked on becoming healthy and fit?” You think that if you focus on the shortcomings of someone else, you will never have to face your own, but that is far from the truth. Sooner or later the effects of ignoring what is going on with you are going to overtake you. Depression…abuse…health issues are going to start calling your name. And the longer you let it go, the louder their voices will get.
Focusing within and learning how to stop running from yourself can lead to a life that has you in greater control of all aspects of it. Some things you must do to get there are:
1. Acknowledge that there is a problem.
Be totally honest with yourself. Think it through and acknowledge the things that have you unsettled. Doing this is going to take a lot of strength and bravery. You will finally have to face things about yourself that you don’t like or don’t truly understand. However, doing so will help you to build character. Just remember, this isn’t about degrading yourself for the things that you allow to surface. It is about acknowledging that they exist and discovering ways to deal with them.
2. Work through your negative thoughts.
Why do you have negative thoughts about yourself? Is it possible that they are telling you something about yourself that you don’t really want to deal with at this point? If so, take note of these things and start to uncover why they really bother you. Think about how you can deal with them in a constructive and self-nurturing way.
3. Stop trying to be perfect!
You are not perfect and you will never be. Accept that there will be times when you do not meet your own expectations. There will be times of loss and things coming to a standstill. It’s ok! Relax and be comfortable with it. Let go of the need to be top notch all the time. Sometimes the real achievement is found in being the authentic you.
Another group members said, “Dealing with yourself is hard work.” I agree with that as well, but it is also necessary. So stop diverting it others and give yourself the attention that you need. Do whatever it takes to bring out the good in you for all of us to enjoy!