Cheering on Your Own Greatness
April 14, 2012 by Arielle Bair
Filed under Anorexia, Binge Eating, Body Image, Bulimia, Depression, Disordered Eating, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Fat Talk, Featured, Finding Your Voice, HAES, Loving Your Body, Mental Health, Recovery, Self Esteem, Self-Acceptance, Self-Care, Self-Compassion, Self-Harm, Weight Stigma, Wellness
So many people hate themselves. So many people spend hours picking at themselves, looking for things that aren’t up to par, things that are “wrong” or “bad.” It’s a sad way to live, but what’s sadder is that it’s so common. You’ve probably heard the saying “You are your own worst critic” before, but let me talk about that for a second. We can all find flaws in our personalities, and not one of us is perfect. We can strive for perfection, we can strive to be nice, but we may never live up to our expectations. If you are looking for flaws, you will find them.
Some people think that if they love themselves unconditionally without fail, they are somehow ignoring their true nature or allowing themselves to be bad people. But don’t forget, it’s possible to keep in mind that you are only human WITHOUT making excuses for yourself. You don’t always have to be one extreme or the other. By that I mean, you don’t have to either be a horrible person or a perfect one.
It doesn’t work that way. You are who you are and you will change in many ways as you grow as a person. That said, a part of recovery from an eating disorder (and a part of LIFE!) is definitely taking responsibility for your actions. So if you think you’ve been making excuses for yourself based on depression, stress, or your eating disorder, perhaps you are. But it doesn’t mean those things are not a factor in why you are not able to be as great as you wish to be. I think being honest with ourselves is a difficult thing at times. If you’re feeling downtrodden about the realization you may not be as great of a person as you originally thought, do an assessment of yourself. Keep in mind that many things can alter one’s perception, and one of those things is an eating disorder. Your very sense of self could be askew. The way you view yourself could be completely off.
The best thing to do is examine your actions, thoughts, and feelings – and see where they lead you. If you can recognize that you are not feeling like a good person for valid reasons, you will be better able to change that. The best advice I can offer is to surround yourself with positive reinforcement. The more positive reinforcement you have around you, the more positive you will become. Surround yourself with the right things, and you will see a change. You can help your own mood, you can help your own “greatness.” So definitely frame some positive quotes – and put them where you can see them on a daily basis. Gather positive people and keep them close. Make that list of things you’re thankful for – and while you’re at it, make a list of all the positive attributes YOU possess. Might be hard at first… but don’t let it slide. You’re worth it. Complete a list. And keep adding to it as you think of more positive traits. We all have them. Dig for them. As I always say: you can be your own worst critic, but you can also be your own best cheerleader.