When To Criticize Yourself

When To Criticize Yourself

How to be a good woman in a world full of bad b*tches.
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As millennials, we are constantly being told to be selfish and unapologetic.

Just do you.

Be a bad b*tch.

#sorrynotsorry

While this may be sound advice for someone trying to be themself, getting through a rough time, or expressing themselves in a safe and peaceful way, there’s a couple of things that can go wrong when you apply these a bit too seriously to your own character development.

It’s hard to criticize ourselves yet we are our own worst critic. It’s a total contradiction and one hell of a conundrum. We tend to be pretty pleased with ourselves and our actions, hence why we do and say the things we do. However, at the same time, we find ourselves in moments of pure self-loathing and regret or embarrassment when we realize that we messed up or could have done something differently or better if only we had taken an alternative course of action.

Despite these moments of self-reflection, millennials tend to skip out on the whole spiritual cleansing process that comes with criticizing yourself. We tend to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and focus on what everyone else did wrong and how those actions justify our own rather than in dealing with our weaknesses in an objective manner. Everyone has flaws — that’s a given. What’s truly important about this fact, and what sets you apart from other flawed people, is your willingness to accept, improve, and admit your shortcomings.

For 20-somethings that want to do life their own way and feel as though their mistakes are okay because they’re young, listening to others when they say you have a bad attitude, should apologize when you’ve done no wrong, or need to calm down can be a matter of dully noted opinion. It’s tough to take other people seriously when we feel so strongly about the opposite of what they are saying.

This is where our pride comes in.

It can be dangerously easy to become blinded by our own perceptions and fail to see how our actions, as innocent or just as they may be, can lead to consequences or hurt feelings. It’s important to learn how to criticize yourself while maintaining your self love and admiration in a healthy balance. We aren’t perfect. We’re human and sometimes that means experiencing jealousy, greed, pride, and anger. What we do with these emotions comes with time, patience, and an understanding that it’s okay to feel them. It doesn’t make you less of a good person to become jealous or angry when provoked. It basically just means you have feelings and are responding to a situation that stimulates them. What happens next is what determines your character. Knowing when to think critically of yourself and act accordingly is the key to acting rationally and graciously versus creating one of those moments you’ll look back on with regret.

In a time where being mean is celebrated as a sign of strength, it’s comforting to know that learning how to listen to others and review your actions can set your apart in the best of ways.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.wikihow.com/images/a/a7/Calm-Down-and-Be-Yourself-Step-5-Version-2.jpg

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Stand In The Mirror

An exercise in self-love.

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If you're reading this, then I want you to stop what you're doing right now, get up from wherever you're sitting, and go stand in the mirror.

Yes, that's right. Close your laptops, put down your phones, and walk to the closest bathroom, or vanity, or wherever else you can see your reflection the most clearly. Pretend like you're the only person in the world for a little while.

Are you there? Good.

Now I want you to look at yourself, very closely.

Start with your eyes. How beautiful they look underneath the light; you can see all their colors, just like a painting! Something that unique belongs in an art museum, don't you think?

Those eyes of yours have seen so many wonderful things. Think of all the sunsets they've allowed you to witness, all the times your best friends have grinned from ear-to-ear and all the books you've read.

Now, look at your lips. Think of all the lovely people they may have kissed, all the Thanksgiving dinners they've touched and all the funny faces they've helped you express.

Think all of the times they've opened to exude laughter and joy, to express awe and other associated feelings words cannot express.

Now it's time to examine your arms. Shrug your shoulders and admire the way they fall so gently at your sides, like water flowing from the mouth of a river. Think of all the wonderful things they've helped you to reach, of all the trees they've helped you climb and monkey bars they've helped you swing through. Think of all the people they've hugged, and all the dogs they've helped you pet.

Finally, move to your legs. Think of all the races they've helped you win, all the hurdles they've helped you jump through and all the lengths they've helped you swim.

Think of all the pristine places they've carried you to, and reflect upon all the places you'll soon be heading to.

Can't you see now that you're a masterpiece, dripping with color and beauty, emotion and experience, from every fiber of your being?

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