You change your outfit in your closet 10 times and just when you think you've put on the winner, your spouse doesn't notice.
It's 8am and your boss doesn't even acknowledge that you are up and at it again, despite working until 6pm last night.
You get a subtle glance from another mom at the playground because you're in your sweatpants and she looks like she has just come from a high profile meeting.
Or maybe you get those accusatory eyes of not parenting your kid better at the supermarket when your toddler is having a complete meltdown because you wouldn't let him pet the lobster.
It starts as a seemingly insignificant, I will just shrug this off moment, but what happens when that feeling lingers?
In this article I'm going to help you not only understand criticism and where it begins, but I'm also going to teach you how to toss out the mental garbage faster than it was thrown at you.
I used to think that when I criticized myself, it was an inside job.
Growing up with a narcissistic mother who constantly criticized, forced me to always be looking though the lens of perfection.
I was never fit enough, pretty enough, smart enough or worthy of praise and attention.
It wasn't until adulthood that I realized this made me HUGELY oversensitive.
I began to internalize looks, jokes, comments, and interactions as me not being good enough, even when they were harmless in nature.
I began to get incredibly uncomfortable in social situations and I was often a target of bullying in my nursing profession.
I used to believe that self criticism was an inside job, but then I realized it was the external triggers that kicked up the dirt from my past.
And if I ever wanted the dust the settle, and my personality to shine through, then I knew I had to start evaluating the environment around me.
1. Home- Did my home make me feel relaxed? Was it comfortable? Was is designed to feel like ME? Did I ever stop to think about "my style?"
I felt an incredible sense of individuality when I was able to decorate my first apartment and that's where my completely healthy addiction to Pier 1 surfaced. I realized that I loved natural woods, chalk paint, and cottage like style.
2. Work- What defined success to me? I didn't like being given the worst assignments in hopes that I'd fail. I didn't like the politics; therefore, I began to act like no one else existed except my patient and myself. They were depending on me. Their family was depending on me.
I dedicated myself to being completely focused on my patient's care, and to researching every medication, side effect, assessment finding, and sharpening my skills on how to deliver good and bad news. Not only did I become a better nurse, but also a better communicator.
3. Relationships- I started focusing on the most important relationship that we have in this life, and that was the one with myself. I started to exercise daily. I began to take up scrap booking again. I taught myself how to cook. I became completely independent and I started to journal my experiences and my gratitude. I married the absolute love of my life, but I ultimately don't have to depend on his interactions with me to be confident and happy.
4. Family- I've learned to forgive, not because I understand, but for my own mental sanity. With my husband and son, I'm breaking the cycle.
Everyone wants to be the best mom, no one wants to screw that up, but children remember the actions and words that were role modeled to them, long after any words were said. I started to focus on my actions and interactions, and made sure no matter what, they exemplified unconditional love.
Remember diamonds are created under pressure. It takes work to shine.
What's going to bring our your individuality?
Read books and magazines that interest you.
Find a hobby.
Try a new experience.
Exercise and invest in your health.
Re-decorate your home.
Don't let your inside mess become your message.
Find YOU again.
*Need some help? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org*