A couple of weeks back I spoke with YLE Perjantai (A Finnish Broadcasting company’s Friday show) about my business, the concept and challenges that many women face. One of them was the chatterbox which some of you may be familiar with. It’s that on-going chatter in your head that speaks to you in all circumstances, most of which is not very encouraging, some of it downright degrading and mean.
My chatterbox used to be really mean. It was hard to listen to it even though it had become my “trusted” companion.
As a teenager I used to stand in front of the mirror and point out all the things I hated about myself. They always included my acne-filled face, small breasts, stretch marks, bowlegs, ugly toes, the works!
It was self-pity at its best – the chatterbox getting away with murder.
What made all of this mean chatterbox-ing even more problematic was the fact that most of the things I disliked about myself were things I had no control over. Or if I did (ie. plastic surgery), I wouldn’t. So I was putting myself down for things I could do nothing about.
I kept hearing this chatterbox for many years to come, in different times and in different volumes. The chatterbox was also very chatty in moments when I screwed up, but instead of going after my physical appearance, it attacked me internally: “oh I’m so dumb! How could I have been so stupid!?”.
Saying Adios! to the chatterbox
It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 when I was living in Canada that I started to finally get rid of it.
Of course I’m no ice queen with zero insecurities and I don’t think there’s a person in the world who doesn’t battle with some type of insecurity. The difference to before is that I no longer feed it nor do I allow myself to stay in the state of self-pity. If I screw up, I feel bad, but instead of telling myself I’m stupid, I think about what I could do differently next time.
I still have bowlegs, small breasts and I’m still not entirely infatuated with my toes, my skin is still prone to acne, BUT, I no longer hate these parts of myself nor do I call myself ugly names. The only other way I could have fixed these things were with plastic surgery or Photoshop.
I found neither appealing.
I couldn’t keep fighting against who and what I am for the rest of my life. If I’ll always stay discontent with myself, and my life, I’ll miss all the things in life that bring joy and I can no longer cultivate more.
Aiming for impossible perfection takes out strength, joy and experiences in life
A healthy approach to taking care of oneself brings with it happiness and peace. We all know the basics: eating, sleeping, exercise and water intake. They’re talked of a lot, we all know about them, however it’s far too easy to forget about them. It’s easier, and perhaps more appealing, to find new and more exciting (and passive) ways of creating happiness. But whatever it is that we want, we have to work for them.
At the end of the day, there are many things in life that we can change but also those that we can do nothing about. So, I wanted to add this beautiful serenity prayer that we can all remember in our own way when our minds take control of us:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
If there’s anything you’ll take with you from this blog post, take this: you can, you’re able, capable, you’ve got choices and they’re up to you. It’s not whether you fall but whether you rise. Children don’t start walking perfectly when they take their first step, but have you ever met a child that gives up altogether?
Until next time lovelies, with many hugs,