I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it first, and it’s something I strive to embrace, but it’s not easy!
Yes, of course we’d all love for the whole world to love us and never have an unkind word to say about us. In reality, we’re surrounded by critics. In fact, to the rest of the world we ourselves are pretty good at passing judgement too, aren’t we? So why is it so hard for some of us to handle it. It’s too easy to believe the negative stuff, isn’t it?
Can we really grow a thicker skin when it comes to our self-esteem?
Some people just want to keep us down, because misery loves company. But if we dare to seek more, and go out on that limb of life to do something courageous, then we are likely to meet with critics.
When the critical voices come, either from others or from my own self-doubt, these practices help me set my mind straight again.
I focus on how far I’ve come from who I was a year ago, or 3 years ago. I know if I’m improving then I’m on the right track.
I practice grace. Grace for others who are probably struggling with their own issues. Grace for myself because perfection is overrated and I don’t have to save the world today.
When grace no longer works, I set healthy boundaries. For example, social media can crush the soul. I limit what I look at and who I let influence me. There are people and situations I no longer entertain simply because they do nothing other than bring me down.
I practice gratitude. Even with the ugly things that sometimes come my way, when I can find something to be thankful for in the midst of the situation, it diminishes the pain.
I ask for support. There is great strength in the ability to seek help in times of trouble. There are numerous therapies that have helped me through times of self-doubt and criticism, and yet often we can just start with a trusted friend.
I determine whose opinion really matters. And so should you.