Friday, September 6, 2013

Spring cleaning time again

So having a lot of self esteem and attitude convos lately...

So the advice I give to me... and to anyone who cares to listen in no particular order:

Like yourself
If you don't like yourself why on Earth are you moping about someone else not liking you? They're taking your own advice and assuming if you don't like you, you're probably a jerk. And while we're on the subject - we're all jerks. No such thing as a perfectly nice, never said a bad word about anyone person...and if you've ever met one you know just how creepy they are. Budding serial killers the lot of them. If you really genuinely like everyone, there's something wrong with your wiring. Lots of people are worse than jerks. so getting back to the point, people take cues from other people. If you hate yourself, people will start agreeing with you. Better to be nice to yourself and get a head start on things. And lets face it, if no one else is nice to you someone has to be. May as well start with you.

Embrace your inner jerk.
Had a laugh when the cat fell off the bed or when that lady walked into the door? Can't bring yourself to like someone even though they seem nice enough? Don't want to do the nice thing today because you just don't want to? These are the hall marks of your inner jerk. We all have one and people who don't admit it are usually the worst kind of jerks (see comment on serial killers). So you really need to make peace with your inner jerk. It's part of who you are and often provides a different perspective to balance an overly fluffy world view. And over flowing self flagellation about the occasional jerk behaviour can lead to negative thinking and erosion of self worth.

Fake it till you make it.
I grew up in the teenage social disaster that says everyone will put you down so may as well get there first. Whose stupid philosophy that was I don't know, but lets face it teenagers aren't collectively bright. I'm pretty sure puberty kills brain cells for a few years and walking out of the emo whatevers of the teen years you really need to grow out of the follow the herd and hate yourself behaviour. Frankly it's boring and not terribly useful to you or anyone else. So I decided one day that I would not be that person. I don't like people like that so why should anyone like me if I'm like that. It isn't an overnight success. You don't wake up one day and think you are the best thing since chocolate crackles. You fake it, you lie through your teeth, to yourself and everyone and that includes the mirror. And one day you just don't think you're quite as bad as the squidgey stuff that smells bad on the bottom of your shoe.

Everyone is good at something
And you should not just learn what that is but you should learn to say so. Verbalisation is important in convincing the world and yourself that you are awesome. It's an interesting test with teenage girls - 'tell me you are gorgeous'. Most will go red with embarrassment and refuse to make eye contact. They'll stare at their feet, shrug their shoulders and mumble a negative. very rarely do you meet the teenage girl who can make eye contact and say with a smile 'I am gorgeous'. and I can guarantee you the one who can do it, even if they don't believe it, will be 10 times easier to coach or teach than the one who hunches over, crosses her arms and stares at her belly button lint rather than say 3 little words even in jest.

Pat yourself on the back
When was the last time you said yay me? Big or small. Doesn't have to be the discovery of the answer to fossil fuels or reaching the top of Everest. Just I did that and isn't it great! I shot that arrow with perfect technique. I made an awesome dinner. I look pretty in that picture. I didn't drop the f bomb in front of my nephew. I'm a great sister. The list is and should be endless of things you can congratulate yourself on even if it's just something small...assuming you got out of bed today. And if you didn't, well 'I am a most excellent sleeper.'

It isn't all about you.
Most people are actually thinking about themselves and how other people think of them rather than spending all that time thinking about you. When you are the last person on the line to shoot and everyone else is waiting, it is easy to think they are all watching you and get nervous. But a little walk through my own head when someone else is the last one on the line and I realise I'm wondering why they made Ivana (5'4") and Albina (6'1") share a spotting scope? Can't be for fairness or practicality. So I'm going with self amusement. I'm checking my blood sugar. I'm rehydrating. I'm wondering if there's enough time to take a pee break and if I can be bothered going even though I know now I had that thought I'm going to be thinking about it all through the next end...damn i shouldn't have had that drink of water. I'm thinking my sock is getting eaten by my shoe. And maybe just maybe I'm sparing a thought for the poor schmuck who's running down the clock and the wind is picking up. So assuming everyone else has that much rubbish in their heads at any one time... it is safe to assume they aren't sparing much brain power on you and what ever it is that you find embarrassing, mortifying or depressing about yourself... they probably didn't notice.

Own it.
And if 100 people actually did witness your mortification then own it. Embrace it and pay it. I was walking back to my car last week on an especially windy day and my very pretty dress blew straight up. My hands were full of coffees for my next appointment and there wasn't a whole lot to be done for dignity or modesty and as pretty as my knickers were I hadn't chosen them with a view to an audience. So I could shrivel up and die of mortification or I could own it. I had a good laugh, assumed the old man walking to the cardiology clinic was in safe hands if he got a little too much excitement and proceeded to share my laugh with various people throughout my day. Sharing a little mortification is often a good salve for the soul. Such things happen to everyone and either they will commiserate or they will get a laugh too and you made someone else's day a little brighter.
The same goes for screwing up. You screwed up six ways to Sunday. Own it. Admit it. Apologise. Fix it. And then forgive yourself. Anyone who can't forgive you can go and get their own self help advice. Whatever it is, build a bridge and get over it.

Can't is the same as won't.
Let's assume we aren't talking about achieving the impossible, instead a task set before you that theoretically is possible. The first word of failure is won't. The second word of failure is can't. Try using different words in your own head. Like 'I can' or 'no harm in having a go'. If you say 'can't' or 'won't' then you have already failed. No point wasting your time and everyone else's if you are already making excuses for why you have failed when you haven't even tried yet. Winners try things. Can't win the race you didn't enter.
And you know that putz that says 'not to be offensive, but'... well you all know that nothing good comes from people starting with 'but'. So if you really want to take a step in the right direction, you need to practice not saying but or any equivalents. Like not saying 'um' in a public speech. Saying 'ah' is the same thing and you know you are cheating.

How often do you put something off? I will clean my room. I will do my homework. I will do my taxes. I will change my attitude. I will be more positive. All great thoughts. All totally pointless if you don't actually follow through. Like the race you didn't enter, the room you didn't clean and the attitude you didn't change leave you in the same state of unchanged. In order to change something you have to not just decide you want to, you actually have to do it. And the best place to start is with a goal. Small goals are fine. But goal you must have. I've heard a few sayings along the lines of if you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter how you get there. I think more importantly if you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter if you don't get there. Where is the incentive to go in the first place? And if you know where you are going, but don't plan how to get there... that's called lost people. L O S T. For all those people who don't need directions or maps and wind up in weird places - this one is for you. If you decide to be a positive person and the next words out of your mouth start with but or can't or won' might need to rethink your strategy. Your room doesn't clean itself and neither does your mind.

Avoid the negative Nancy
That person who never says a positive thing. No encouragement passes their lips. They never make a joke that isn't putting someone down. They always give voice to the hole in your plan and always say I told you so if the plan goes awry and never offer a hand up when you fall. The glass is half empty and they're the person who drank the other half. Remind me why exactly you spend time with this person? And if this person is you, re read this blog post from the start.

And lastly, be nice. Be nice to yourself and be nice to other people and other people and yourself will be nice back. Everyone could use someone nice in their life, be that person for someone else and maybe someone will be that person for you. Better yet, hedge your bets and be nice to a few people.