Time to Stop Beating Ourselves Up

I often find myself working with women who beat themselves up for not being "good enough."

I can relate. There are many times when I can sense the feelings of inadequacy trying to take over and the self doubt creeping in.

I think being a girl (women) can be hard.

We are born into this world with so many gifts and talents, but over time they can become self destructive.

We are naturally team oriented. We want friends and support systems. When taken too far we are so concerned with being a team player that we don't take credit for the great things we do.

We are kind to others, but are we cruel to ourselves?

We are quick to give people the benefit of the doubt, but that means we avoid confrontation.

We are nurturers. But do we get so busy taking care of other's needs that we don't take care of ourselves.

It is not always this way. Research shows that young girls are confident and assertive. It is about the time they hit 8th grade (if not sooner) that they start to loose their sense of worth and efficacy. Young girls are faced with so many challenges. They want to be confident but they can't be conceited and movies, TV and advertising are constantly "telling" them how they should look and act.

It doesn't end with puberty. As mothers and grown women the pressure and stigmas don't go away.

The inadequacy and confusion hit me full force after having our second child. I didn't know who I was. I felt lost for a bit. I didn't have an opinion all of a sudden, and I didn't feel like I could make decisions. It even affected getting dressed in the morning. I didn't know what looked good on me because I didn't know who I was.

As women, we are strong, we are smart, we are influential. There is not room to beat ourselves up because we aren't good enough. Instead we need to celebrate how great we are.
  • We can start by taking credit for the good things that we do. We don't need to be arrogant, just confident. We are good mother's and good friends and good wives. We are working hard to do good things in our homes and in our communities. 
  • We can't put ourselves down. Reminding ourselves and others that we not "skinny enough", or our house isn't clean enough will not make either happen. Self depreciation is destructive. Not to mention when our kids hear us say these things it affects them and their opinions. This goes for the way we talk about ourselves in front of our spouses also. 
When my husband and I got married I received some GREAT advice. An ecclesiastical leader told me that I didn't need to constantly point out all my faults. He went on to say that most of the time our spouses don't recognize the faults until we point them out. Then they have a hard time forgetting. 

I think about this advice everyday. When I am about to point out something I don't like about myself, I remember to keep my mouth shut. I don't want to give my husband any ideas. :)

If you are always putting yourself down, try a little trick....Put a rubber band on your wrist and every time you say or think something bad about yourself, pull on the rubber band and let it flick you. It won't feel great and you will see yourself cutting back on the "put-downs." 
  • We always give others the benefit of the doubt, but not ourselves. She had a rough day, why can't we? We can be quick to accept others situations, why don't we accept that we too have limitations and we are wonderful regardless. It is okay to not bake bread, homeschool, be PTA President, YW President, raise 12 kids, sew all our families clothes, and refinish all our furniture on the side. It is okay. We are all different and we need to cut ourselves some slack. 
We all have internal gauges that tell us if we are doing what we should. We know when we need to do more, or less. Listening to this "voice" and not the "voice" of the world will help us ease up on ourselves. 
  • We can surround ourselves with the right support. We know who builds us up and who doesn't. We can distance ourselves from those who don't. 
  • We can find some time for ourselves. It is okay to cultivate our gifts and talents. We can pick one or two things that we like/want to do and make time for them. 
  • We can recognize that life will be frustrating and hard at times. The joy will come in moments.   
As women we are building and molding future generations. We are strengthening family units. It is our influence that is shaping the world. We can stop beating ourselves up for what we aren't doing and revel in the good things we are doing.

I guess that was on my mind.

Family Volley


  1. Thank you for this post...

    The inadequacy and confusion hit me full force after having our second child. I didn't know who I was. I felt lost for a bit. I didn't have an opinion all of a sudden, and I didn't feel like I could make decisions. It even affected getting dressed in the morning. I didn't know what looked good on me because I didn't know who I was."

    ^^ That hit the nail on the head for me...and actually made me cry. I have a closet full of clothes I love, my "style"....I try them on everyday but refuse to leave the house in them. I change back into my same black tee and jeans because I would rather be comfortable wearing those then uncomfortable in the clothing I love. I want those clothes, that style to be me,... and it IS me...but somehow I am not comfortable to wear those dresses, heels, etc.. and be THAT me.

  2. I needed this today, more than you know. Thank you so much for posting. (I'm going to repost & link you on my blog, because I loved this so much.)

  3. Thank you... It is so nice to feel like I am not alone in the way I feel about things sometimes. It puts it in perspective to hear someone else actually say what I think. It makes me think of the talk given by Elder M. Russell Ballard in the Spring of 2008. He says "There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."
    Heather, THANKS for being a strong woman...with a voice!! And for reminding us that we can be strong too!

  4. Thanks for this reminder Heather! Sounds like we all needed it today!

  5. Thank you for this, Heather. I could not agree more. I have recently had to close myself off from a few friends who had a tendency to make me feel less than I am. It was really hard and I have questioned myself as to whether that was the right thing to do. This helped me know that it was. We need to do what we can to feel happy and strong. We owe it to our children and our spouses to focus on the important things in our lives, but more importantly- we owe it to ourselves to be happy.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. I, too, needed to hear it. When you mentioned losing yourself after your second child, it really hit home with me. I just had my second child and I've been so lost. I'm finally getting control of myself again, but I literally couldn't decide what to wear without seeking my husbands advice first. He would get so frustrated with me, reminding me that the reason he married me was because I was so strong and decisive. I don't mean to ramble, but thank you for posting this.

  7. I needed this today, its been a rough one. Thankyou. I too have found since having children I have lost much of my confidence. Still trying to get it back.

  8. What a great post. It is SO incredibly important for women to feel strong, confident, and satisfied with their bodies and their abilities. I am not a parent, but I am a woman, and I believe that the best way to develop strong future generations is to give them a positive role model. Like you said, do not speak negatively about yourself or others in front of young girls. Demonstrate to them that you truly believe you are strong, powerful, good at what you do, and truly happy with what you were born with. Teach them how to make the most of what they have and accept what they do not have. I feel like the media is slowly, but surely getting better at promoting healthier, more realistic images of women, but there is still a LONG way to go. If the media, and women themselves were all on board with this way of thinking, we would have a strong confident future in no time!


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