Listen Up Ladies: Cut Yourself Some Slack

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I just got back from a relaxing vacation with my girlfriends. We spent our days laying on the beach, sipping cocktails and reading.

Instead of fully enjoying my vacation, I allowed negative thoughts and self-doubt to creep in the entire time.

These are thoughts I am uncomfortable sharing, because it leaves me vulnerable (and I have a reputation to uphold); however, I am hoping by opening myself up you'll cut yourself some slack.

Thought 1: I'm fat.

How can I wear this suit? I would give anything for her body. I need to lose weight, eat better, drink less, exercise. I'm so gross. How can my husband even find me sexy? I hate my legs, my arms, my stomach.

I know I'm not alone in having these thoughts.

How sad is it that instead of relishing the fact that I am in the Keys, hanging out with amazing women, I allow self-criticism to sneak in?

Love the body you're in. So what if you have wrinkles, love handles, age spots, cellulite, thighs that rub, and a plump stomach? Who gives a shit?

The more often we tell each other we are beautiful, the sooner we will start to embrace who we are and ignore that voice in our head.

Thought 2: I shouldn't be vacationing.

Why did I take this vacation? There is too much going on at work; I should be at the office. If I pick up a book to read for leisure, I think "I should be reading that business book I purchased."

Why is it that when we take time for ourselves, the guilt creeps in? As a small business owner, I need to be working all the time—that is what I signed up for ... Right?

Thought 3: I'll never be good enough.

This one is a combination of all the negativity that swirls around in my head, aimed at myself:

  • I suck at running my business.
  • I am a terrible manager.
  • I am an awful friend.
  • I don't spend enough time with the dogs.
  • I am neglecting my husband.
  • I need to not eat that.
  • Don't drink that.
  • I look terrible in this.

If you looked at me, you would think, "Damn, she is confident, isn't afraid to say what she thinks, she is strong ... Blah blah blah."

We all have self-doubts; I have a lot of them. There are times it's crippling and I go into hiding. My friends have dubbed it "hermiting." I don't answer the phone, refuse to leave the house, lay in bed—I'm depressed, burned out, tired.

We expect so much of ourselves and refuse to grant ourselves any grace. Let's be the grace for each other. Reach out to another woman today and tell them they are worthy, beautiful, and loved.

Embrace your strength and cut yourself some damn slack.

You are worthy.

Written by Kim Bode, Principal at 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications. This article was republished with permission and originally appeared on Small Biz Musings.

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