In our culture, as a woman, I think it’s easier to talk down about ourselves than it is to talk positively about ourselves, thus it’s easier to think negatively about ourselves than positively.
One day last week I was in this kinda down hill spiral. I found myself thinking I was fat, worthless, feeling anxious, etc. But I was able to recognize what I was experiencing and opted to put on running shoes and go out for a run. Mind you, it was like 90 degrees and extremely humid that day, but I went anyway. I had to stop and walk eventually just because it was so hot. But there’s this hill on the way back up to my house that always kicks my butt. I always try to prepare for it as I approach it because I know it will make a me a stronger runner if I can run up the hill. More often than not, it’s easier for me to focus on the pain, the ache of my muscles, my feet, the sweat dipping down my face and into my eyes, heavy breathing, heart pounding, etc. And when I focus on all of that I just want to stop.
However, when I choose to talk myself up while running, I feel so much better. One of my friends was helping talking me up on a bad day and she said that I was fierce and strong and confidant and all these wonderful things, and things I didn’t see in myself, things people haven’t said to me before. I’ve held onto those words. I ran up that hill that day and I said to myself I am strong. I am fierce. I am feisty. I am confident. I am beautiful. I am worthy. When I utter these words, I find myself filled with joy. When I remind myself of my strengths, it’s easier to focus on them. And happy endorphins from exercise help too.
But I got back from that run and was standing in my room chugging water and was in shock of how good I felt. I hadn’t felt that good, that happy in so long. So maybe it was just getting my heart rate up or maybe it was all the positive self-talk or maybe a combination of the two, but running is how I’ve learned to build myself up. They say running is more of a mental game than it is physical. We can let the mental strengths we gain build us up for all parts of life.
If you’re struggling today, I want you to know that you are not alone. And that those things you are struggling with are lies. I want you to proclaim the truths about yourself- that you are a fierce, strong, powerful, courageous woman. I encourage you to fight for yourself, to stand firm in who you are and what you believe, and most of all to know that you are not alone.