By: Victoria Santoro, Guest Blogger
Consider for a moment the way you would describe your best friend. The list of adjectives, delivered with a glowing smile, would probably go on and on: intelligent, kind, funny, sensitive. Consider again the way you would describe yourself. Many people, and especially young women, are drawn immediately to their own faults. You may have just graduated from college, but you can’t help thinking about the extra five pounds you just can’t lose, or that one exam that you bombed, or the love interest who wasn’t interested.
And yet, when your friends look at you, all they see is a wonderful person. Hardworking, honest, curious, and loving.
Whenever you are tempted to think of yourself, or describe yourself, in any way that reflects your negative beliefs about yourself, just stop for a moment. Reconsider. And a take a look at yourself through someone else’s eyes. Think about all the incredible things that person would have to say about you, and, most importantly, take those things to heart. Absorb the love around you.
It is so easy to be consumed with our own thoughts, how we wish we had accomplished more, worked harder, or looked better. But with so many things, hearing a different perspective can open up your mind to newer and better perspectives. This exercise is merely an opportunity to hear the other sides’ case. Unplug your ears and listen to the chorus of support that surrounds you. (If you don’t hear a chorus of support, it’s time to develop one.)
In law, it is always helpful to both listen to the other side’s point of view, but also to understand it deeply. And once you truly understand the other perspective, you can use it to make your own case stronger. So, too, with ourselves. We take far too little time to see, hear and absorb the good things about ourselves. We are consumed by speaking negatively about our bodies, our lives, our jobs, or our myriad other failings.
It’s worth it to hear the other side. Listen to your family, your friends, and your colleagues. But do more than listen and dismiss. Listen and understand. Understand that what you’re hearing is an honest perspective about who you are and what you’ve accomplished in your life. Understand that what you’re hearing is an appreciation for all that you’ve done and the way that you treat others. Once you understand the other perspective on you, everyone else’s perspective on you, the negative self-talk will cease. And you’ll come to a more balanced place of peace.
Hopefully, you won’t lose the part of you that always strives for more and strives to be better. Hopefully, you will simply gain a new, better and balanced view of yourself. So you can reach for the stars, without feeling like you’ve already failed.
Perspective is crazy powerful, especially when it comes to how we see ourselves!
- What words do you use to describe yourself? Do you think others would use the same?
- What kinds of things contribute to our skewed or false perspective about ourselves?
- Make a point to help see your #beautyFULL friends how you see them--remember, being THAT GIRL means building each other up instead of tearing each other down.
Victoria Santoro is a trial attorney who practices law in Boston. She is also a teacher, speaker, and writer, maintaining her personal blog The Limber Lawyer, and contributing to various legal publications. Victoria is passionate about helping young girls and women not only succeed but also find contentment and purpose. In her free time, she can often be found training or competing for half-marathons and triathlons.
Image via weheartit.com