By: Alyssa Gagnon, Regular Contributor
As a bunch of THAT (those?) GIRLS I know we all know the tenets of being THAT GIRL and the reason for that is we steadfastly believe in the philosophies of this organization. I know that I do. I love collaborating with my girlfriends. I love knowing that I can talk to them about anything, sans judgment. I love that they are trustworthy and kind and intelligent and deep and passionate and all the things you could hope for in a person. I love that they bring these qualities out in me.
Sometimes though, I catch myself in an unflattering light, figuratively speaking. I catch my mind wandering to assumptions. I catch my heart tightening with jealousy. I catch myself making snap judgments before I can stop myself, and I have to course-correct. In a word, there are times when I certainly exhibit the behavior of someone who is not THAT GIRL.
It's always bothersome to me when this happens. I don't like feeling jealous or judgmental. It's become seriously uncomfortable.
And therein, my league of THAT GIRLS, lays the silver lining.
These feelings are no longer the autopilot that had been taught to me as an American girl, growing up with American media and social pressures. These negative attitudes and behaviors are an old, bad habit, kicked to the curb. That doesn't mean that I don't slip back into that bad habit once in a while. But the beautiful thing is, when I find myself slipping into it, I can recognize and change immediately.
Lately, I have been in a little rut, as far as being THAT GIRL goes. I am daily finding myself feeling resentful or jealous and neither are feelings that I want to foster. While these feelings do creep up, I do my best to recognize them, examine the root, and let them pass.
Above all though, I remind myself that two of the largest line items of the THAT GIRL credo is to practice a lost art of self-acceptance, and that we are all works in progress. And while I am constantly on a path of self-improvement, I should remember not to be too harsh to the person I am now. Because in reality, the person I am-- the people we all are--in this moment, is/are truly radiant. To set upon a path of deliberate self-improvement, such as THAT GIRLS choose to do daily, is a brave and commendable feat, one which isn't achieved overnight.
So while I am a little frustrated with my current mindset, I am grateful for the discomfort, which only signifies growth and change.
How do you deal with self-criticism? When you fall short of your values, are you kind and loving to yourself or harsh? What can you do to bring more self-compassion to your every day life? Tell us here!
Alyssa grew up on a diet of grilled cheese, books, and ice cream with books predominating. She recently graduated with a Master’s degree in English and lives in her favorite place with her favorite husband (she only has one). Post-graduation, her plans are to start a new women’s magazine that leaves women feeling GREAT about who they are, and to open a publishing house for untapped talent.