Saturday, August 23, 2008

Beck Book - Day 4

Give Yourself Credit

When I was in Junior High, I was very sensitive about being a “good” person. I tried to be the perfect Christian, daughter, friend. Basically, I felt if I wasn’t perfect it wasn’t worth it. To help myself feel better, I would give myself credit for little things that I did do. One morning, I walked into our Sunday school room and on the black board was written, “Juanita is a braggart.” I knew who had written it from the handwriting and I never took much of what she said about me to heart, but this was a crushing blow. I didn’t think I bragged about myself, but apparently she did. From that day forward, anytime I gave myself credit for accomplishing something, I felt guilty. After all, I was a braggart.

Fortunately, over the years, I have passed that strong guilt. However, sometimes it still creeps into my mind and causes me to doubt myself. I always wondered at what point does being proud of myself for accomplishing something and sharing it become bragging. I figure that bragging has an arrogance to it that reveling in one’s accomplishments doesn’t have. Bragging to me is taunting—saying, “Look what I did and you can’t do it!”

So, starting today, I will give myself credit for the things I accomplish without guilt. I will allow myself to feel pride when I finish what I set out to do. Not because I think someone else cannot, but because I did. By giving myself credit, I will build my self confidence and reinforce my self control. Each time I tell myself that I did a good job, I remind myself that I can achieve my goals. This type of positive self talk is not new to me; I have practiced it in the past and have improved. It is easy to get out of the habit though and revert back to chiding myself for not doing something perfect.

I need to remind myself to congratulate myself like I would a friend. When a friend has a rocky spot, I don’t say, “That was stupid. You can’t do anything right.” Yet that is how I treat myself. Instead, I would tell my friend, “Okay, so you stumbled. You can do this. Learn from it, get back up and try again.” I am kind to a friend and I need to be as kind to myself. When a friend does something great, I would give them a hug and tell them how proud I was of the accomplishment. I must realize that it is important to do the same for myself. I need to practice it until it is automatic. I need to keep doing it until it happens without me realizing that I gave myself credit. Doing this will not only make dieting and maintenance easier, it will make everyday life easier. I will be willing to try something new, because I won’t degrade myself if I am not perfect. I can do this and I will do this. Right now, I give myself credit for taking the time to write out my thoughts and share them with others. There—that wasn’t so hard.

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