Still Working On Things
I share a lot of recurring themes on this podcast, like curiosity, compassion, confidence; being aware of and naming feelings, recognizing negative self talk, and showing yourself self love and acceptance. I talk about these themes often, not because I’ve mastered them and have an only positive, stress and struggle-free life. No, I discuss them frequently because I’ve had a LOT of practice and I’m still developing these skills. I’ll probably be working on them for the rest of my life, which makes me human—I’m learning, growing and evolving.
I want to tell you about an experience I recently had. During a conversation with someone, they shared some of their feedback and opinions. As our discussion went on, I felt like I was sinking lower and lower, and at the same time shrinking smaller and smaller. When our conversation ended, I was really down. My head was spinning with that person’s opinions and I felt like my eyes were overfilled water balloons ready to burst.
Hold It In or Let It Out
I had two choices: try to hold in all of my emotions and pretend I was okay as the pressure kept building up inside of me, or release the pressure and let it out. I’ve tried the first option in the past, many times, and it led to anxiety, resentment, and sometimes even an eruption of emotions. So instead, I tried to tune in to what I needed in that moment, I went to a place where I could have some privacy, and I allowed myself to cry. I let my feelings flow out my eyes and down my face. My thoughts were filled with my own interpretation of what that person said, swarming with labels, messages, and meanings.
Downward Spiral or Curiosity
Again I had another two choices: continue spiraling downward, fueling the negative self-talk thoughts with more criticism and shame. Or get curious about the emotions behind these thoughts. I’ve experienced the first option before, and it led to a deeper, darker, lonely place. So instead, I tried to tune in to what I needed in that moment. I sat with all of my thoughts and explored them so I could name my emotions, what was underneath it all. I was feeling discouraged, ineffective, judged, insignificant, and misunderstood. Acknowledging my experience and emotions was validating and clarifying for me.
Stay with Emotions or Reframe Them
At that point I had finished crying, and I’m sure you can guess what comes next–I had two choices: stay with my feelings as they were, eventually making it through the emotions tunnels, or reframe them and encourage myself through the emotions tunnels. Either option would have worked, so I tried to tune in to what I needed in that moment.
Self Care: Music, Affirmations, Kind Words
I turned on some music that I knew would build me up. After a few songs, I grabbed a notebook and wrote “Pick Me Up” on the first page (to me, it’s a double meaning, like the expression “pick me up” as in, give you a boost, and to literally pick up the notebook and read it). Then on the next page, I wrote out a list of affirmations:
I love me. I accept myself.
I am enough. I don’t need to be more or less.
I am worthy. I’ve already proven myself.
I like who I am. I enjoy being me.
I am interesting. I embrace my individuality.
I am growing. I crave learning.
I am different. I stand out and am unique.
I am passionate. I jump in with both feet.
I am enthusiastic. I hype-girl and cheer on others.
I am daring. I take risks in spite of my fears.
I am ambitious. I have big ideas, goals, and plans.
I am assertive. I respect and stand up for myself.
I am compassionate. I have a big heart and lots of feelings.
I am imperfect. I am trying and progressing.
I am resilient. I don’t stay down for long.
I am fun. I enjoy sharing joy.
Then I turned to another page and wrote down the messages and reviews I’ve received from podcast listeners sharing how they’ve enjoyed the podcast and how it’s helped them. So now I’ve got a “Pick Me Up” notebook that I can return to and read through when I need it.
I wanted to share this experience with you–first feeling low and small, allowing myself to cry and feel, naming my emotions, practicing self-care, reframing my thoughts, listening to encouraging music, writing affirmations for myself, and keeping a collection of kind words from others–I hope my experience can help guide you through your experiences.
Hype Girl Yourself
I say I’m a hype girl for girls, and sure, I hope you’ll be a hype girl for other girls too, but FIRST and most importantly, my goal is to help you become a hype girl for yourself. Because in case you ever face a struggle and don’t have someone to lean on in that moment, I want you to learn how to show support for yourself. I want you to get curious with yourself, listen to yourself, validate yourself, show compassion to yourself, trust yourself, encourage yourself, accept yourself, embrace yourself, and love yourself. I want you to learn how to hype girl yourself.
I Am My Hype Girl Poster Printable
To help you with this, I created a “I Am My Hype Girl“ poster for you to print out, personalize, and post on your wall where you’ll see it, remember it, practice it, and believe it — that’s the important part.
Pick Me Up Notebook
I’ve recommended a lot of books and movies in past episodes, so instead of repeating them here, I want you to make your own “Pick Me Up” notebook, or whatever you want to call it. Write down affirmations you can reread or say to yourself in moments you need them. You can also write down kind things people have said to you or texted you, and save notes and thank you cards you received and glue them in the notebook. Try it out, I think you’ll be surprised how much it helps.
Media DTR Workshop
Before we wrap up I wanted to let you know about a new virtual workshop I created! It’s called Media DTR, helping you redefine your relationship with media so you can get more from life without giving up your device. Get all the details and register here.
And if you have a topic suggestion, I’d love to hear from you! Send an email (tweens get the OK from your parents) to hello@EmpowerfulGirls.com .
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Also, if you enjoy listening to 10 for Teens + Tweens, I would truly appreciate you telling your friends about this podcast or leaving a review so others can find it and feel uplifted, too! Your support means the world to me!