Stop Putting Yourself Down!!!

I belong to a particular running group in Facebook specifically for slower runners. It’s a fun group, for the most part, but sometimes some of the posts sadden me.

Many people, through a harsh life’s history or intense medical problems or something else, suffer from a negative self-image. Because of the magical power of running, they a strength within themselves they never knew existed and believe in themselves again. Others continue to struggle, trying to cope with those inner voices while posting backhanded criticisms of themselves.

Some of the ones I see a lot:

“I’m really slow…”

“I’m not a real runner…”

“Everyone is faster than me…”

“I’m afraid of being the last runner…”

And there are so many more.

Self-esteem is not an easy thing to grow, nurture, if it was never given the chance to blossom. But we have to find a way. We must. I was a drunk for much of my adult life. I drank to escape the real world. If my life had been great, I wouldn’t have wanted to escape, would I?

When grew tired of hangovers, black outs, missing money, lost friends, etc, etc, I quit drinking and spent years telling myself I was an OK person. And I am. And you are too.

As they say in AA, “fake it til you make it.” Because one day, you will make it. One day, you’ll realize that you’re not such a horrible person and that you’re doing all right. It might take some time; it might not be perfect. And you’re going to mess up, we all do.

But one thing is certain: you’ll never make it if you keep telling yourself you suck. You need to stop that. NOW.

So stop putting yourself down. Keep running, keep working out, eat good food and…

Keep Moving Forward!!


The Hardest Thing….

At my friend’s Wake this Tuesday, I had the chance to talk to an old co-worker of mine. A truly wonderful person A. was always a terrific workmate and it was nice to talk with her again. The first thing she said to me was to thank me for something I taught her.

This was a surprise to me. Me, the irresponsible one when I worked there, for the most part, anyway. I was a drunk for most of my years working at concerts, at least until the last couple of years and I didn’t know I could teach anyone anything.

She said that I taught her not to Self-Sabotage. And then I remembered way back to a conversation we had while having dinner before our shift at a show. It was many years ago, but it was clear in my mind.

On my run tonight, I thought back at Self Sabotage. It happens when we wish to punish ourselves. And why would we do that? Because for some reason or another, we dislike ourselves.

I’ll be exploring this subject in many blogs, because that’s what I’m doing in my life and it’s too big of a subject and much too important to gloss over in one blog. But I’ve committed Self Sabotage many times (and quite recently) because I wasn’t happy with myself.

How many times have we reached for cookies, chips, beer, wine, or something else because we weren’t happy with something that we did or we are? I bet there are many times.

The first question I ask is: Why do we hate ourselves?

It’s something that’s taught to us from birth. At least it was for me. I was raised Lutheran. My mom’s family immigrated from Scandinavia where everyone is taught to be modest, and nothing I did was ever good enough. No matter how hard I tried, it never seemed to be enough to please my parents, I was such a disappointment to them. So the seeds of self-loathing set in early. Combine that with impossible to achieve media images and being told time and again how imperfect I was, no wonder I had self-esteem issues!

It’s taken all my life to understand and truly KNOW that I am a pretty good person. And even this has to be reinforced sometimes daily, sometimes hourly within myself.

So, Self Sabotage? It is a real and nasty thing and now with artillery of my own, I can combat self negativity when it starts to creep in.