A Question You Need To Answer: Why Don't You Celebrate Yourself?
Today I went running with two of my friends. We run a 3 mile loop often and keep each other accountable. Though I was a bit exhausted after a full day yesterday before I started running, I was determined to give my best effort anyway.
The run went rather quickly and after it was over, I checked my timer to see how fast I had ran the loop. My first reaction when I read my time was complete disappointment. My fierce competitor-like nature within me wanted to do better than my last run and totally disregarded the fact that I was completely wiped from lack of sleep and the long day before.
Another thing I disregarded was the fact that I had already achieved the one goal I had made when I started running with my friends. I told myself that I wanted to run under 10 minutes per my average mile pace before June (4 months from now) and you know what I forgot? I forgot in that moment of disappointment that I had achieved my goal 2 days ago and AGAIN today.
It was not until my friend L gave me a nudge and said “Martay, you did well! You were talking and still ran under 10 minutes per mile”. Then it hit me that I was being very hard on myself for no reason and needed to change my negative thinking into positive self talk.
I’ve come to realize that I can be a pretty harsh critic. My problem is not that I often criticize and judge others, my issue is that I’m sharp and overly critical with myself. If I tell people this, I get replies like, “Why would you ever be so harsh on yourself?” or “You’re amazing, what do you have to be critical of?”
These are valid questions.
Well, if I must be honest: I don’t think I’m all that bad either. In fact, though it took me loads of assistance (thank you Jesus) and time, I really enjoy and love who I am. So, I don’t think the question is "why are you so harsh with yourself?", but rather, “Why don’t you celebrate yourself?”
Bingo. That’s the winner.
I want to ask you the same question: “Why don’t you celebrate yourself?” If you do, then “Why don’t you celebrate yourself more?” When it hit me today that myself, as well as the people around me, don’t celebrate ourselves like we should, I began to wonder why. I started really pondering this question and came up with 3 reasons why we don’t celebrate ourselves that we need to be aware of. Here they are:
(1) We're too caught up with achieving
I think I’m the example of many people when I say that I’m constantly on the go and constantly trying to get things done. I have about 3 different tasks lists… and I’m ashamed to admit it, but my task list is so big these days that it’s actually a spread sheet now. Insert prayer for me right here ——> _____________.
When we let our lives become task-oriented, we can get so focused on achieving that we forget to celebrate the wins and accomplishments in our lives. Just as a friend of ours would react negatively if they were only criticized and never celebrated, we have to realize that over time we will also begin to react negatively to our critical self-talk too.
I know this from experience. Every time I have been harsh on myself and not celebrated my progress, I can without a doubt tell you that I did not want to run the next time I had to. And you know what? I absolutely love running! It’s one of my favorite things to do. It was just that I had been so critical with myself that I was driving myself towards hating the sport I have always loved.
So, if my lack of celebrating myself has affected me, how is your lack of celebrating yourself affecting you?
(2) Our culture does not teach us how
Aside from birthday parties and anniversaries that come once a year, we are not taught in our culture to take a moment out of our day and reflect on the good things we’ve done and are a part of. I’m realizing that doing this is absolutely necessary to becoming the joyful and full-of-purpose person I want to be in life.
Reflecting on where we stand and on how our life really is seems like a lost art these days. I challenge us to bring it back into our everyday lives. It doesn’t need to take long. In fact, 5 minutes will do. You can even do it while you’re in the shower or driving down the road on your way to work.
Will you join me in finding the time to reflect, cast out thoughts that are overly critical and celebrate who we are?
(3) We don’t know the Truth
It’s common to hear the phrase “there’s a little Truth in everything”, but this just isn’t true. God is ultimately Truth (John 14:6) and anything he says, is or does is true. So, when I say that we are overly critical with ourselves because we don’t know the Truth, I really mean that we’re overly critical with ourselves because we don’t know God like we should.
Hear me out when I say this, “to know” someone is to really be intimate with them. In no way am I saying that you don’t have a relationship with God if you’re critical of yourself. That’s not it!
I’m saying that if we’re not intimate with God and gaining his perception regarding the areas of our lives where we are overly critical, we won’t have the sight or ability to celebrate ourselves in those areas. It’s so easy to believe that we can just self-help ourselves back to wellness, but what we need is the life-changing power that only God can provide us with to change.
Therefore, I encourage you to not only pinpoint in your life where you need to celebrate yourself more so you can walk in the fullness of joy and your purpose, but to ask God for his help to change. He’s faithful and he will do it!
I don’t know about you, but I’m done disrespecting myself and who God has made me to be by being overly critical. I hope that my honesty shed some light on your life and will inspire you to do the same.
lots of love,
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