Learning to be comfortable in my own skin

“‘Can I be comfortable in my own skin regardless of what’s going on around me?’ And that to me is the definition of true success.”

Peter Crone

After I had my third child Mack, I signed up for a 12 week “ab rehab” course online. This is exactly what I need! This will get me back in shape, feeling stronger and better than ever. I have no doubt it absolutely would have. The problem is, I stopped after day 3. I missed day 4 and started telling myself stories. Since I missed a day, the calendar is off and won’t line up — I guess I should quit. I don’t have time anyway. What was I thinking signing up for it with a newborn and 2 older kids? I will do it later when I have “time.”

Perfectionism

“Perfectionism is the belief that something is broken – you. So you dress up your brokenness with degrees, achievements, accolades, pieces of paper, none of which can fix what you think you are fixing.”

― Edith Eger, The Choice: Embrace the Possible

My experience with Ab Rehab stands out to me as it’s been longer than I would like since I last posted. I set out with the goal of posting once a week and for the first two years, I pretty much adhered to that goal. However, in this last year and specifically in these last three weeks, I have come up with exactly 147 excuses for why I have missed my mark. However, the more time I spend reading, reflecting, and practicing self compassion, the less time I let my mind spend playing the failure narrative over and over in my head.

In both instances, I committed to a goal; goals that I wanted to accomplish. And in both instances, I missed my target. In the case of Ab Rehab, I let my failure of missing one day end my goal. In the case of my blog, I’m not. I’m not letting a few weeks without a post define my success or future.

Will I write every week from here on out? Maybe? Unlikely. Accepting I am an imperfect human is freeing. Beating myself up for what I’ve done or not done has not proven to be helpful. It leaves me feeling worse and more importantly is a terrible model for my kids. I certainly don’t want to send the message, When you mess up, just give up.

A Time Out From Metrics

One thing that has been on my mind a lot recently is metrics. My love for all things social/emotional is not based on metrics. There are no likes, views, or number of comments to measure the qualities that matter most to me. I have stopped posting on Instagram and have since deleted both Instagram and Facebook apps from my phone. While there are absolutely parts of both social media platforms that I miss, stepping away from the metrics has been a gift I have given myself. Putting down my phone and trying to be truly present with my kids has been freeing.

I’m still trying to figure out my relationship with social media. I don’t think my cold turkey approach will be the answer, but I’m not sure what the answer is. Paying attention to how I feel before, during, and after I check these sites will likely be my best indicator of how much time I want to spend engaging with them. For now, I am enjoying more time away from my phone.

What is success?

I have written about success before and recently have been thinking about it a lot. Peter Crone’s quote, “Can I be comfortable in my own skin regardless of what’s going on around me?” sums up success perfectly. Each day, I am striving to be more comfortable in my own skin, regardless of what is going on around me. Regardless of the chaos, messes, endless to-do list, and exhaustion. Regardless of the fact that Keener took it upon himself to give Grace a “beauty styler” haircut with kid scissors… Regardless of everything, I am learning to tune in to myself, get to know myself better, and practice self compassion. For once again, I remind myself that I cannot control my kids, the weather, or the spread of COVID. I can only control myself — sometimes.

Those bangs…

11 comments

  1. I appreciate how you cut the Instagram. I gave myself a week off (mostly just to see if I could do it). I felt relief — no more feeling less than the “perfect moms”. But my FOMO (of helpful newborn mom info) crept back in slowly. I’ve severely limited the time spent and replaced it with more satisfying things/projects.
    And I can completely relate with throwing in the towel if I miss a day of a self-inflicted goal. Sometimes I remind myself “progress, not perfection” towards a goal. I really enjoyed your post today!

    • Thank you so much for sharing Erin! The balance between FOMO and time spent on more meaningful activities is absolutely one I am trying to figure out as well. And yes, progress, not perfection! Thank you for this beautiful reminder 💞

  2. This is a wonderful reminder of how important it is to be kind and patient with ourselves if we are to be any help to ourselves, our children or the world. And I LOVE the beauty-styler haircut!

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