I won’t lie, I get stuck in the comparison game at least several times a week. I so often perceive that others are more successful than I, smarter than I, more ______ than I. It’s such an easy trap to slide into, no matter how much self-care and love I seem to preach. But it is a HUGE happiness stumbling block, and contributes to a negative self-image that isn’t doing anyone favors.
I once wrote in my journal, “when will I learn to love me as much as I love other people?”, and I recently found a mantra that’s helping me to move toward that goal: YOU are the coolest person you know.
Think about the coolest people you know. By cool, I personally mean like your very favorite people in the world, whom you actually know on a somewhat intimate level. I think particularly of my friend Maggie who I usually call KAB, which stands for Kick Ass B*tch. She is so cool to me that it’s literally a part of her nickname. I think she has awesome music taste, is incredibly kind, creative, hilarious, and beautiful beyond belief! On top of that, I truly feel like she understands me on a level that is above that of many other people I know. We view the world in somewhat similar ways, and I always feel extremely comforted by our conversations, even when they just consist of us venting to one another. I could write a book about all the reasons I love her, but that will have to wait for another day.
A few months ago, in working through some of my therapy goals, I wanted to make a list of things that I liked about myself, but had a hard time thinking of even one. To break myself out of that funk, I decided to start by listing things I love about my best friends, and then began to think about myself in the same way. And guess what I realized?
*I* am the coolest person I know! Hear me out: when I’m thinking of myself as a friend, I see someone who has the exact same music taste as I do, the BEST closet to share with me, awesome, loyal friends, super cute and sweet dogs, and a really kind, smart and inclusive husband. She even likes the same FOODS that I do, and seems to always want them at the same time I do. 😂
When we look at ourselves, we tend to so readily focus on our flaws and shortcomings. But what happens if we try to view ourselves the way that we view our friends? I think most of us would find that we are the coolest people we know! Our best friends are very close seconds, but we alone are singularly equipped to appreciate and love all of the wonderful nuances that make us who we are.
I love that my favorite music of all time spans from Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” to the greatest hits of both REM and the Barenaked Ladies, to the New Pornographers, New Found Glory, Leikeli47, and artists who have fewer than 10,000 listens on Spotify. I love that I have at least 4 petite jumpsuits in my closet that hit me right at the ankle. I love that I can remember things people tell me, in ways that make them feel even a little bit more seen. I love that I’m not afraid to be vulnerable, and my extreme comfort around discussing bodily functions. I love that I’m great at assembling things and solving problems logically. I love that I am patient and easy going most of the time. I’m also beautiful, and very fortunate to be loved by many amazing friends and family members. Through trying to view myself the same way as I view others, I could recognize so many wonderful qualities, when I failed to name even one before.
I vow to make a point of viewing myself more like I would a friend, moving forward, and I hope you’ll join me in adopting this mindset: “YOU are the coolest person you know.” I’m willing to bet you’ll learn some awesome things about yourself that you might not even see right now. We can say “practice self-love” so many times, but actually practicing it takes a different level of intention.
What would it be like for you if you viewed yourself like a friend? I encourage you to start by making a list of 5-10 qualities you admire in someone you really love, and then making that same list for yourself.
Please share what makes you the coolest person you know in the comments, and thanks always for taking time to read my little ol’ blog. It means the world to me.
Kathryn, with dogs