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I know I'm not the first person to say this to you.

Friends or family members can continually tell you to be kinder to yourself, but here's the thing... we rarely listen, you and I. We're so busy trying to be "good enough" (whatever that means) that we just keep pushing, criticising ourselves, trying, trying, trying. You have to, right? That's how you get the dress finished. That's how you make your dream business a reality - or make whatever else it is you are creating in your life real and solid. You have to work. HARD. As hard as you can stand. No, harder than that...

And it's not that we don't get it - we do. We know we should go easier on ourselves in theory, but if you're anything like me, it's a sort of "yeah, sure, I'll do that tomorrow", half-assed agreement. We don't really absorb the advice, much less act on it.

Or at least I didn't... until I had a very strange experience this week. For the first time, I quite literally saw myself as others see me, and I GOT it. I really understood thoroughly, for the first time, that I really DO need to lay off on the self-criticism.

Let me take five minutes and share this experience with you in person... maybe you'll even try it yourself so you can see too.

 

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C
Thank you so much for posting this. It did resonate and, although it seems like a pretty scary thing to do, I’m going to give it a go to see if I can be kinder to myself
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cathyhay
Yay, that's so good to hear!
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Gloria Ginger
Thank you so much for this, Cathy Hay, you are so helpful and I adore your videos. They help me through all the ups and downs of the creative process! Recently, I have been dealing with one in particular and I was wondering if you could shed any of your great advice on the issues. I love historical clothing and sewing but recently, I have been kind of burnt out. I spend so much of time thinking about it and researching it but, recently, its began to trickle away. I'm not as interested and it's been harder for the right kind of inspiration to strick. I see everyone else on social media loving historical costuming and I feel guilty and upset. I am currently trying to take a break from historical sewing and find a balance between hobby and the rest of my life but it has not been easy. It's causing me a lot of stress! How would you grapple with this, have you ever had too?

Thanks again,

Gloria

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cathyhay
Hi Gloria, thank you for your lovely comment! Don't worry, don't stress out. You are you, and you are where you are. What if this period of drawing back was like a bowstring being drawn back on your next arrow? You don't have to be productive and prolific all the time. Rest, explore what interests you, and let other costumers hold the fort. It'll be there if you decide to come back... and if you don't, that may be because you're about to discover something incredible and new! :)
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lovelyrat
I am experiencing this in a big way right now. I am that person that is always apologizing for myself, pointing out flaws in response to praise. I withhold myself rest, food, and comfort when working. I’m not a worthy person unless I’m a productive person. Rather than truly relax when my body needs it, I will punish myself for every productive thing I could be doing, or worse push through physical pain to get the job done. These habits tend to lead to cyclical burn outs, where I get depressed and can’t manage much of anything. At these points I’m taking even worse care of myself.
I finally threw my back out this week after pushing it too far. When I saw the X-rays of my spine, I saw the shape of me, at my computer desk for hours, ignoring the pain of my body telling me to get up and rest. Some things really need to change if I’m going to keep making corsets.
We can all take better care of ourselves. You don’t owe it to anyone to break your own body.

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cathyhay
Oh Amber, I see myself in this too! You are certainly not alone. Have you noticed how everything flows when you're inspired and well rested and having fun? Your inner tyrant may not like it, but praise works better than punishment to create productive results - for people as well as pets!
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Sarah Meadow Walsh
I've seen a couple of posts and videos about similar epiphanies people have had, and generally the main takeaway is, "If you wouldn't say it to a dear friend, for goodness' sake, don't say it to yourself!" Whether it's about your body, your skill set, or really anything in life, if you wouldn't criticize or be hard on a friend about something show the same courtesy to yourself.
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Martina Frank
Hi Cathy- your video is so resonating to me! Being hard to me and critizise myself was for longlong years blocking me - especially in music.I heard so often from knowing and expert people that I am good and a musical person deep to the roots- but I could not believe it, I didn't allow myself to believe and that caused many troubles.This is gone now- I have found my place and I'm happily going on. Same thing with my sewing work and with seeing myself as not beautiful, not stylish, not interesting ectect. There I had an eye-opener similar to yours with the video- showing yourself like people see you. I took a little course about style and there was an assignment to fotograf myself in the chosen outfits. I got so many compliments- and seeing myself from the outside, seeing myself like the others see me- ui, it was almost a little shocking....and it taught me more acception and appreciation of myself- and that spreads out in all the other parts of my life...being more kind to myself
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