The Trick to Being Nice to Yourself

Like many of my selfie-induced, social media conscious, pressurized world-changers in the millennial generation— I am riddled with insecurity. We can point fingers at a variety of reasons, but blame never solves a problem.

I have tried working out, reading books on the subject, devotions that affirm my unique belovedness as a child of God, and other strategies to boost my self-esteem. Those are all good things, but my mischievous gremlin of insecurity still manages to find its way through the holes.

It is much easier for me to be nice to others, to see their unique qualities and affirm their gifts. But I can never do that for myself. So the best remedy I have found is to distance myself from myself. “Be nice to Kellie” I say. And a weird wormhole opens.

It seems weird, but this practice of treating yourself like a friend gives you enough distance to see yourself from outside your insecure head. Amy Poehler describes a similar concept in her book Yes Please.
“Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do.” – Amy Poehler

If someone listed all the things I did in 2014 it would sound like a very adventurous and courageous person. I know because people have told me so. Watch:

I survived Chicago’s Polar Vortex, backpacked in Florida, graduated college, went to Disneyworld, spent a summer in New Mexico, visited four national parks, did three weeks of academic research in Sweden, got engaged in Norway, moved to Seattle, got three jobs, quit two, and read 30 books.

Even saying it to myself is hard to believe. Who is that person? In my mind, she is unafraid of challenges, an adventurous soul, thoughtful and ambitious. But if someone asked me to describe myself I would not use any of those words.

Brennan Manning wrote that “genuine self acceptance is not derived from the power of positive thinking, mind games, or pop psychology. It is an act of faith in the God of grace.”

Thankfully it is easier for me to believe in God’s grace than it is to believe in my worth. So I start with grace and work backwards. In the same way, it is easier for me to affirm others and have confidence in God’s love for them. So I pretend I’m a friend and again work backwards.

This post won’t be as long as I would like and I have already scolded myself for not doing it earlier. But if a friend of mine was attempting a 30 day writing challenge and posted something late, I would still tell her she was amazing for sticking with it and that she is a success no matter what.

So next time you are being overly critical of yourself, look to God or a friend first and remember that same love applies to you as well.

Do you have trouble being nice to yourself?
How do you deal with it?

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