Have you ever noticed how addicted we are to complaining and hating ourselves? I’m super guilty of this myself.

The next time you get together with a group of friends, or your family, or your colleagues, take note of how we speak about our lives and ourselves.

Someone’s going to complain about their hair, someone else how fat their thighs are. For someone else it’s going to be how crappy her husband treats her, and for someone else it’s just life in general – she couldn’t get a good parking spot, her mother is needy and controlling, her boss is awful to her, everything she owns is falling apart or broken, she never has any money…

We listen, we lament, we nod our heads in solidarity, and we repeat.

What happens when someone in that group obviously has something to be grateful for? What about their fantastic new haircut? Or the fact that they’ve lost 15 pounds over the last four weeks because they’ve been hitting the gym and working with a nutritionist and they look and feel amazing? Go ahead and compliment that person and see what happens.

You’ll likely be met with, “Oh, thanks, I probably won’t be able to get it to look this good again,” or, “Yeah, so far so good, let’s see if I can keep it off this time.”

Somehow we’ve learned that being confident, proud of ourselves, or even just happy is something to be ashamed of. We can’t even enjoy our own unique beauty and bodies because if we do, we’re not humble enough and that makes us awful human beings.

Think I’m being dramatic?

There are billion dollar industries counting on the fact that we will continue to dislike ourselves.

Pay attention to where our thoughts and our money go just as it relates to our appearance alone. We buy a crap ton of cosmetics (that industry alone is worth $445B), clothes, shoes and accessories to make ourselves feel better, all with the reassurance that we won’t.

Wait, what?

The very companies marketing the solution to helping you “feel better” are reinforcing how old, plain, boring, and fat you are. And they need you to stay old, plain, boring, and fat so that you’ll keep coming back to them for a cure.

What’s more is that we’re helping them do it. We’ve somehow learned that if we don’t self deprecate all the time we’re not humble enough.

What happens when that rogue, brave soul declares that she’s comfortable in her own skin? That she loves her life? That she loves her size and she’s embraced her curves? That she likes those things that are “flawed” like a gap in her teeth or a mole or freckles or unruly hair?

One of two things: we either look at that woman with awe like she’s some kind of unicorn, or we instantly try to shame her out of her confidence because, “Wow, who does she think she is?”. Sometimes we do it low-key, like, “Well, I like how she’s embraced herself, but I just don’t see how Ruby can be so confident about her size, I mean she’s probably going to get diabetes…”.

Has anyone else had enough yet?

It’s time to stop buying in to the idea that hating ourselves is somehow making us humble. We can figure out a way to accept a sincere compliment. We can figure out how to appreciate ourselves more. We can begin to look at our lives with a sense of gratitude.

We can lose our lack mentality. We can stop being jealous of what our friends have or achieve and be happy for them. We can stop deciding that we’re not enough, that we are undeserving, and that we’re never going to measure up. We can stop with the false humility because we’re so afraid our successes or happiness might make someone else feel bad.

How would your life change if you started to let a little self-love into every day? How would the lives of the people you care about change? What kind of example or role model might you be? What kinds of goals or dreams might you begin to realize?

Start to practice a little self-love; you’re better for the world this way.