Naomi Osaka is practicing more positive self-talk.
The tennis champion posted a candid letter on social media, in which she reflected on the past year and her ongoing mental health journey. After expressing gratitude for the “completely unparalleled” support she receives from the people around her, Osaka revealed that it’s hard for her to process her accomplishments.
“Recently I’ve been asking myself why do I feel the way I do and I realize one of the reasons is because internally I think I’m never good enough,” she wrote. “I’ve never told myself that I’ve done a good job but I do know I constantly tell myself that I suck or I could do better.”
She continued, “I know in the past some people have called me humble but if I really consider it I think I’m extremely self deprecating. Every time a new opportunity arises my first thought is, ‘wow, why me?'”
Osaka then explained that she is going to be kinder to herself in the future, and she encouraged her followers to do the same.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m gonna try to celebrate myself and my accomplishments more, I think we all should. You got up in the morning and didn’t procrastinate on something? Champion. Figured something out at work that’s been bugging you for a while? Absolute legend,” she shared.
“Your life is your own and you shouldn’t value yourself on other people’s standards,” she added. “I know I give my heart to everything I can and if that’s not good enough for some then my apologies but I can’t burden myself with those expectations anymore.”
The 23-year-old concluded the message, “Seeing everything that’s going on in the world I feel like if I wake up in the morning that’s a win. That’s how I’m coming.”
Osaka also shared videos that she described as “some tennis memories over the past year that mean a lot to me.” They include a clip of her rehearsing how to carry the torch for the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony, as well as moments celebrating several wins and trophies.
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Osaka made a grand return to the US Open yesterday, winning her first match of the tournament against Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic. Osaka told People that she is trying to value her performance over winning this year.
“It may have to do with my mindset change [but] I didn’t feel pressure. I felt nerves because I wanted to perform well. In my mind, I told myself that if I performed well, then the outcome—even if I win or lose—should be okay,” she said.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.