Be kind to yourself

flowers - being kind to yourselfHow kind are you to yourself?

I bet you are kind to others. But what about yourself?

Do you speak kindly to others, yet beat yourself up on a daily basis for things you’ve done or not done?

Isn’t that peculiar? We tend to be compassionate to other people, yet, when it comes to ourselves, we have double standards. We are self-critical and unforgiving about the tiniest transgression.

We can be generous, warm-hearted and forgiving to others, yet relentless and cruel to ourselves.

Just think about it. Would you even contemplate saying half the things to other people that you say to yourself?

If you are like many of the people I work with, chances are you would not.

And what about if you did? What if you gave perhaps your own children the same messages, repeatedly, that you tell yourself every day?

Can you imagine what would happen to them?

My guess is (and this is scientifically backed up), your children would soon begin to believe the cruel things you’d tell them.  Even if this was far from the truth.

They’d start to believe that they were stupid, fat, wrong, fearful, and simply a failure.

Then over time, their confidence would seep away.  They’d start to prove they were exactly the failures you’d set them up to be.  This would set up a vicious circle. They’d spiral down both mentally and physically. They would, in fact, become the very worst of what you’d told them they were.

This is what you do to yourself.

Hmmmm. Is that what you want?

And what’s the impact on yourself?

Instead, what would happen if, from today, you didn’t allow any further self-criticism?

This doesn’t mean you’d ‘get away’ with shoddy work, unkind behaviour or making mistakes. You’d simply give yourself the same compassion over it that you’d offer your best friend.

You’d learn from your mistakes and then move on, kindly letting the past go, and setting yourself up for greater success in the future.

How does that sound?

And how close is that to what you do for others already?

What will be possible for you, when you are kind and compassionate to yourself?

In fact, how much more compassion will you have for others, if you are compassionate to yourself?

You cannot pour from an empty cup.

Fill yours to the brim.

Then who knows how much easier, simpler, kinder and happier your life will feel.

Let me know how you get on!

2 Responses to Be kind to yourself

  1. Chris Gray July 19, 2019 at 4:19 pm #

    This is so true, Liz. You have put into words something that I regularly feel. It’s good to know that perhaps this is more common than I thought! I have always struggled with “letting the past go”. One of the things I am going to try is to view each memory (of failure or mistake) that keeps popping up in my mind as being like a burden that’s on my back like a very heavy rucksack; then to picture myself taking it off, setting it down and walking away from it. It is interesting that we remember failure (which we beat ourselves up about) so much more readily than success. Thanks again.

  2. Elizabeth Juffs July 22, 2019 at 7:42 am #

    So glad this resonated for you, Chris. And, yes, it is so common – but that neither makes it right or helpful.
    Great idea about the rucksack…imagine walking through life without that on your back!
    I have an article around letting go which I’ll send to you. In fact, maybe my next article will be based on that ie how to let go and move on.

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