Many people (maybe especially women) in this world are starving for their own attention and approval. They are telling their children that it’s important to take care of themselves but they forget that their children are seeing an example of a mother who does not do this. If you don’t take the time to eat well, take care of yourself emotionally and allow yourself to become who you were meant to be...then you are setting an example for your children of martyrdom and resentment. Ironically, however, when you do prioritize yourself--when you do make yourself number one--you find that you end up with much more to give.
When we see children make mistakes or accidents, we are quick to jump in and say “Hey, you’re human. It’s okay. I love you and we’ll figure this out.” When we make a mistake however, we are often quick to jump in and say: “You idiot! What were you thinking? You really screwed this up.” Have you ever considered whether or not you are good company for you to be with?
It can be very meaningful to practice the intention “I will talk to myself the same way I talk to people I love.”
The truth is you are both a piece of work and a work in progress :) When you make mistakes it’s important that you have a way of noticing yourself with curiosity and compassion rather than with judgement or shame. Watch yourself from the perspective of an outside observer. When you step back and look at yourself as though you were watching a TV show or a movie, you will see that there is a very good reason for everything you do.
Many people think that if they stop being hard on themselves they will become even more of a mess. They think that beating themselves up is somehow motivating them to do or be better. This is a lie. You will never hate yourself into doing better. You’ll never hate yourself into losing weight. Or making more money. Or being more patient with your kids. That is you against you so you can’t possibly win! You have to love yourself to get to any higher result you want and to make it a long term sustainable change.
Loving yourself does not mean you believe you are better than anyone else. We are all unique and having our own unique experiences, but we are all of exactly equal value and worth. It is not arrogant to appreciate yourself. You did not create you. We want to challenge you to make a list of 100 things that you appreciate about you. They can be big or small. Can you do it? If you get into the habit of paying attention to yourself and appreciating yourself, we promise you that you will create a more extraordinary and enjoyable life experience for yourself.
Another tool that has helped us get deliberate about self-compassion is the Self-Compassion Scale developed by Dr. Kristin Neff. It’s a short test that measures the elements of self-compassion (self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness) and the things that get in the way (self-judgement, isolation and over-identification). The scale helped us to realize that we do really well in terms of common humanity and mindfulness but that self-kindness needs our constant attention. You can find the Self Compassion test at http://self-compassion.org/test-how-self-compassionate-you-are/. Complete the test. What did you learn about yourself?
We’d love to hear what you learned on the team Facebook page. <3
As you learn to appreciate and love yourself, you will believe even more in your own potential--there is no telling what your future may hold.
Use our Dream Excuse Worksheet to brainstorm what you could be capable of and how you may be holding yourself back from even greater personal fulfillment.