You could do with being kinder to yourself. It’s hard for us to understand this, and unfortunately, many of us are our own worse critics. Why is that? Surely if we can be kind to others we should also be kind to ourselves.
Statistics show that people are more likely to give a full course of medication to their pets than they are to complete one themselves. Why is this? It’s because it’s easier to see the benefit of looking after others over our own self-care. Of course, that’s talking in broad strokes and it’s not the rule, but the truth is that most of us are more than happy to help others, but only less inclined to help ourselves when we need it.
So, let me repeat – you could do with being kinder to yourself. In fact, you owe yourself that. So, how can we make this a reality, and not just a platitude? Moreover, how can we exercise this without tyrannizing ourselves in the process? Those are good questions. Let’s try to answer them:
You’re A Good Person
You’re a good person. You likely don’t think that because you likely know all of your faults. You know times you were not truthful, or times you acted out of jealously or bitterness, times you lost your temper too quickly, or even times you wilfully felt antagonistic towards someone else.
The thing is – it’s possible to be a good person despite all of that. You’re likely a much better person than you think you are. In fact, if you don’t think this way, odds are you won’t act like it. If you’re convinced you’re just utterly terrible and irredeemable, what’s the point in striving to be good? Even long-abandoned and recklessly hostile stray cats, worn and torn by life, can find themselves in a happy and loving family unit if only given the right treatment and kindness to nurse them back to health.
As other people have so much to deal with in their lives, and have their own internal worlds to caretake, we cannot expect people to ‘save us’ or expect them to show that kind of love. However, you can certainly grant yourself that same comfort. Why not? What’s stopping you? Might it be that the next time you think ‘I look awful’ when staring into a mirror, you counter that by saying ‘wait, do I actually? I’ve made a nice effort today, my clothes are well-placed and comfortable, and I look friendly and approachable!’ You have the choice to change how you speak to yourself if you wish to take it.
Also remember – kindness isn’t delusion. In fact, you can only be kind when you choose to act kindly despite the harsh realities of the world. Just as you love your children or relatives, warts and all. Extend the same courtesy to yourself, because you’re likely a good person at heart.
Sugar, Not The Stick
It’s important to consider that you might have more to offer to the world than you currently provide. Instead of worrying about perfection, it’s important to understand that you can provide great value even in your imperfect state. This means that in order to move forward, you need to discipline yourself to celebrate the journey.
This is where using the sugar method, and not the stick can be helpful. Perhaps you could reward yourself if you complete your goals in a given time frame. Maybe you feel terrible today, but going for that morning walk is something to celebrate. When you even make incremental progress towards the person you want to be, that’s a great time to think of yourself as someone who can perform, who can move forward, and who understands how to manage themselves. Remember, discipline isn’t necessarily forcing yourself to do something. It’s knowing how you operate, and ensuring that you take care of your current goals. That’s a great way to begin (and end up flourishing).
Your emotional health is also essential to consider. Mental and emotional health are interlinked, and often an instability of one can lead to an instability of the other. But how can you force yourself to be ‘stable’? Well, like we have said, that’s going about the problem all wrong.
Could it be that little techniques can help you move forward? Perhaps you make a joke at a party and it doesn’t land. Does that mean you’re an awful person with terrible jokes? Or does it just mean that the joke didn’t land? Thinking things through rationally can help you avoid emotional reactions. Sometimes, products offered by Penguin CBD can help you with that short-term anxiety relief that might help you fair better in these situations. Emotional health matters and it can often be improved by getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and engaging with the world instead of running from it.
Emotional health can also mean speaking to a therapist for the first time, and investing in yourself through coaching. It may sometimes mean exercising tough love with yourself if giving up a habit or practice harmful to you – and searching for the right support. When you’re kinder to yourself, practical measures come to mind, and this helps you grow. With that approach, you’re more likely to come to a worthwhile end result.