I’m a hypocrite. Last week I bought an awesome necklace (see photo) that said in a bright, happy green color, “Be Kind to Yourself.” I bought it thinking, “Oh wow. This is so great. People really need to hear this. If I wear it maybe it will brighten someone’s day and remind them to be nicer to themselves!”
I then proceeded to walk out of the store, feeling good about myself, and completely oblivious to the fact that I was the one who really needed to hear it.
I am constantly telling people to not be so hard on themselves. Every time I work with a client, it is so easy for me to see the beauty in them and what they have to offer the world and how it can all work out for them. It’s also so easy for me to see how hard they can be on themselves, and how stuck in the weeds of negativity they often seem to be.
I am always telling them to be kinder to themselves. To give themselves permission to do what they truly want to do in life.
But then I turn around and beat the crap out of myself. “You need to lose weight. You need to make more money. You are not a good enough girlfriend, or daughter, or coach, or writer, or [insert role of choice here].” I would not be friends with someone who spoke to me like that. Why do I put up with it from myself?
This realization slapped me in the face, during a career intuitive coaching training I recently did (the same one that led me to watch Field of Dreams in my last post). We were assigned partners and took turns being the coach and being the client. During this process, it became abundantly clear that when the partner was coaching, they were super positive and supportive and gentle and kind. Then when the roles were reversed, and it became about their life, they seemed like a completely different human being. They were more negative, stressed, and stuck in the weeds of their day-to-day existence.
Sometimes it’s difficult for all of us to rise above our daily stresses and see the big picture. To see that all this nonsense we experience every day is just meant to challenge us and help us grow. The entire point is to rise above it and nurture our authentic selves and do what really makes us happy in life, despite all the crap we might see around us. Throughout this process, we need to treat ourselves the way we would treat a good friend.
Easier said than done. Turns out, I love helping clients see this perspective for their life, but ask me about my life and I can be Negative Nancy.
Being kind to other people is sometimes challenging. But, in my experience, it is WAY easier than being kind to ourselves. Why is that?
When we’re little, we are all taught the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.” Great advice indeed, but where’s the part about “Do unto yourself as you would want others to do unto you”?
Where’s the part about being kind to ourselves? Is that selfish? No way. On the contrary, it allows us to be functioning, happy adults that have full reserves of love to then share with others. Otherwise you have a world full of tired, miserable people slaving away to help others, but not doing a great job at it because they have nothing left to give.
First we need to be kind to ourselves and then the love spills over onto the other people in our lives. We can be kinder to others only if we are kinder to ourselves. Think about how much easier it is to be nicer, and more patient, and more helpful with our loved ones if we are in a good place and feeling good about ourselves.
Now I need to go back and listen to my own damn necklace (and my own damn blog)!!! ;) Then I’m going to try out mirror work (saying nice things to myself in the mirror). Feels silly at first, but actually really works. For inspiration, check out this adorable video of a little girl who understands what it means to be kind to herself!
What is one thing you can do to be a little (or a LOT) kinder to yourself today? I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Putting Away the Baseball Bat,
Tina Meyers is a Co-Active Coach, a Certified Career Intuitive Coach, an attorney by training, and a seeker of creativity, courage, bliss, and transformation in her own life and the lives of others.
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