I talked about this in my newsletter last month (you can sign up here if you’d like) but I think it’s super important so I’m sharing it on the blog, too… What am I talking about? Showing kindness, always – especially to yourself.
I believe that it’s the key to not only improving your health, happiness and mental wellbeing but also to producing work that you’re proud of and that actually has an impact. You can’t pour from an empty cup, people. Showing kindness is the norm when it comes to interacting with others but it’s something we often forget about when it comes to ourselves.
This year I’ve decided that one of my biggest goals is simply to be kinder to myself, as kind as I would be to a friend. It sounds so obvious but I’m literally blown away by how the simple practice of showing kindness has ended up affecting my overall mindset and outlook on life.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t realise just how easy I found talking to myself like utter crap. I was doing it so often on autopilot, it became the standard background noise of my mind.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and bet that at least a few of you feel the same way?
Here’s what to do about it.
I’ll hit a point in my day where some stress and negative self-talk might usually creep in, maybe the (almost always unrealistic) to-do list is nowhere near completed. (I mean, let’s be real… It never stops, as a freelancer, that to-do list is always rolling.) Whatever the catalyst is, I’ll catch the thought and immediately flip it into something more positive, for example;
‘It’s amazing that I’ve achieved x, y and z today – I did good.’
‘I’m ok, it’s ok, there’s no deadline for achieving my goals, everything will get done and I will get to where I want to be. Let’s try to enjoy the process.’
‘That’s ok, it didn’t go quite to plan, what can I do now to get myself back on track?’
Previously I would have driven myself mad and made myself feel like shit, wondering why I couldn’t manage x, y or z within some arbitrary timeframe. I would tell myself that all the other work was now pointless because I hadn’t done the one ‘really important’ thing *eye roll*. I’d be telling myself loud and clear that I had failed, berating myself so much that I felt stuck and unable to move forward. Stress and anxiety would roll over me, crushing in its weight, telling me once again, I just wasn’t good enough.
I can tell you right now…
Beating yourself up like this is 100% a massive waste of time and energy.
Getting annoyed that something hasn’t quite gone to plan, isn’t going to change the fact that it hasn’t gone to plan. How you move forwards and (important) how quickly you can move on and let go, makes all the difference.
It’s been proven time and time again that we get better results when approaching things with kindness. Beating ourselves around the head with a stick might work in the short term but ultimately it will leave us feeling exhausted and burnt out.
If any of this sounds even vaguely familiar, I’d highly recommend you have a little self-talk audit. Give yourself a break and try to support and encourage yourself in the same way that you would for someone you love.
It really, really works! I can only liken it to when you take that first big nourishing breath in meditation, you breathe out and some of the stress just melts away.
I’m talking about an immediate positive effect, instant results!
I can physically feel my body and mind relax and then I go on to make a better, more positive choice about how to move forward. Sometimes, that means I push on and make whatever I wanted to happen, happen. Other times it means that I shut the laptop, pour a glass of wine and start reading a book.
Either way, the same amount of work gets done (IF NOT MORE) and I feel about 200% happier and more at peace with myself.
So, next time you’re about to give yourself shit for something, instead of letting it consume you and ruin the moment/day/week etc, catch it, take a breath, flip it around and just see what happens. It’s absolute magic and I can guarantee you will feel better, happier, more productive and just generally more on top of your game.
As always, if you fancy a chat about any of the above (or about something else entirely) then you can reach me here or via the contact form! I love hearing from you!
In the meantime…
Be good to yourselves! You’re pretty awesome and I’m over here rooting for you as always.
Pin for later;