The power of kindness to yourself can transform your life.
If you are overweight and unattractive, then you should lose weight.
Your job is not enough.
Everyone must be thinking that you are so [boring/unattractive/slow/silly] …
Would these words ever speak to someone you care about and love? Imagine talking to your child, your best friend or your parent this way. But if you listen to your inner voice, the voice of your internal narrative, would you be surprised at how often you criticize and harshly critique yourself?
People can be very harsh and critical of themselves. This is often a natural tendency, and they don’t have to think about it. It is often a result of a culture that encourages self-deprecating and modesty. Others may find it a way to motivate and improve their performance. Numerous studies have shown that tough love is less effective than more compassionate and gentle forms of motivation.
This is because the way we talk to ourselves can often be the foundation of our beliefs about ourselves. Because these words form the basis for our beliefs in life, we need to be careful about how we speak to ourselves. These beliefs then influence our behavior and interact with the outside world. Suppose I tell myself that you are not good enough or a failure. I will eventually believe this, which could impact my life. So, for example, I might not apply for a promotion in my workplace because I don’t believe I’m good enough. Or I might not go on that date because “I’m not good enough” for the person I am about to meet. The language we use to talk to ourselves is important because it influences our self-perception.
People are often afraid to be kind to themselves, believing it means giving up on themselves and accepting the world. This is far from reality. Sometimes, being kind to yourself means prioritizing our long-term goals over short-term pleasure. It is easy to imagine yourself as a parent of a child. You would not allow your child to succumb to their every impulse. Would they be happy to skip school one day because they don’t feel like it or eat biscuits and snacks on TV when tired? Because you love them, it’s unlikely. Being kind to yourself means being gentle and compassionate and encouraging self-improvement. This means thinking about the long-term as well as the short-term.
If you could tune in to your inner voice, what would it say to you? Is it kind and compassionate? Or harsh and critical? Being kind and compassionate to yourself can make a huge difference in your life.
It is a good question to ask yourself: Do you want to be your worst enemy or best friend and cheerleader in life? It is not good to be so harsh and mean about yourself. It doesn’t mean you should be harsh or mean to yourself. It means you can coach yourself and cheer yourself on to reach your goals in a kind, motivating, compassionate, and inspiring way.