Treating Yourself with Kindness (because you deserve it)
Have you ever noticed that when you tell yourself you're not good enough, you don't pay much attention, you may not even notice? If someone else spoke to you in the same way, you would possibly feel as if you'd been slapped in the face.
How many times a day do you think you metaphorically slap yourself? Once, twice, hundreds?
Unsure? Let's take a moment for reflection on today, did you believe that: You didn't do something well enough? Let someone down? Would be better off if you were prettier/more fashionable? Weren't worthy of a friendship or relationship that you're in?
Each of those, my dear, are slaps. Ouch.
Each and every one of those seemingly fair or reasonable thoughts would be considered totally bitchy if you heard them said to your friend. How is it that we come to justify these constant put downs and judgments on ourselves, when we wouldn't dream of saying such things to a friend?
When will you ever be good enough? Perhaps, when your hair grows past your shoulders? When you can afford to wear designer clothes EVERY day? When someone else finally recognises your magnificence and tells you so, every day? When you get a raise?
Imagine how tired and worn down you would become if someone else harassed you with insulting lines all day? This may or may not come as a surprise, but it's pretty damned tiring doing this to yourself. Do you wonder why you feel so tired and so worn down sometimes? It might be this internal chatter and judgment...
So, what's the answer to calming the inner critic? There's good news and bad news sista. It's not going be easy to get a handle on your inner critic. The good news is, it's simple. You might have heard of a thing called mindfulness- a modern day buzzword amongst psychologists, counsellors and yogis, to name a few. What does it have to do with exhausting yourself silly with nasty pastie words?
Mindfulness of our mental activity means developing the ability to notice when we are having thoughts. It's a bit like playing the card game snap at first, trying to catch thoughts before they slip away, undetected. When you 'see' a thought such as 'my hair is a mess today' you Snap it...uh, I mean, observe. The intention is to observe the thought and instead of believing it or pursuing it with further hair/insult related thoughts, you simply witness it. You might even like to name it for what it is, ie. 'that's a critical thought'. Then, imagine your mind is like a stream, the stream flows well beyond your own head. Imagine placing the thought on a leaf, on the stream, and watch it float away.
I dare you to give this mindfulness approach a whirl- you can try it on any and all thoughts. This is a great exercise to take a few minutes out of your day.. The brain is just like a muscle- the more we use it for certain applications the stronger it gets. You've possibly been berating yourself for a very long time, the mind has become good at it. It will take time and practice to create new neural pathways, commit to the practice and reap your rewards.
If you'd like to check out some Mindfulness Resources, I recommend the following: