Why is it so difficult to be kind to ourselves? Without a doubt we are our own worst critics. Sometimes our self-criticism can be found in a perfectionistic point of view or in the shoulds. “I should have done this or that” or maybe even in the “why did I do that?” Whether it is high or unreasonable expectations of ourselves or taking too much responsibility for our part in a situation. We ALL make mistakes, some of them are bigger than others. No matter the circumstance, we must have the capacity to learn and to change aspects of our life for which we are uncomfortable. Mistakes make us feel uncomfortable and sometimes worthless.
Whys? Could be asked as “how can I get through this difficult time?” Or “how can I learn and continue to grow through this period?” It is our assignment to keep a realistic perspective on our mistakes and take a non-judgmental approach. Oftentimes, the answer to the question, “how would your friends describe you?” is usually a positive answer. When mistakes are made shame or humiliation are generally our go to. Acknowledging our level of involvement and contribution or self-responsibility is very important and freeing and is a cornerstone to acceptance.
Acceptance is accepting others for all that they are and all that they are not. It is a way to grow closer to a person and take a non-judgmental attitude. Accepting others for both their strengths and weaknesses is the same compassion we need to show to ourselves. We are fully aware of our faults and shortcomings; our aptitudes and capabilities and it would benefit us both by self-worth and esteem to be kind to ourselves. Often, it is helpful to ask ourselves what would a close friend say to me about my current weakness? Often, friends offer hope, support and encouragement. Qualities of Acceptance can be care, concern, warmth, listening, courtesy, consistency, interest, and respect.
There are many obstacles to acceptance and barriers to self-acceptance. The effects of our thoughts, reactions, beliefs, and feelings and how they are demonstrated in our behavior are key to accepting the decisions we make for ourselves.
Self-compassion is not self-pity, complaining or entertaining misery. Try to go easy on yourself and have some compassion for what you have been through and recognize your accomplishments. We are all on this journey called life. We are all human beings and with some empathetic understanding we can be kinder to ourselves.
A challenge for you is to take a step back and ask yourself “am I being overly critical here?” or “how can I be more kind to myself and surround myself with more positive influences and less negative ones?” We all have the capacity to self-reflect, empower and make the necessary changes to improve our quality of life. If you find it difficult to find these qualities within yourself, call us and we will help you discover all the greatness within you to become the beacon of light you are meant to be.