Hello, friends. I’m guessing that most of you, like me, try to be very kind toward others. You are generous, giving, and sensitive to the people you interact with. It is not something you have to work especially hard at. You just do it because it is who you are.
Why is it then that we are so hard on ourselves? Do we not deserve the same tenderness and understanding that we show others?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY. Then why is it so difficult?
When it comes to our expectations of ourselves, we tend to be more critical, less accepting, and even less forgiving. When you write it down in black and white like that, it seems a little foolish. However, it is something that is harder to change. Even when we realize how demanding we are of ourselves, it is difficult to transform our thinking and let it go.
This has been a struggle for me lately. I have not been as consistent at working out, and my house is even messier than normal (to be utterly honest, it looks like a tornado passed through, tossing paper, Amazon boxes, and dog hair everywhere). In addition to that, I have found it hard to write consistent blog posts lately.
And the more I struggle, the more I criticize myself. And, you guessed it, the more I criticize myself, the more I struggle. It can be a vicious cycle, and it takes work to get beyond it without just giving up.
Do you know the feeling?
While I hope you don’t, my gut tells me you have experienced this as well.
Well, my message to you today is this.
You would offer this to everyone else without a moment’s hesitation. So do the same for yourself.
Rather than criticizing yourself or getting down on yourself, take a deep breath. Ask yourself how you would react if your best friend had (or hadn’t) done whatever you feel bad about. Would you react as harshly? Or would you smile and tell them it’s not a big deal? We both know it would be the latter.
I know it is easier said than done. But I also believe you are worth it. And so am I.
We can choose to continue this same unhealthy pattern, or we can work to change it.
I encourage you to take a few minutes today to write down some positive affirmations. Then repeat them to yourself as often as possible. The more you hear them, the more likely you are to believe them and act accordingly.
• I am a generous and understanding person.
• I am kind, gentle, and forgiving.
• I can do anything if I allow myself enough time and practice.
• I am proud of myself when I am brave enough to try things without having to be perfect.
• I value mistakes because that is how I learn and grow.
• It is okay to take a break.
Use these or create your own list. But write them down, look at them, and repeat them…until you honestly believe them…not just in your heart, but in your actions as well.
I plan to do the same. Together, we can encourage each other to be positive and self-affirming. We can remind each other that we deserve to be treated with the same gentleness and respect we give others. We can forgive ourselves and move forward without beating ourselves up.
One of my favorite blogs, Whatever Bright Things, shared a printable last month that said “Live with your typos. We all get to be a little messy sometimes.” The author, Haley, is a perfectionist and had made a typo for all the world to see. Rather than berate herself for it, she embraced it and even wrote a post about it, encouraging others to accept their mistakes and realize its okay. I liked it so much that I printed it and pasted it in my journal. Now I just need to read it more often so it becomes an integral part of my thoughts and actions.
So, friends, take Haley’s advice. Live with your typos and imperfections. You don’t have to share them with the whole world, but you should forgive yourself. Accept them, brush them off, and then move on with your head held high.
If you want a daily reminder, you can click the link above to get Haley’s printable, or click below to download my printable. They’re free, so get them both!