We are all so hard on ourselves. We expect to be perfect at everything we do, and we compare ourselves to the social media images we see from our friends. Do we really know what is going on in their lives? No, we are sitting at home with stress from school, work, family and finances and we think that we must be doing something wrong because “everyone” else is out there ziplining, partying with friends and basically having a carefree time. What arises in all of us at these moments is self-judgment. Why are we finding life so hard? There must be something wrong with me. This negative self-talk can be so damaging to our sense of self and the way we interact in the world.
It is so important to recognize these thoughts and feelings and turn inward with some well-deserved self-compassion. I find it very easy to judge myself about whether I am a “good enough friend, daughter, and mother. I try to think of what I would say to a friend who is going through the exact situation I am going through. It is so much easier to be compassionate towards others than it is to ourselves. There are many mantras that we can use as a reminder to be kind. You might try saying these things to yourself while you’re brushing your teeth in the morning, or as you go to sleep at night.
- May I love myself just as I am.
- May I treat myself with kindness.
- I am human and I am enough.
Our lives can really be thrown off balance if we believe the negative things we constantly say to and about ourselves. It can lead to issues in our relationships with family, friends and coworkers and it can certainly affect the relationship we have with ourselves. Positive self-talk, or using statements of fact, can be a very good way to cope with self-criticism. Telling yourself things like:
- I am doing the best that I can at the moment.
- I am not my thoughts.
- I do not need to be perfect to be worthy of love can help to combat the negative thoughts or feelings that are at the forefront of your mind.
While it is so easy to fall into the pattern of believing our negative thoughts, it is worth practicing self-compassion. You are worth the effort!