Our inner critic takes up a lot of space in our busy minds. If we spoke to our friends as harshly as we speak to ourselves, we would likely be pretty lonely.
It’s amazing how hard we women can be on ourselves. Always a little voice saying “I’m not good enough” or “I’m so fat, I can’t stand how I look”, or, “I’m not smart enough to get a better job” or; any of the other endless possibilities of unkind slogans that go round and round in our heads that keep us in a cycle of unhappiness.
So how did we become so critical of ourselves? Well, that’s multi-layed for each of us, but what most of us have in common are the messages that our culture and society have given us.
We try to measure up to standards created by other’s and taught to us at a young age. How sad that “Loving Yourself 101″ is not the first classroom experience for each child. Instead, we learned that how we look and what grade we achieve are the measurements of our self-worth. Well perhaps we won’t change the systems that are in place around us, but we can change our thoughts and learn how to love ourselves every day.
So how do you begin to learn how to love yourself unconditionally, non-judgmentally and with kindness?”
For starters, begin noticing when you are not treating yourself well. Pay attention to those moments of self-criticism and begin a practice of speaking to yourself as though you were talking to your very best friend.
What would you say to your friend when she is being hard on herself? What would you say if she was exhausted and needed to rest but kept going anyway? Perhaps you might invite her to rest, to take care of herself and remind her that it’s ok to take a break?
I imagine whatever you would say to your friend, you would likely be kind, patient and understanding towards her. So the good news? You already know how to treat someone well. Now all you have to do is transfer that knowing and kindness towards yourself. With time, you may even become your own best friend.
Janice Borghoff is a Certified Meditation and Stress Management Consultant and Founder of A Peaceful Woman ~ Find Your Inner Calm
A Peaceful Woman is a counseling and education service for women helping them to improve the quality of their lives by growing self-compassion, reducing anxiety, stress and grief using natural, alternative and integrative approaches.
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