Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Why do we treat ourselves with judgment, and engage in negative self-talk?

We can be our own worst critic.

What would our lives be like if everything we said to ourselves came from a place of love and compassion, and not judgment? Would we feel better each day?

As we work to become kinder and more loving and compassionate toward others, we must learn to do this for ourselves. We should really be learning this first! We deserve nothing less than our own kindness, compassion and love. We are so kind and compassionate with all those in our lives — friends, partners, children, even strangers!

Why is it so hard for us to actually offer this compassion to ourselves? We deserve this first and foremost.

On the hamster wheel of life, sometimes we forget to stop and think. We forget to think about what we are feeling and how what we are going through might affect our thoughts. Often times, we rush to solutions in situations, while at the same time, we are judging ourselves or feeling bad. But what if we don’t rush, and instead, we sit with the moment and the feelings that come with that, and actually allow them to flow? This is giving ourselves a gift – the gift of acceptance, love, and compassion. When we allow ourselves to feel the actual feeling of the moment without judgment or negative self-talk, we not only are being more compassionate but also accepting ourselves as we are in each moment.

Life is filled with hurdles, stepping stones, sad moments, and disappointments. How we move forward in light of them is the key ingredient.

In my opinion, accepting ourselves as we are is critical. Acceptance and authenticity help us to bring love and compassion to ourselves and therefore to others as well. We are all human, and we ALL deserve this. Self-acceptance means accepting all of you – knowing that none of us are perfect and the imperfections are lovable and part of us. There is no such thing as perfect.

What would it look like if you loved yourself more, brought more acceptance to your everyday life, and created more opportunities to turn judgment and negative self-talk around, reframing it either as a learning opportunity or as a positive thing? How do you think this would make you feel?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Hug yourself every day.
  2. Talk a walk in nature, slowing your life down just a little bit. As you walk, appreciate everything around you.
  3. Dress in whatever feels good.
  4. Sit and mindfully enjoy a cup of coffee or tea without feeling pressure to do anything.
  5. Dance while you make dinner, enjoying the moment.
  6. Do one thing that usually makes you uncomfortable and try to appreciate it, and embrace the discomfort it brings. This is part of life, right?
  7. Look at yourself in the mirror and say a few positive things each and every day.
  8. Do one thing that energizes you each day.
  9. Find the good in something that does not feel good and journal it.
  10. Reframe your negative self-talk.

We find it so easy to give compliments, forgive people for their mistakes, and see the positive in things that happen to others. This means we have it in us to give that same gift to ourselves. While it may be harder to do, knowing we have the capacity to love ourselves the way we love others is empowering.

I invite you to challenge yourself — pick a few things from the above list that speaks to you, and commit to doing them every day for two weeks. You will be surprised at how quickly your outlook on yourself changes. Don’t be surprised if you see an improvement in your relations with others, too!

Listen in to my Conscious Parents, Thriving Kids podcast episode on the MIND and how we set it:

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