3 Steps to Master Self-Love

Self-love, or compassion, involves treating yourself kindly, especially in the face of setbacks and disappointments. Learn to say to yourself: “This is really difficult right now. How can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”

Self-compassion involves self-kindness through recognizing  that all human beings are imperfect and make mistakes. Don’t scold yourself in a way that you would never do to another human being!

The following are three ways to help you begin to shift from self-criticism to the practice self-compassion.

1.  Start to pay attention to your inner-dialogue.

The first step in any behavioral change is to develop an awareness of the behavior itself. Begin paying attention to the things that you frequently say to yourself. Write them down for greater clarity.

Choose  a time during the week when you experienced a strong emotion. Write down the specific thoughts you were having. What were your judgements about yourself?

2.  Practice  speaking kindly to yourself.

People will  say things to themselves that they would never say to someone they love. Practice speaking kindly and gently to yourself, especially during times of stress or when you have made a mistake. If you are struggling to be kind, try looking at a photo of yourself  as a child. Try to think about how you would respond to a child or loved one who was struggling or having a difficult time.

3.   Create a list of ways for you to self-care.

Learn relaxation strategies. Schedule self-care into your calendar. “What would feel nourishing or calming to me in this moment?”.

 

 

How To Overcome Our “Not Good Enough” Voice

Instead of going down the beaten path of self-blame and self-punishment for not being “good enough”, we can rewire our brains to think and behave differently.

The theme of unworthiness shows up in all areas in life. As kids, we proudly show off our high marks and perfect behaviors knowing they will earn us praises and approval from adults, and as adults, we constantly judge and punish ourselves for our lack of wealth, success, relationships and others’ good opinions of us. In my healing and coaching practice, the most common story that is told over and over is the one of “I’m not good enough.”

That was the story of my life as well, for over 3 decades. Having grown up in an Asian culture in the 80’s where being an overachiever was encouraged, the accepted, even celebrated method to motivate children was to subject them to harsh criticism and belittling (ie. “who do you think you are”, “you are nothing until you prove your worth so you can be something”, etc.) As a result, I not only internalized the disempowering belief that “I am not good enough” but I also made sure it dominated and manifested in every area of my life — without fail.

As powerful as any belief can be, it is only a belief, and we can choose to liberate ourselves from it – simply because it isn’t who we are.

If you are constantly battling with a similar story, I invite you to read and practice the following steps to take your power back from that self-limiting belief.

Signs, Signs Everywhere

For many, the first sign might be a negative feeling. These feelings are intelligent communications from our bodies to indicate to us whether a belief is in or out of alignment with who we are. How we feel at any moment is filtered by our thoughts and our thoughts derive from our existing beliefs. When our beliefs are no longer serving us, our feelings – being the language of the soul in a very literal fashion will give us a little (or large) kick to raise an alert. When I am in a coaching session, whenever a story comes up that is out of alignment, I always ask my clients how the belief makes them feel. The answer is always along the line of “it makes me feel crappy.”

The signs can range from physical ailments such as lack of energy or tension in various parts of the body to mental and emotional symptoms such as procrastination, depression and anxiety; or they can be a combination of conditions from all levels including feeling a tight knot of anxiety in the stomach that is often accompanied by digestive issues.

Our beliefs also have clever ways to disguise themselves as positive, socially approved motivations and behaviors.

Perfectionism is one of them. For the longest time I unconsciously chose to tell the story of “I am a perfectionist” which allowed me to get away from the harsh voice of “I am not good enough.” After I ruthlessly put myself down for every little perceived failure, I finally realized my perfectionism was only a sugar coated version of “I suck.”

Another common disguise is altruism, or people pleasing behavior. We convince ourselves it is noble of us to place others’ needs before ours as well as compromise our own happiness because it earns us praises such as compassionate, kind and selfless. Some of us have the tendency to give ourselves up or lose ourselves completely in relationships. Our society has a very powerful reinforcement system when it comes to encouraging selfless behavior without addressing the fundamental notion that our first relationship is always the relationship with ourselves. Without loving, cherishing and respecting ourselves, there is no relationship with others. When we do not know how to value ourselves and make the highest choices for ourselves, how can we honor others as loving, deserving and worthy?

There is certainly nothing wrong with giving our best in circumstances and relationships. However, it is helpful to always do a little honest self-inquiry and ask ourselves how each decision makes us feel. And if it does not feel uplifting, what belief is underneath that decision?

When we practice consciously acknowledging our old patterns every time by listening to what our bodies are trying to tell us, we are stepping out of the unconscious and reactive way of living so we can compose a response that allows us to freely create based on who we want to be rather than recreate past scenarios of who we were told to be.

Instead of going down that old beaten path that leads to nothing but a stinking swamp, aka the self-blame and self-punishment for not being worthy, we can choose again and create a new path. The more we can catch ourselves on auto pilot, the more we can rewire our brains to think and behave differently.

Decisions, Decisions

Edited for emphasis

Read more here: Self Criticism? How to Overcome Your Inner “I’m Not Good Enough” Voice

Freedom is One Question Away…

If it’s true that the brain creates 3 thousand thoughts per minute, doesn’t it make sense that many of them aren’t even true?

Write one down. Take a break. Come back to it later and ask yourself, “Is it true?” Wait for the answer.

You may break out into a Big Smile… you might even laugh.

Experience the instant freedom!

Here are some examples:

* She’s hates me, so I must be a bad person.*

She hates me.

Is it true?

No. She seems upset, but it’s unlikely that she hates me.

I’m a bad person.

Is it true?

No. I have a lot of great qualities. I’m not perfect though. I’m ok with that, so, no. I am not a bad person”.

* I can’t get through this — this is killing me *

This is killing me.

Is it true?

It’s not true – this is uncomfortable but I won’t die.

Do You suffer from Decision-Fatigue?

Worth Reading from Off the Web!

Decision-fatigue refers to the fact that our ability to make decisions throughout the day diminishes without proper recharging. 

When asking life’s biggest questions, we are often overwhelmed by smaller decisions and things that might not have registered on our radar in the past. Or conversely, we’re so bogged down by small day-to-day decisions that we don’t have the space to ask bigger questions about what we really want and what next steps would resonate most.

To refresh your mind, I recommend:

  • Don’t ask the same giant questions every day (ie: Should I quit my job?). Give yourself a period of time where you don’t have to decide at all, perhaps while you’re researching options. Revisit the decision at specific intervals of your choosing, but not on a daily monkey-mind basis.
  • Schedule as many daily routines as possible. Like morning routines, scheduling exercise for the same recurring days/times, evening wind down rituals. What recharges you? The more you can create routines around these things, the less you will find yourself debating what to do throughout the day (gobbling up precious mental bandwidth).
  • Write your questions down.
  • Go with your gut! We actually do know the answer to more than we think – on decisions large and small. If you find yourself debating unproductively, ask: what does my gut say?

originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Answer by Jenny Blake, Author of PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One

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