Treat Yourself with Compassion
Change is tough. When women set goals that they don’t accomplish, they end up “beating themselves up.” They may be frustrated with different aspects of their life including their jobs, their parenting, and their relationships. As a result, they become self-critical. Women have higher standards for themselves and oftentimes evaluate unrealistically. They don't believe they work hard enough, and they constantly assess their performance and believe it wasn't good enough. This has many ramifications for their self-esteem, their performance and success.
The truth of the matter is that women need to be kinder and gentler to themselves. They need to practice more self-compassion. Whenever I meet a woman who is overly critical, I explain to her that her self-criticism makes it difficult for her to believe in herself and that her criticism makes it difficult to change.
You see one thing we know about change and success is that people are more likely to do better when they feel they are competent and capable to do so. This means that they have to look at what is going right in their life as opposed to what is not. They have to have a certain level of self-esteem before they can actualize their potential.
I know you may have learned the change really only occurs when you are “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” leaving you feeling fed up with a certain aspect of your life. But in reality, there has to be some sense of mastery and belief in yourself to make changes happen.
Good self-care means that you appreciate your strengths and build upon them to tweak whatever it is you believe needs to change.
I know many a client who has ruminated about how they looked or about how unhappy they were in a relationship and in actuality these feelings have immobilized them from creating a healthier life.
One of the first steps to change is accepting things exactly as they are.
As difficult as it may be, I encourage people to appreciate their life regardless of their circumstances.
· Are you 30 pounds overweight come? Can you still see those things that are beautiful about your body despite the fact that you 30 pounds overweight?
· Are you in an unhappy relationship? Can you still find positive things about the relationship to focus on while you decide what you're going to do in relationship?
· Do you hate your job and dream of finding a new one every single day? While you are in that job, it's important to focus on what you like so that you can enjoy what's in the present when you look at building a different future.
When you're able to create both of these realities at the same time you're much more likely to actualize your life and make it different. This means you are actually happier in the present time and are able to strategize how to fine-tune your situation so that you can accept the imperfect and embrace self-compassion. But this means that you stop being so hard on yourself and start noticing the positives that surround you regardless of your situation.
I would invite you for the next 30 days to spend at least five minutes every day focusing on something that you would like to change while remaining positive about your current status. That means noticing the inherent strengths in each situation with self-compassion. This will be the necessary ingredient to empower you to change!