Are you too hard on yourself? Of course, you want to be your best, but if you’re like many of my students, you don’t give yourself the kindness and understanding that you would give to a friend – or even a stranger. Life’s about learning and growing, determining your soul’s mission, and in some small way, leaving the world better than you found it. But along the way there will be challenges and missteps. It’s okay to say the wrong thing or make a mistake – everyone does. But when you dwell on regrets, they tend to magnify.
I always say that words and thoughts are things, and you attract what you focus on. So it makes sense that spending too much time re-living a mistake can have exactly the opposite effect you’re looking for. My advice? When you’re about to be critical of something you said or did, think of what you’d say if you were advising someone else. Chances are you’d be a lot more positive and encouraging with another person than you would with yourself.
Not sure what I mean? Try this little exercise and imagine how you would respond to a friend who shared the following with you:
“I’m feeling stressed out and exhausted by the pandemic, and everything going on in the world. Sometimes I’m barely able to get out of bed!”
“I was so impatient with my partner/child today. I snapped at them for no reason, and now I’m feeling guilty about it.”
“I thought I’d be so much further along in my career now than I am, I feel like a failure.”
“My mother was right when she said I should have settled for my high school boyfriend. I guess I blew my chance of having a serious relationship.”
“I really hate my job, but I’m afraid to take a chance on starting my own business.”
“I shouldn’t have eaten that! I’ll never lose weight.”
I know you! You’re a sensitive person, and a good friend, and I’ll bet you would have responded in an encouraging way to help a friend experiencing any of these dilemmas.
You probably would have reminded your friend that one bad day or poor food choice or impatient moment doesn’t define them. You would have advised them to give themselves a break, and try again tomorrow. You would have encouraged them to pursue their dreams, and to have faith in their talents and abilities.
But what if it was you facing these challenges? I hope this exercise showed you how you could give yourself the benefit of the doubt. One wrong move doesn’t mean you’re permanently doomed, or off track – when the fact is, you can learn a lot from getting lost or taking a detour.
Consider exactly the words you would use to be supportive of a friend. Now, I’m challenging you to be equally kind to yourself. When you cheer yourself on when you fall, you’ll find yourself quickly getting back on track and stronger for it.
Yes, you can be your own best friend if you’re mindful of the messages you send yourself.
I’m starting up another session of my Spiritual Life Coach Certification Course, and I can’t wait to help you on your journey to live your best life – and maybe even start a fulfilling career helping others to live theirs. If you had a chance to check out my three-part video series, you’ve already taken the first step toward living a soul-based life. If you missed the videos, don’t worry, you can still access all three here.