“It’s important that you aren’t so hard on yourself.”
Speak to yourself the way you would speak to your friends and family
In hard moments, take a step out of your mind for a moment, and speak to yourself the way you would speak to your best friend. Would you approach them with judgment, irritation, or harsh criticism? Or would you give them honesty with kindness and compassion? It is important that we recognize our responsibility to be a friend to ourselves as much as we would be a friend to others.
Reframe “mistake” as “learning lesson”
I have found that when I look at a misstep as a mistake, I have a tendency to be even harder on myself. When I instead choose to look at that misstep as a lesson to be learned from, not only am I less likely to be self-critical, but I am also more inclined to grow from that moment, and to not repeat it.
Take the compliment
Many of us have a tendency to shy away from a compliment. We brush it off without embracing it, thinking that we either don’t deserve it, or that it will make us arrogant to accept. These days, when someone gives me a compliment, I am working on hearing it, pausing to accept it, embracing it, and simply saying thank you.
Give yourself the compliment
Own when you have earned it. If you do a good job on a project, at school, at making a dish, or doing something as simple as taking out the garbage, pat yourself on the back and give yourself the “good job” you deserve – it is completely okay to do this.
Throw judgment out the window
In the Heartfulness practice, we often talk about attitudes that are poison to our spiritual growth, such as prejudice. Judgment, whether is toward ourselves or toward others, is a poison to our growth. The more we foster it, the harder it becomes to learn and move forward.
Create self-compassion practices
Are there practices that help you feel more grounded in yourself ? For me, those practices include meditation, writing in a diary, going for a walk to think, and singing. When I need additional affirmation, I often write positive words on Post-It notes and stick them around my room. All of these practices help me feel closer to myself, and help to heal those moments of self-doubt or self-criticism. Find a few practices that help you to feel closer to yourself, and allow those practices to center you during difficult moments.
Have vulnerable conversations
Over the years, I have found that having conversations with friends and family who are experiencing similar feelings is a helpful way to clear out self-doubt and self-criticism. It can be hard to open up and be honest with people about insecurities, negative thoughts, or feelings, but by treating this like a practice, the easier it becomes, and the more we find healing by relating to other people.
Push yourself in healthy ways
Something I am trying to do is not to let tough moments derail me – be it a mistake or moments of insecurity. Instead, own it and push forward. In the past, if I would goof up at work, I would immediately start the process of self-deprecation, which would cause a lot of anxiety and find me repeating my mistakes. It has taken practice and intentional work to arrive at a place where I can own a mistake, be gentle with myself about it, and immediately figure out a solution so I can actually learn from the past and not repeat it.
Make space for gratitude
The best way to combat the negative is with the positive. In the last couple of years, I have tried to find different moments to acknowledge gratitude, whether that is in a diary, on pieces of papers, or in words shared with the people I care about. While it can be easy to wallow in the bad, it is healthier for our mind, body, and soul to focus on what is positive.
Much of this is easier said than done. All of us have our own unique journey to take on the path to self-compassion and inner security. As individual as our paths are, there is one thing all of us have in common: We all have the ability to create color in our lives. We just have to make the choice to do so.
Article By MAMATA VENKAT
Illustrations by ANANYA PATEL
April 01, 2021
April 01, 2021
April 01, 2021