Friday, January 17, 2014

Celebrate you

Are you one of those people who is hard on yourself? Who makes a small mistake and thinks she's a failure? Who doesn't stop to celebrate all the things you do right—and do well—in a given day but who obsesses on the one or two small things you wish you'd have done better?

Would you like to stop doing self-criticism and develop a bit of self-compassion? For some great information on self-compassion, I invite you to check out the website of Dr. Kristin Neff, a researcher who is doing lots of good work in that area. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others.

I also encourage you to try something to exercise your affirmation muscles and increase your self-compassion. At the end of each day, make it a point to write down (or just think about, although writing down is better because then you have a collection of positives you can actually see) one or two things you did that day about which you feel really good. Perhaps you made a wise decision about something that had been plaguing you. Or you did something you didn't think you could do. Or finished a project that was extremely difficult. Or perhaps you made it through a very difficult day. Stop and celebrate those things. Make note of them. Affirm yourself and pat yourself on the back. Contrary to what some of us learned in childhood, there really is nothing wrong with giving yourself a pat on the back!

Even though three compliments can easily get obscured by one small criticism, doing these affirmations and celebrations at the end of every day can, over time, help you see that you do things well. You are not a failure or a screw-up. There is much to celebrate. Self-compassion just makes sense!

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