My hope for you in 2016 is that you create a lifelong practice of self-kindness and acceptance. Instead of being your toughest critic, learn to accept your weaknesses, honor your strengths, and have greater compassion for your own “humanness.”
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line.” ~ Lucille Ball
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection.” ~ Buddha
“Think highly of yourself because the world takes you at your own estimate.” ~ Unknown
Quiet Your Inner Critic
For many of us, self-kindness can be hard to come by. On a good day, you might give yourself credit for a job well done, but on a bad day — make the smallest mistake and you’re likely to beat yourself up far more than deserved.
It’s easy to be your own harshest critic — judgmental, unforgiving, and cruel in ways you’d never treat your friends, family, or even strangers. You may tell yourself it’s motivational but if you wouldn’t think the same things about a loved one — don’t do it to yourself. The next time you leap into unkind self-thoughts, pause and shift them to something kinder and more supportive.
Fortunately, self-acceptance can be nurtured to generate feelings of worth and accomplishment. Start by investing in your self-development. When you cultivate your “best self,” knowing you’re doing (and being) your very best, confidence and self-acceptance come more easily.
Self-acceptance is a form of self-love. It’s about recognizing your current goodness and forgiving yourself for past failures. Acknowledge you aren’t perfect (no one is) AND that you have the potential and capability to grow, prosper, and overcome any challenges that come your way.
Learn to focus more on the positives than negatives. Don’t ignore your flaws, but view them as opportunities for learning, healing, and growth. Start by making a list of your strengths, such as: “I’m kind, I’m a quick learner, I have a good sense of humor, I’m friendly, and I’m good with numbers.” Keep your list visible throughout your day to remind yourself of your talents and skills.
Tips for Practicing Self-Kindness & Acceptance
- Forgive yourself. Instead of beating yourself up when you’ve made mistake or disappointed yourself, adopt an attitude of “self-pardon.” Step back and look impartially at the situation, then focus your attention on how you can improve your skills and cultivate wisdom for next time.
- Refuse to compare. Few things invite self-criticism more than comparison. Learn to acknowledge others’ beauty, talent, and experiences without envy or resentment. Just because someone may be better at something than you does not devalue your own skills or worth. And remember — being different is a gift!
- Adopt a self-kindness mantra. When struggling with unkind thoughts about yourself, repeat a positive mantra. Choose statements to remind you of your own beauty, value, and worth, like: “I can do this.” “I am competent, capable and confident.” “I have what it takes. “ “I accept myself as I am.”
- Surround yourself with good people. Reach out to family and friends who energize and encourage you. Do your best to avoid people who are critical and keep you from seeing and being your best self.
Focus on the Future …
At Leap Forward Coaching we have a process to help you practice self-kindness and acceptance. Our thoughtful methods help you cultivate self-worth and self-love for your most joyful, fulfilled, and successful life.