If you’re anything like me, then you’ve spent years being the most critical person in your own life.
Friends and loved ones constantly encourage you to be “nicer” to yourself.
As if it’s that easy!
If you knew what “being nicer” meant, you’d be doing it already! After all, you’re probably a perfectionist too, so you’d certainly be doing the best job at being nicer if you knew how.
But many of us don’t know how to be nice to ourselves. We have no model for it.
We grow up with parents who are disappointed in their careers. Schools that encourage achievement and winning. Society that idolizes the rich and famous, regardless of the cost of getting there.
Nice becomes synonymous with lazy, unmotivated, selfish, delusional, and idealistic.
You can’t just take a break to care for yourself – there are milestones to achieve.
You can’t be happy because you feel like it – you’re not rich and pretty enough yet.
You definitely can’t feel good about yourself, because you are always falling behind the chosen ones.
Even if these thoughts seem ridiculous written out here, they are insidious as the subtle thoughts in your mind.
When that’s your daily internal discourse, it can feel impossible to add in bits of “nice” on the sides.
But you can do it.
Start by asking yourself in each moment, “how do I feel about that?” or “what do I want?”
You don’t have to take action or follow-through on what you uncover. Asking is enough.
Because the key to being nicer to yourself when you’re a chronic self-bully is recognizing that you have a self in the first place.
When you’ve spent decades changing and contorting yourself to meet the standards for love, approval, and affection that you’ve internalized, it’s hard to figure out who you are and what you want.
By asking in each moment – what do you think? how do you feel? what do you want? – you’re creating space for your own voice.
The more you ask, the stronger it’ll become.
Then over time, you’ll want to follow-through on the insights you get. You’ll want to choose your own subtle desires over what you think you should and have to do.
Then you’ll discover what it’s like to be kind to yourself. Because following your own desires is always the kindest choice.
But don’t pressure yourself to figure it all out today. Start small – how do you feel right now? what would be the most loving choice right now?
Then build from there.
p.s. There’s still time to join the FREE Mindful Month Challenge for May. Get the details and sign up here: https://www.freeandbraveacademy.com/p/mindful-month-challenge