What does your inner voice tell you? Is the voice kind and encouraging or critical and harsh, or maybe somewhere in between? When you make a mistake or face a tough challenge what do you tell yourself? We often do not realise how we treat ourselves through self-criticism. Many of us are acting as our own harshest critic rather than our own personal cheerleader
Self-criticism can be viewed as being motivating, a way to push us into action. According to Kristen Neff, PhD studies show that self-criticism can contribute towards low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. In modern western society, we are often encouraged to think of being self-deprecating as a positive attribute which is preferred to being over confident, boastful or arrogant. I believe that showing yourself compassion breeds confidence, combats fear and anxiety and helps you face challenges.
We all deserve kindness.
I believe it is easier to face challenges when we are cheering ourselves on. There is nothing wrong with a bit of motivation, but how we motivate ourselves and what we tell ourselves is important. We often face challenges with a black and white outlook; the things we do are either good or bad, right or wrong, we pass or we fail. This outlook is pretty unrealistic and unachievable and it adds to the criticism we give ourselves. This is not motivating it is spirit crushing.
Imagine facing doing something you dread, for me, it would be anything involving public speaking. If I stand in front of the people that I want to talk to while telling myself that "I can do this" and that "I am going to do the best I can" then I think giving that presentation is going to be much easier than if I am telling myself "you’re going to mess this up" and "you are rubbish at public speaking”
A difficult situation feels easier to handle if you encourage and support yourself through it.[caption id="attachment_683" align="aligncenter" width="4500"] pexels.com[/caption]
How to show yourself more compassion
Think of how it would feel to face life’s challenges with an encouraging inner voice rather than a critical one. Imagine the potential. What could you do if you were supporting and reassuring yourself along the way?