The Art Of Practicing Kindness To Ourselves

practicing kindness

It’s easy to feed our minds with negativity and criticism. Fear is one of the most common emotions that we like to dwell upon and escalate. Most of the time, we are likely to bring out the best in us. Always trying to be the perfect person, either in the office or at home. We may also be successful in achieving that standard that we’ve set for ourselves. But we are humans, sometimes we falter. And then everything can come crashing down. Out of the hundred times that we feel we produce the best results, the one time where we don’t perform up to the mark sends us on a downward spiral. We’re quick to talk ourselves down and sometimes even punish ourselves for the failure. It may not be a big problem and solutions could be sought to make them right, but still, we’re not kind to ourselves. Why don’t we talk in a nice way to ourselves? Why don’t we give those pep talks, which we readily give others when they’re feeling down? Should we be practicing kindness, first to ourselves?

It is quite difficult to be the best and always reaching set goals. Sometimes, not being able to reach the level of perfection, makes us our own worst critics. We tend to get anxious and angry for not being the best, and often believe that criticism can improve us the next time. We also compare the better performances by our peers, taking the opportunity to disregard our hard work and effort that was put behind a task, which due to unforeseen circumstances, may not have yielded those ideal results. We forget to be compassionate to ourselves. Science has inferred from several types of research, that self-compassion, actually helps people to adapt better to any failures.

Kindness can be used in conjunction with compassion. So the first thing we need to keep in mind is understanding the need to be kind to ourselves. Understand that talking bad or thinking that our strengths and our competency has been compromised will have a boomerang effect. Instead of improving the mindset, it might just make us demoralized.

Tips for “self pep talk” or self-motivation

Firstly, we need to realize that criticizing ourselves does more bad than good. We need to accept our pitfalls and understand that we are bound to make mistakes and slip up at a few things. We must feel the same emotion of empathy to ourselves, which we have for our peers when they are going through a rough patch. Talking about what went wrong, acknowledging our weaknesses, and formulating pragmatic solutions, instead of getting frustrated. There may be instances where our love for perfectionism holds the upper hand, but we must see the broader picture. That perfectionism is not always the best. Having a disciplined, logical, and practical outlook can lead to incredibly positive outcomes. We should accept that bringing the notches slightly down wouldn’t hurt in the long run.

Secondly, we must have healthy relationships with our colleagues at work, family, and most importantly with our inner self. We should have someone to depend on when we’re feeling low or finding it difficult to tackle a situation. There may be several occasions where we will require external help, and that’s where the support system comes in. This is also a form of practicing kindness to oneself. Trying to feel better by talking about our emotions to someone we trust. These kinds of relationships help to set the pace for a great office culture.

Thirdly, we should be aware of our self-negating habits. It could be a variety of things for different people. For some, it could be getting stressed and finally experiencing burnout. For others it could be getting angry, leading to arguments, and causing rifts between colleagues or family. Once we recognize the pattern, we would have the experience of how we had confronted the situation and that our attitude during those periods actually made matters worse. We can turn things around by working through these negative habits, thus cementing the idea that by showing kindness towards ourselves, we can avoid these circumstances.

Practicing Kindness

Finally, we need to appreciate that working on pep talks and energetic self-motivational speeches alone wouldn’t do the trick. To truly establish a healthy relationship with ourselves, we must give ample time to ourselves to refresh with a good plan, work on other complementary skills, and then try for a positive outcome.