So, I’m guess we all share the same problem – that is the loud voice inside your head that tells you mean things, has a harsh tone of voice, criticizes you and treats you worse than your own worst enemy.
Can you relate? Do you know what I’m talking about?
Yup -it’s that darned inner critic who can hold us back from our own best self.
And do you know what the worst part is about that inner critic?? Is that we actually tend to believe all the things that it says! We believe the criticisms…why would we do that??
Well partly it’s because we have a negativity bias, and our brains are designed to focus on the negative. Partly it’s because we are not good with self-compassion (yet!). And partly because it’s habit.
It’s time to change that habit!! It’s time to stop listening to the inner critic, tell it to shut up and stop bullying you, and start treating yourself with the love, honor, respect and kindness that you deserve.
We talk a lot in our culture about how to treat others with kindness, but how’s about starting with ourselves!
So, here are some tips for developing self-compassion:
- Take a compassionate break – literally pause on what is stressful, say out loud, “this is really hard right now.”
- Come back to your breath – intentionally take 5 mindful breaths in and 5 mindful exhales. Visualize what it is that you are letting go of.
- Embody a compassionate posture – put your hands over your heart and breathe into that sensation. “You’ve got this!!” tell yourself as you embrace your heart. Or wrap your arms around yourself in a big hug. Comfort yourself like you would a child.
- Observe what is arising – rather than just be quick to believe the negative, just observe and label it. This helps to slow our reactivity to it.
- Give yourself a break – know when it is time to keep pushing ahead and when it’s time to pause.
I want to help you quiet that loud voice in your head and embody a softer tone and intention. If you wouldn’t speak out loud to another person that way, don’t do it yourself.
How different would it feel if that voice was kinder, more compassionate and focused more on your effort than on the outcome? You would feel so much better. And you can! The time to start is now…