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Day 3: Try a little (self) kindness.

I'm glad you're still with me!  Welcome to Day 3!

I hope you’ve started to make some small shifts that I know will have a profound impact on your overall happiness.

What I would like you to consider today is how you generally speak to yourself when things aren’t going well.  Let me hit you with a few examples:

  • You’re late or unprepared for a meeting
  • Your kid is having a major meltdown in public
  • You said or did something you wish you hadn’t

These things happen to all of us, and it's not fun when they do.

But it's what happens inside your mind that I’m most interested in. How do you talk to yourself? Let me guess....

“I am such an idiot!"
"Why can’t I just get it together?"
"I just know what those people must be thinking/saying about me”

For some reason, we let our inner critic get away with speaking to us in a way that we would never dream of speaking to another person. And here's the thing..

You know what? It's pretty hard to be happy when someone is being mean to you all the time!

Today's lesson is about self-compassion.

Pro -Tip! Harsh self-criticism doesn't motivate you to make positive changes.

Self-kindness on the other hand is like a warm hug from a friend, telling you it's ok, everyone messes up and it's not the end of the world.  We need to be vigilant about protecting ourselves from that nasty inner voice because it's always there to remind us of how we're not measuring up.

Measuring up to what, though?   What level of ultimate perfection would you need to achieve to finally believe you are enough? This is especially a problem for we women-folk who are trying to be the super-mum, career woman, clean-eating, meditating yogi who always looks perfect and has clean floors. Am I right?

But male or female - we all fall into the trap of self-criticism.

Self-compassion involves THREE components

(as identified by Kristin Neff, a psychologist who has studied it deeply):

Mindfulness: Being aware that it's happening at the moment it's happening.

Self-kindness, as opposed to self-judgment.

Common humanity: The understanding that we all struggle rather than feeling like you are the only one messing things up while everyone is is sailing through life.

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Today, I'd invite you to reflect on the areas in your life where you notice your inner critic has the loudest voice.

Where is your inner critic at work?

In your parenting?

When you look in the mirror?

Are you always comparing yourself to others and coming up short?

And now try showing yourself a little more kindness.

Use gentle words with yourself, just as you would with a friend who is having a hard time. Ease up on the criticism and ask yourself if being bullied or shamed ever motivated you to do better. Minimise feelings of isolation by reminding yourself that we are all very much in this together. We are all just doing the best we can and sometimes 'good enough' really is GOOD ENOUGH!

Track your progress
Tick each step as you complete it:

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