By Life Coach, Robert Weil
If you are like many of my life coaching clients, perhaps you are a little hard on yourself. Perhaps you do not see yourself as great or as big as others see you or as great and big as you want to be. For many of us, we focus so much on what does not work about us or where we are not measuring up that it impairs our happiness, fulfillment and self-esteem. We tell ourselves things like we are not smart enough, pretty/handsome enough, charismatic enough, capable enough, etc. You probably have your own version of this.
Now, imagine if you had a friend and you spent time each day telling them the same things you tell yourself- for example Sally you really are not smart enough, or Jim, you just are not charismatic or fun enough, etc. Over time do you think this friend would like to be with you? Do you think this friend would feel good around you? I suspect the answer to both of these questions is NO. Well, that is essentially what we do to ourselves when we are so hard on ourselves. So, no wonder we don’t all feel fully self-confident, happy and free. Our best friend (ourselves) is cutting us down all the time, and the worst part if we are stuck with this friend!
So what now?
Two things I usually work on with my life coaching clients- first, on the negative stuff try to give yourself a break. Stop cutting yourself down, it is killing your spirit. This is easier said than done and I promise to write a future article about this topic, but please give it a try.
The second thing I tell my life coaching clients and the topic of this article is, start to acknowledge yourself. Start to counter-balance the negative talk with some positive talk. For many of us, this is difficult as we do not see what there is to acknowledge. Try to be open to finding what is great about you. Or find what you did or how you were in a situation that you can acknowledge yourself for. It can be as simple as acknowledging that you got to work on time today, that you shared your feelings with your spouse in an honest way, that you were generous with a friend, that you went to the gym even though you did not feel like it, that you did not eat that chocolate, or that you called your mom…or your cousin, friend, sister, etc. Maybe you even told your friend or sister why they are important to you, or maybe you just told them you loved them.
You can find things to acknowledge in 2 ways…firstly proactively do things that are consistent with your values and/or secondly find things you are already doing which are consistent with your values. So if you value spending time with your children and you made time for that today, take a minute and acknowledge yourself for that. I recommend to my life coaching clients that you contemplate this each day and come up with at least 1 thing every day to acknowledge yourself for. You deserve it, and it is hard for me to envision a path to happiness, confidence and fulfillment without this step. Without this step, you are just in a viscous cycle of never being enough, which is unlikely to ever leave you feeling great or getting what a wonderful human being you are.
Give it a try, and let me know how it goes!