Much to my surprise, it only dawned on me relatively recently how hard I am on myself and unfortunately the reality only really struck home when I realised that I was being way too hard on someone else.

Mid-rant to this person I genuinely care for I suddenly realised that a very harsh, inner critic had somehow raised its ugly head and I didn’t particularly care for that voice.

This voice was an expert at pointing out all the mistakes and errors and flaws and it sounded very familiar. It was a voice I had heard again and again in my own head over the years and quite frankly it wasn’t very nice or very helpful.

I would take a guess that many people can relate to this loud inner critic. It’s the one that tells you that you you’re not quite good enough; that you haven’t quite achieved enough; that you not quite loveable enough or some variation on this theme. You know the one I’m talking about.

It is the judge and the jury and it doesn’t hold back when passing a sentence. What it doesn’t do, however, is show any compassion… any kindness… any consideration…any love.

 

“Your judgement of others often reflects how you judge yourself.”

 

The truth is in this situation that the best thing you can really do to help others (and most importantly to help yourself) is to cut yourself some slack and show some genuine understanding.

Nobody is perfect – nor were we ever supposed to be. We all have flaws and make mistakes. It’s those little imperfections and idiosyncrasies that make us the perfectly, imperfect people we are truly are… And oh how boring the world would be if that wasn’t the case!

You may be thinking I’ve heard this all before, but how do I do it? The good news is – you have already begun. Simply by reading this will allow you to pause and re-examine your paradigm about self-compassion versus self-criticism. So why don’t you decide now to show up in a different way next time you feel the need to don your judge’s wig?

Rather than launching into full attack mode. Why not pause, take stock and offer some words of wisdom. Some words of kindness. Some words of compassion. After all, we are all a work in progress. I read the following quote this week from Hollie Holden which made me smile…

“Do your best to be a loving presence in the world. Accept that in some moments you will manage it and in others you will fail miserably. And remember that the key is to be kind to yourself as you dance between the two.”

When you love yourself unconditionally in this way you are sending out a very important message to the world and most importantly to yourself. The message that you deserve to be treated with all the kindness, consideration and compassion that you wish to extend to others in your life that you love and of course the person you should love the most in the world is you!

 

Exercise

Ask yourself the next time your inner critic gets really loud – would I talk to a loved one or my best friend in this way? If the answer is no – then make a pact that you won’t continue to talk to yourself that way either…

 

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