If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is this: being gentle with myself is a mandatory, daily practice. Failing a test in school, not being picked for a team project at work or failing to pass an exam that would qualify us in our career – these are examples of mistakes that can rouse up a host of negative statements about ourselves, to ourselves.
Because each of us are human in our existence. We are prone to making mistakes. Errors, poor decisions, bad acts, lapses in judgment – these blunders can lead to us to critically judge ourselves. However, mistakes can be a great way to learn new things about ourselves.
Instead of being stuck in a rut, beating ourselves up for past mistakes, why not think more positively about being redirected? It is possible the mistake occurred, the oversight happened because we are not supposed to be here, but over there.
Beating yourself up
You suck. You are a failure. You are never going to win. You are always doing something wrong. These types of thoughts keep us unhappy, sad, miserable and on a path that does not spell H-O-P-E. It is as if we wake up with a bat in our right hand and all that hand can do is respond to a thought with a huge WACK over the head. OUCH!
This is an ideal way to waste time, lower our self-esteem and solidify our seat in the stadium of losers. (It is where 90% of the population lives.)
If you are tired of beating yourself up with negative thoughts and imaginary sporting equipment, consider the following:
I know who I am. I think the prerequisite of self-care is knowledge of the self. Recognizing what I am capable of, whether those acts are good, bad or indifferent, is one way to get to know who I am. So, if I can gently know myself, being kind to me when I succeed and fail, then I can run farther on life’s journey with a smile on my face.
In other words, I tried that, it wasn’t a good fit, I can move onto the next task and see if it is a better fit.
You are good enough
No matter what I attempt to do, I am good enough. I am no less than the next person. I have the same blood running through my veins as they do. I am not better than anyone else – each person has their own unique set of talents and gifts. Plus, there are some things I can do and ideas I have that no one else thought of near me. I’m good enough.
I matter. My space on the planet is for a particular reason. I made it to earth to complete a particular assignment. So what if it takes me a few years to figure out exactly where I fit – I might as well enjoy the ride because, “I matter!”
How to be gentle with yourself
- Forgive yourself for past mistakes. The word mistake begins with a prefix that means ill or sick. Since most sick people don’t hold themselves hostage for being ill, it is a great idea for us to forgive ourselves for being ill.
- Practice patience. Giving ourselves time to continue learning and growing is a wise decision to gift ourselves.
- Acknowledge mistakes are life-learning process. From birth to the borders of the grave, we have a chance to learn, grow and become. What better vehicle for learning than a few, good old-fashioned mistakes.
- Relax. Inhale/exhale. Inhale positivity, exhale negativity surrounding the mistakes. Breath in wholeness, exhale despair.
- Move forward. Forget those things which are behind. It’s over now. Let the past be the past and move forward while looking forward.