Why the Difference?

One of the greatest things in life is the love and support of family and friends. Why do we treat our loved ones so much differently than we treat ourselves? We should make taking care of ourselves mentally and physically our utmost priority. We cannot give much of ourselves to this world if we are not whole.

Most of us are very hard on ourselves, I know that I am. I’m told this over and over again, yet I don’t see it myself.

Imagine that you made a mistake on a project that you are working on at your job. You might tell yourself “I can’t do anything right; I am such a failure.” Flip this situation around. A family member or friend is in the same situation, they just made a huge mistake on a project they were working on. What do you tell them? Would you tell them that they cannot do anything right and that they are a failure? Probably not. Instead, you might tell your friend that they did the best that they could do and that they are only human and it’s natural to make a mistake now and then.

You and your significant other just got into a fight and you start saying to yourself “I am never good at relationships,” you keep telling yourself “I am a terrible communicator.” What if a friend was going through this, what would you tell them? Maybe you would say that they should take some time for themselves to regroup and try to remedy the situation, maybe you would tell your friend that relationships aren’t easy, that constant effort is needed, and this doesn’t make them a bad person.

Do you see the differences in how people typically speak to themselves versus a loved one? One’s internal dialogue is so very important because we start to believe what we tell ourselves. Negative self-talk is very detrimental to us and those that we have a relationship with.

Why is it that we can so easily support the people that we love, but we cannot give that same grace and support to ourselves? Why is it that we can quickly build someone else up, while so easily tearing ourselves apart?

We are so hard on ourselves due to human nature; we know all of our faults and weaknesses and we tend to not have patience with ourselves. We also know about our pasts, and we carry parts of that with us. Whether we like to admit it or not, it does affect our confidence. We like to place other people on a pedestal, while we are the ones that are flawed as we strive to be perfect, something beyond human capability.

The next time that you are dealing with something in life, and you find that you are being hard on yourself remember to stop and ask yourself what you would tell a loved one that was in your exact situation. You give so much kindness, hope, and empathy to others, be kind to yourself…you deserve it.

Truly Love Yourself

I’ve always heard that you have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else. To be honest, I never really believed that until recently. I always thought that I have plenty of love to give, why couldn’t I possibly love someone completely without 100% loving myself first? I have started to realize why.

We are our own worst critics, possibly because we know ourselves as no one else does, also we know all of our faults and our past. I’m sure that many of you have been given a compliment from someone and you appreciated it so much, yet you didn’t believe it to be true. Maybe you were told that you are a good communicator, that you are attractive, smart, and funny. It was great to hear a sincere compliment from someone, but you didn’t feel it inside and that took some of the joy away from those wonderful words. We are putting distance between ourselves and those that we love when we don’t truly love and have confidence in ourselves.

The act of loving oneself is not saying that you love yourself and your qualities 100% of the time. We all have things that we do not like about ourselves, however, the art of loving yourself comes down to forgiving yourself, being at peace with your past, having confidence in who you are and what you stand for, and truly being able to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are proud and happy of who you have become.

When we love ourselves wholly, it opens up a brand new world for us to find, we are then able to sincerely love someone else as we can finally share pieces of ourselves that we may have hidden before accepting ourselves.
For those of you that love yourself unconditionally, I am very proud of you for reaching this level of confidence and peace. For those of you that have yet to reach this, I have faith that you will get there and I understand because I have been in your place, sometimes I still find myself there, but I can bring myself back.

The biggest step that I feel has been the most helpful in my life is negating every destructive thought with something positive, or at the very least, neutral. For example, if you are working on a challenging project at work and you are ready to give up, instead of telling yourself “I can’t do this, I am always a failure,” negate that thought to tell yourself that you acknowledge that the project is difficult, but you are trying your best and giving it your all. If you feel that you are not good at relationships you might feel that it’s all your fault and that no one loves you. Instead of this approach, negate that thought to tell yourself that you will work hard on communicating your feelings and that sometimes people are not always compatible.

Start working on all aspects of yourself until you are happy and can confidently say that you love yourself. Once you have mastered loving yourself, the whole world opens up to you and it is then that you will truly be ready to love someone else with your entire heart and soul. Get out a journal, or a piece of paper and write down all of the things that you love about yourself and the things that you are grateful for, you will find out what a mood booster this is!

Keeping Your Cup Full

Self-care is a word that we hear about often, yet something that many of us don’t remember to do as much as we should. We are so busy with life and we spend so much time taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves.

Life keeps us busy and we all have relationships and responsibilities that we must attend to and put energy towards. We may sometimes feel superhuman as we navigate daily challenges and tasks off of our to-do list. Often in the midst of things we forget that energy is not finite, it will run low if not preserved and boosted.

There are many ways and things that you can do to help with self-care, it all depends on what your likes and interests are. Self-care may be as simple as taking yourself out to dinner, getting a new haircut, getting a manicure/pedicure, gardening, cooking a good meal, playing sports, even choosing to stay in one evening to watch shows is self-care.

The importance of taking care of oneself is immense. Our minds and bodies are only capable of so much before we hit a slump, or even a breakdown, it’s very important to listen to your mind and body and to know when to slow down and take time for yourself. When you practice good self-care, you are physically and mentally at your best and you keep your cup full. It is only when you yourself are “full” that you are able to do your best in life and also give your best in life. We can’t possibly take care of others, or the demands of life without taking care of ourselves first! This is a reminder to do something that you love, something that makes you happy, something that helps you relax today!

The Use of Distraction

We have all been there, we’ve scrolled through social media, browsed through our phones for hours upon end, we’ve lost ourselves in a hobby, or binge watched shows and movies. Truth is, all of these things are fun and can be done for pure joy, but also these are ways of distracting ourselves from reality.

We are all human beings trying to live and navigate our way through life the best that we know how. Our journey isn’t an easy one as we make our way through life’s unexpected paths and roadblocks, trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now more than ever, we are living in very tough times which doesn’t help our already complicated lives.

For anyone who has studied Psychology, you may have learned that there are different coping mechanisms that individuals use for processing a stressful emotion or life event. Distraction is a type of coping mechanism, it allows you to step back from life, to zone out and “forget” reality for a bit. It’s fun to get lost in a show, or book about someone else’s life. Distraction is a great way to minimize anxiety and to take a break from life in order to come back more refreshed. On the flip side, if we spend too much time distracting ourselves from reality, this is a negative thing as we are not facing our issues in order to move forward, so a good balance is key.

The next time that you are feeling a strong emotion, or going through a tough spot in life, try a little distraction to distance yourself from what you are feeling and dealing with and see where that takes you.

A Message

Life will take you down many different paths. Things will be thrown at you that make you question yourself and the world and people around you, but make a promise to yourself that you will always strive every day to make life exactly the way you want it to be. Go through the motions of life and know that you are exactly where you need to be at this time.