11 September 2010
BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER
There is no one that is tougher on me, than me. I sometimes wonder why that is? No matter how well things are going in my life and how well I am doing, I always seem to be able to find something that is not good enough. Why is it that I am so good at cheering on other people, and encouraging them to focus on the things that are great about them, yet I cannot seem to share the same positivity for myself?
If I were to trace it back through childhood, I could find many reasons for why I have ended up the way I am. While I can recognise this, I am not placing blame or holding resentment. Resentment eats away at you and the only person that it causes damage to is yourself. It is a pointless waste of energy. If you feel like you are holding on to resentment towards anyone the most important thing you can do is heal that and let it go. Forgive that person and stop carrying around the past with you every day. When I was able to forgive my mother our relationship completely transformed.
So, what do you do if you are in a situation like me. I may have resolved some of the issues that created my problem, but how do I now heal the effects that still tend to linger in my life. The paralysis that self-criticism creates in my life is sometimes unbearable. I can sometimes focus so strongly on the things that are wrong that it completely shuts me down. I lose motivation to achieve, I give up on my goals and everything feels pointless.
I recently began thinking about the idea of becoming my own cheerleader and learning how to support myself rather than continually tearing me down. At the end of the day self-criticism, like resentment, is a complete waste of your precious energy. It does not serve you in any way, it definitely does not make you feel good and it also completely disconnects you from who you truly are. Continuing to beat up on yourself is going to change anything, so instead perhaps it is better to take a more positive approach.
For those of you out there who like to indulge in victim thinking (and I am at times one of them) you may not like this positive approach. On some level I am sure self-criticism can be self serving as it keeps you safe in your comfort zone without any need to have to put the effort in to change. But if you, like me, are tired of being your own emotional punching bag, here are some tips to turn yourself from a self-critical tyrant to a self-loving cheerleader....
Tell yourself when you do something well, just like you would to someone else. Sometimes if we have not learnt how to praise ourself as a child, we may not know how to do it as an adult either! Sing your praises whether you do something perfectly or not.
Stop comparing yourself to others
You are on your own journey. Remain focused on where you are going and what you want. Sometimes we can sway from our path when we become too influenced by how someone else is doing something. True self empowerment comes from listening to your own inner guidance and living out your own unique journey
I often become self critical when I am wanting something to happen faster than it is. If I am not getting the results I want, I may blame myself or tell myself it is because I am lazy or unproductive. Trust that everything is unfolding at the time that it should and relax and be patient as your dreams blossom in to realities
Use positive self talk
Be kind and gentle on yourself. Speak to yourself in empowering and loving ways. Remind yourself that you are doing the best that you can in this moment and kick that nasty critical voice to the curb
Recognise the baby steps
Even if you only make small improvements or take one tiny step closer to where you want to be, it is still progress. Don't wait until you acheive your end result to sing your successes, make sure you do it along the whole journey too
Stay in the present
We sometimes become critical when we bring up stories from the past of previous failure or when we think about the future and feel like we will never get where we want to be. Remember to come back in to the present moment. Take a moment to take a deep breath and bring your awareness back in to your body. Place your feet firmly on the floor and ground yourself in to this present moment. Right here and right now, all is well
Keep track of your achievements
I started giving myself stickers to keep track of my achievements. I would place them in my diary so that I could quickly scan over my week and see what I had achieved. I gave myself stickers for the times that I exercised, went to yoga, made a green juice, wrote on my blog, meditated etc.. It was a huge confidence booster for me when I looked over my week and it was filled with colourful stars.
Celebrate your success
When I was receiving life coaching, my coach would ask me at the end of a successful session - so how are you going to celebrate this? When you do something well or achieve something new it is important to celebrate it. Find out what works for you, but for me it was as simple as doing a little happy dance around my room. Not only did it really lock in that good feeling, but it also made me laugh