Kindness series 4/5: On being kind to yourself
How do you celebrate success? Do you even celebrate when you have done well in something that you care about? Or will you downplay it and swiftly move on to other topics in your life? I ask this because I have found myself often in situations where I would do well in an area of my life but would not acknowledge the good job I had done - even when others told me that I had done well!
The problem with this approach was that I could never associate a moment of full joy with any of my accomplishments. If I had shown more self-kindness in those moments of achievement then I would have directly fuelled my self-belief and overall well-being. There have been countless studies on well-being that support the fact that self-compassion positively affects our emotional resilience, connection with others and overall satisfaction in life.
Nowadays, I actively take time to reflect on the good things that have happened to me, I meditate regularly and try to update my gratitude journal as much as possible. Simple activities like the above help you put things into perspective and celebrate the little wins that are so important for us to acknowledge and draw upon when things get rough.
Another crucial part of mental well-being is how you deal with your inner critic and how you give yourself credit when things don't go to plan. Treating yourself with kindness when things go wrong is imperative for a healthy relationship with yourself and your sustained mental well-being.
Rather than putting yourself down for the mistakes you have made, look at it as a learning opportunity: "OK, shit happened, it could have gone better. What can I learn from this experience that will help me prevent this from happening again the next time?"
By re-framing the event you are giving yourself slack and appreciate that we are human and therefore error-prone. But not only that, you are also focussing on the future rather than dwelling on the past. By intentionally looking at your mistake as a learning opportunity you are preparing yourself for future scenarios where you will be able to respond better than you did previously.
How will you turn up for yourself this year by showing more kindness towards your mistakes and successes?