Many of us with busy lives, especially those trying to run their own business, run on chaos. And let’s face it, by doing so, each of us is making an unconscious choice to continue this cycle which will eventually lead to burn out and failure.
When you pause to think about it, it’s a destructive way to treat yourself. It’s mean, unfair and disrespectful to think negatively or critically about yourself, or to choose behaviors that sabotage your life and career.
It’s easy to write it off when you mess up and overlook your self-talk…but it all adds up to your limiting beliefs and your sub-par results.
How Should You Treat Yourself?
Imagine looking the person you care about the most directly in the eye and saying or doing to them what you do to yourself. It can be anyone – a friend, a relative, a lover, a famous person, a fictional character, as long as it’s the person you hold in highest regard. The person you hope will or could be with you forever.
How does that thought make you feel? For most of you, it should make you squirm with discomfort because that isn’t how you want to treat the people you love.
So, why are you not seeing yourself as one of those all-important people? It’s easier to beat yourself up and continue thoughtlessly in that rut instead of looking at yourself and taking yourself to task, compassionately and accountably.
Imagine, you and the person you love the most are both taking an important test, and you both fail it, what would you tell yourself? You might call yourself stupid, say you should have tried harder, say you feel like a failure. But could you say it to them? Would they deserve it?
What would you tell them? Could you look them in the eye and tell them they deserve to feel stupid? That they’re right for feeling like a failure? Could you tell them that they should punish themselves because their best wasn’t good enough?
No! You’d tell them they’ll do better next time. You’d offer to be a study-buddy and support each other to prepare. You’d tell them they are smart, and creative and beautiful and that you know they have it in them to succeed.
Oh, how things would change if you talked to yourself like that when your performance didn’t measure up!
This applies to any situation. Any time you set an expectation for yourself, any time you criticize yourself, any time you feel as though you’ve made a mistake, before you say it to yourself, mentally say it to them.
You are the only person who will be with you for the rest of your life. You are the only person who will be there for you in every single moment. You are the most important person in your entire life. So treat yourself like it.
It’s time to treat yourself like you would treat that person, a person you love the most.
This simple advice will change your life AND your results.
The Lies of Guilt & Selfishness
I used to be so embarrassed to love myself. Complimenting myself felt so cheesy, fake, and selfish, until I realized that I’m just an average person. I should not be expected to be anything else. Neither should you.
We’re all just a bunch of humans walking around trying to get loved. Here’s a modification of the famous Golden Rule…Treat yourself the way you would treat others and expect YOURSELF and other people to treat you like you would treat them.
It’s not silly to love yourself. You should not hold yourself to unachievable standards just because you think you should be better. You are just a person, and you are the most important person you will ever know.
How to Love Yourself
Learning to love oneself is not a phrase or something you try to remember to do when in a tough spot. It’s a habit, a practice to be cultivated and followed day in and day out. Practice in front of the mirror. Recruit a friend to call you out on your negative self-talk. Journal about one great thing you accomplished each day.
If this sounds difficult, try gamifying it. Create a score card to break down a situation and grade each achievement or project for special categories. That way you have parts of it that you can celebrate and parts you can improve.
Example: if you waited until the last minute to complete an assignment, you got it done on time, but your boss wasn’t impressed with the result. Your evaluation categories could be:
Grade My Performance
|Effort||A||(worked hard and managed distractions well)|
|Creativity||B||(not the most creative I could have gotten, but pretty good)|
|Hit the Target||F||(if I would have started earlier, I could have shown my boss an early draft and she would have told me it was not what she was looking for)|
It’s a nice way to show self-love, manage expectations, and open your eyes to things that need to be improved.
If you want to talk about your business challenges and how you are driving yourself, you can click this link to see my calendar and choose a time that works best for you.
I’m an organizational development psychologist and an executive coach and helping others to create healthy change personally and inside businesses is part of my life’s purpose.