I don’t know about you, but I tend to be very hard on myself.
I have these voices in my head that I can’t always drown out, and they make me feel insecure and unprepared for what is in front of me. I have learned a lot over the years, of course, and God has worked wonders in me. I know I will always be a work in progress and I have learned to embrace the fact that I will never be truly finished until I walk through the pearly gates. And I am ok with that.
Today we have a beautiful guest with us, showing us how to embrace who we are and how to love on ourselves a little bit more. I have been reading Kemi’s blog posts for a little while now and her voice has captivated me on more than a few occasions. She is powerful, and her words radiate a ” you can do it” attitude. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. I am so excited and thrilled to introduce Kemi of The Brazen Closet to you all!
4 WAYS TO BE KINDER TO YOURSELF
You know that voice in your head that always has something negative to say, it is time to tell it to be quiet.
Do you ever wonder why we tend to be nicer to perfect strangers but don’t give ourselves common courtesy?
We believe the tough love-no nonsense-hard on yourself- approach is the most effective way we get things done.
I agree that it works, but after a while it out lives its’ usefulness. We continue to do it out of habit, and a habit is never easy to break.
Our brains learn by creating neural pathways- the more you do something, the more in-grained it becomes and the harder it is to un-learn.
We perpetuate mental negativity and strengthen the neural pathways of tough love that kindness becomes external.
Can you imagine talking to a child or your child, or any one for that matter, the same way you talk to yourself?
I remember an incident some years ago at a staff meeting… I had a question I believed the answer would have benefited everyone and I was too scared to ask. The meeting ended with me not speaking up and out of nowhere a voice in my head said “you are such a disappointment”! I was physically and mentally taken aback by this. I didn’t think myself a negative self-talker till this point. In fact, I thought myself to be a very positive person. This incident made me very conscious of my thoughts after that and it was not pretty.
We are our own worst critics, we are quick down play our successes, our abilities and our dreams. We are quick to say “suck it up, butter-cup!”
Tough love may work to achieve the task at hand but just wreaks havoc on our psyche in the long run.
I think being kind to yourself works better. To reverse this behavior, we have to consciously replace this negative self-talk with positive talk, to strengthen the positive neural pathway.
It makes us a more pleasant person to be around instead of being a “negative-nelly”. Because before you know it, those thoughts become words.
We teach kids to be kind to one another, we are kind to our co-workers and strangers but do not treat ourselves with the same kindness.
4 WAYS TO BE KINDER TO YOURSELF:
1. Just breathe:
Take a step back and just try to relax. Taking a step back gives you some perspective. Try not to over-think or over-analyze it in the moment, it will probably only get worse. Take some time for yourself.
2. Embrace your humanity:
We are all human, nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. Try as we might for perfection, it can never be attained. We can only take it one step at a time and do our best in the moment.
3. Be conscious of your thoughts:
This makes you more aware of the things that go through your mind. With that you can deliberately replace those thoughts with positive ones. There is even scripture to back it up.
…whatever things are lovely…whatever things are excellent or
praiseworthy—think about such things…
…and the God of peace will be with you
4. Be your own cheerleader:
We all need encouragement when things are going great and especially when they aren’t going so well. We need to cheer ourselves on because no one knows what you are going through better than you.
It is not easy by any means, and I will say I am still a work in a progress. This conscious and continuous practice has made me acutely aware of the power of thoughts and the peace that comes when they are positive. It improves our outlook on life, it radiates to people around us and it just makes life a little easier one step at a time. This helps us to be kinder to ourselves and genuinely kinder to people around us. Genuine kindness starts with being kind to ourselves, it radiates to others and I believe will make our world a better place.
Kemi is an inspiration and style blogger at The Brazen Closet. She believes that everyone has a passion and the first step to achieving it is to step out in confidence. She wants to inspire your confidence one outfit at a time. The Brazen Closet is your online destination for style that makes a statement with a dose of inspiration. Join her on this journey to being bold and Brazen!