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!
Kiara CatanzaroOctober 5, 2016 at 7:29 am
This is such a wonderful post! I believe being kind to ourselves is something we all tend to struggle with from time to time. The tips you left are wonderful, and I’m sure this will help SO many people!
KemiOctober 5, 2016 at 11:38 am
Thank you so much Kiara!
StephOctober 5, 2016 at 7:49 am
I definitely need to work on being my own cheerleader. Great reminders!
KateOctober 5, 2016 at 8:25 am
Thank you so much for sharing this! I have let my self-care slip away in the last few weeks, and these are great reminders as I refocus. “And the God of peace will be with you” is so incredibly comforting. Keeping that in mind is a beautiful way to start the day.
KemiOctober 6, 2016 at 5:57 pm
Thank you Kate, we need that comfort!!! 🙂
AmberOctober 5, 2016 at 8:49 am
I absolutely loved this!! As someone who is very hard on themselves, this was a great reminder. Definitely saving this post to read again.
KemiOctober 5, 2016 at 11:39 am
Thank you so much Amber, so happy this has helped you 🙂
Lecy | A Simpler GraceOctober 5, 2016 at 10:33 am
This is wonderful advice! It’s so easy to be nasty to ourselves and I need to practice some of these tips!
KemiOctober 5, 2016 at 11:40 am
So true Lecy! Thank you for taking time to comment!
Erin | A Welder's WifeOctober 5, 2016 at 11:28 am
Love love love! This is something I need reminded of daily, and I think many do. One thing I am working on with my thoughts is finding my trigger. I want to know why I feel this way, and if it is my fault, I change it. Thank you so much for this post!
KemiOctober 5, 2016 at 12:31 pm
Exactly this Erin!! Thank you! 🙂
StephanieOctober 5, 2016 at 11:30 am
This is such a powerful thing to remember. It’s easy to be our ‘own worst enemy’ and over analyse/scrutinise everything. Love these tips. I’m definitely going to have to implement them when I find myself being too hard on myself.
KemiOctober 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm
Yes it is Stephanie! So easy to over analyse everything! Thank you for your comment!
Ashley FrelighOctober 5, 2016 at 2:04 pm
Thank you for this!
I love embracing your humanity. It’s important at home and at work to know it’s okay to make a mistake.
BrittanyOctober 5, 2016 at 2:22 pm
I really do try to do these things–I don’t like to be hard on myself because I know how hard I’ve worked to achieve something. Great tips!
KemiOctober 12, 2016 at 9:53 pm
Exactly!! we know how hard we’ve worked!! Thank you Brittany
VaishnaviOctober 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm
So true! I’ve been hard on myself too and tend to burn out. Great advice to slow down and take it easy 🙂
JackieOctober 5, 2016 at 5:02 pm
Wonderful reminder to be kinder to ourselves..we’re our own worst critics!
ClarissaOctober 5, 2016 at 6:17 pm
Thanks Kemi (and Terryn for hosting this post) – I can’t tell you how much I needed this today <3
-Clarissa @ The View From Here
KemiOctober 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Thank you Clarissa!!! 🙂
Taria Shondell FaisonOctober 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm
Awesome post! Thank you for the reminder. You are so right… we need to be kind to ourselves MUCH more often!
carissa garabedianOctober 5, 2016 at 7:59 pm
I read this, re read this, saved this and re read it ! Thank you! It is so true. We need to be kinder to ourselves, we are so important and so worthy!
KemiOctober 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Wow!!! Thank you Carissa. That means so much!! 🙂
Shani | Sunshine & MunchkinsOctober 5, 2016 at 9:09 pm
I hate that it is so much easier to be unkind to ourselves! I completely agree that what we think becomes how we feel and how we act so by changing that habit, we can change ourselves.
KemiOctober 6, 2016 at 6:01 pm
That is so so true Shani. thank you!
Bree HoganOctober 6, 2016 at 3:18 am
Great post! I’ve often heard the saying “Would you speak to someone else the way you speak to yourself?’ and it can be so true at times! We are the harshest on ourselves.
MargoOctober 6, 2016 at 7:49 am
To be conscious of our thoughts IS so important, so we can replace those negative ones, I agree! 🙂
AmandaOctober 6, 2016 at 8:27 am
I love this post!!! Confidence is the key to so many things. When a woman loves and cares for herself, she can conquer the world 🙂
AngieOctober 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm
This post really speaks to me! We can all do with being a little kinder to ourselves.
Lauren @ Glitter & GrandeurOctober 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm
These are great tips! It is so important to find the positivity in every day and to be kind to yourself. I am in the performance industry and am therefore judged on my appearance, sound, weight, attire, etc on a daily basis. I have had to work extremely hard to teach myself how to take a negative experience and find one positive thing from it. I sing terribly in an audition? At least I was courageous enough to audition. Gain a few pounds? I was happy while I ate that cake and now I have an excuse to get back in the gym. 🙂 We are our own worst critic but we can train ourselves to be our best supporter instead. These tips will definitely help people do just that. 🙂
JuliaOctober 7, 2016 at 4:14 am
Beautiful words, the world needs more of this! ❤
Rachel LynnOctober 7, 2016 at 3:25 pm
This post is so important! We always talk about how we should be kind to each other and conscious of others feelings, but I feel like we often forget to be kind to ourselves. Our thoughts frame how we see the world, each other and ourselves. If think negatively about ourselves, our thoughts will radiate to other aspects of our lives. Positivity is so important! <3
Brittany FerrellOctober 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm
This is such simple, yet great advice. These are things that we should do for ourselves, but tend to forget. Sometimes it easy to see the good in others, but we find it difficult to be our “own personal cheerleader”. This is great inspiration for me!
Oyinkan OgunleyeOctober 20, 2016 at 11:58 pm
Very true and I love the scripture!
SabrinaOctober 26, 2016 at 11:07 am
You don’t know how much that spoke to me. I know that I am my worst critic and you are right it really doesn’t help at all. I love you compared how we treat us to how we treat strangers and even more so I love your simple tips. I will pay closer attention to how treat myself from her own out and use God to change me. Thank you for sharing!
Lorraine AdebowaleFebruary 8, 2017 at 5:03 am
Thanks for your words Kemi 🙂 I love Philippians 4,8-9 and it serves as a very useful reminder that indeed I should show myself the same common courtesy and love that I show everyone else