Last year, I was a straight up bully to myself.
So this year, I’m choosing to be kinder to myself. And others.
Because I was kind of a bully to others, too.
To be completely honest with you, being kind feels …foreign to me.
Growing up, I had a tendency to push people away, especially the ones who cared about me the most.
At first, it was a defense mechanism.
But as time went on, it just became a problem. My problem. That I didn’t know how to stop.
I’m learning that choosing to be kinder also means trusting others.
It means letting other people in, which is kind of scary.
Not kind of - it is scary.
As isolating as it was, pushing people away was much easier to do. But when you do that, you also miss out on the meaningful relationships and things like unconditional love.
Because you can’t have both. You can’t be afraid of getting close to people and love people at the same time.
Being kind also means being vulnerable.
It means being honest and putting your heart out there.
It means choosing to let people into your life.
Your whole life - and not just when it’s convenient for you.
If you think about it, life is a series of choices we make.
Sometimes, choices are easier to make.
Like choosing what to eat for lunch.
Or choosing what shirt to wear for the day.
Some choices, like letting people into your life or letting bad habits go, are harder to make and do.
But when you’re not kind to yourself, it feels like you’re at war with yourself.
Maybe because you are at war with yourself.
It can feel isolating, and it’s really easy to burn yourself out.
When you’re not on your own side, it can feel like you’re doing everything wrong all the time.
And you start to say things like, “You’re never going to get anywhere in life” to yourself.
So how can we be kinder to ourselves?
Be patient with yourself.
I know, I know. You want things to happen quicker. Like yesterday.
But guess what? Good things take time, and life isn’t a competition, so you can take yourself out of the rat race.
If you’re always pushing yourself to do more, more, and more, when will it be enough for yourself? Will it ever be enough for you? Because what can happen is that you end up overcommitting yourself and because there aren’t any boundaries set in place - you end up burning yourself out with no energy to do anything at all.
It’s better to go at a slower pace and keep the consistency going, than go at a fast pace only to find yourself exhausted and ready to throw in the towel 5 days in.
Life isn’t a race, so stop treating it like one - and start treating yourself with more patience and kindness.
Start believing in yourself.
It’s easy for us to say all kinds of mean things to ourselves, because we grew up hearing it. The judgment, the negativity, the “you’re not good enough” talks.
But what would it be like to say nice things to yourself like, “You did an AMAZING job today!! Go you!”.
Instead of waiting for someone else to congratulate you, congratulate yourself.
Because you believing in yourself doesn’t come from other people or their approval - it comes from within yourself.
It has to come from you before anyone else. (Because trust me, even if other people did believe in you and you still didn’t believe in yourself, it’s not going to work out. The self-doubt will still exist and loom over your life.)
Surround yourself with people who are kind to themselves.
We’ve all heard the “You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with” - so with that, if we are surrounding ourselves with people who talk negatively to themselves, I’m willing to bet it’s going to feel pretty weird for you to say nice things to yourself. So to fit in with the crowd, you start saying mean and discouraging things to yourself too like “You’ll never figure it out”.
Not to mention… people who are negative about themselves are usually negative about everything and everyone else too.
It’s hard for positivity and negativity to coexist, just like how it’s hard for fear and love to coexist.
Nothing changes until you choose to change it.
In this case, that means changing your environment, your thoughts, the people you hang out with, etc. Maybe not all at once; you can work on one thing at a time and make gradual changes, but if you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results.
We all have the power to change how we feel every day.
Just because you’ve been one way all your life doesn’t mean you have to continue being that person for the rest of your life.
And it’s not a “I’m wait until I’m ready to change” kind of thing either. Because what if that feeling of ready never comes?
I’m not going to sit here and lie to you.
Changing who you are is really hard, like one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do.
And sometimes, I’ll make the same mistake over and over and over again (like 40 times) until I learn my lesson.
Sometimes, I fall off the wagon and find myself a few months later saying the same mean things to myself.
Reprogramming your mind is hard, but it’s not impossible.
It’s only impossible if you make it so, but that also means it’s possible if you make it so.
So if you want something, it’s up to you to make it happen - because only you can.
I’d love to hear from you.
How are you choosing to be kind to yourself today?