There is a lesson that I think so many people need to learn but it’s also one that those same people will scoff at. The lesson itself is simple: Be Kind to Yourself.
You just rolled your eyes, didn’t you?
See, we hear this phrase and think, well duh. I am nice to myself; I just treated myself this weekend. Okay, that great! But you were already feeling good, weren’t you?
I’ve been seeing an incredible amount of attention on “Imposter Syndrome” recently on various business and social media cites. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Imposter Syndrome is basically a state of mind where you feel unworthy of your position in life. Unsurprisingly, people are relating this to women in the workplace, but really it extends far beyond this scope. We think things like “I don’t deserve this”, “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t possibly lead that project.” So we watch as someone perhaps less qualified than us takes the role that we want simply because they had the courage to ask while we drowned in self-doubt. This is not an unusual occurrence. I happens far more often than any of us care to admit. We just sit, waiting for someone to recognize our worth for us, when we can’t even see it ourselves. This isn’t humility; it is fear, and it’s a fast-track to bitterness.
This lesson I learned: be kind to yourself, it came to me in a single thought while I was knee-deep in a similar moment of prolonged doubt. I severed a particularly nasty train of thought by uttering, out loud: “What are you even saying right now? Twenty-six years on this Earth, and you haven’t figured out how to be nice to yourself?”
It was a revelation. A gob-smacking lightbulb moment. In most of us, it’s practically engrained to be kind to others, but no one ever taught us how to be nice to ourselves as well. Instead, we’re hypercritical of everything we do. Nothing is ever quite right. Nothing is ever perfect. And, while, yes, there is always room for improvement, we cannot forget to celebrate our accomplishments and recognize that we are just as awesome as that guy sitting next to us. And you are allow to think it. It’s not going to make you egotistical to recognize your worth.
Think of the encouragement you would extend to your best friend, your sister, your child. Think of what you would say if one of them doubted themselves? Now, go stand in front of a mirror and say that to yourself this time. Sure, it doesn’t fix all of your problems, but you will undoubtedly feel lighter than you did a moment ago.
Thanks for reading! Let’s continue this discussion in the comments below: