Today I want to talk about being kind to ourselves. This was inspired by my good friend Tonya Ladipo’s recent blog post, you can find it here.
We all have people in our lives who are close to us, people that we treasure. These folks all have some great talents and attributes…she is a great cook, he has a great sense of humor, she is a good listener, he is so supportive! You get the picture.
Now think of those same loved ones and look at them through a judgmental lens…she talks way too much, he is always running late, she is inpatient, he can’t cook to save his life!
Same people, different perspective. We look on the positive side for those that we love more often than not, and we accept their flaws. After all, no one is perfect, right?
So why is it we are always so hard on ourselves? Why can’t we shine the positive light on ourselves and just accept our normal human flaws?
It turns out that research in the field of positive psychology has coined a term to explain why we may give more weight to negative things in our lives. It’s called negativity bias, which means we notice the negative more and tend to take the positive for granted. Yep, our brains are programmed this way!
(I’m guessing this has some kind of root in natural selection, but I’m not getting into that here!)
Positive psychology also tells us that focusing on the good stuff, can really make your day. The bad stuff will still occur, and things need to be dealt with, but if we can then let them go, your good mood has a better chance of resuming.
Take a good look in the mirror and name all the great talents you have, let those negative thoughts pass, and move on to accepting yourself, flaws and all. This, I believe, is the never ending battle, to accept yourself everyday for what you are, and forgive yourself for not being perfect!