If you have an awful habit of putting yourself down for making mistakes, like not sticking to your diet or savings plan, or not getting accepted into that school you really wanted to attend, I have one piece of advice for you.
Treat yourself like you would your daughter.
I treat myself like I would my daughter. I brush her hair, wash her laundry, tuck her in goodnight. Most importantly, I feed her. I do not punish her. I do not berate her, leave tears staining her face. I do not leave her alone. I know she deserves more.
I know I deserve more.
This advice goes for both men and women. If you had a daughter, how would you treat her? Why is it any different from how you should treat yourself?
1. You would never berate her.
You would never scold her for a mistake she made, and or put her down. The same goes for the way you treat yourself. If you feel angry or upset with yourself, try practicing more self-compassion. Tell yourself it's okay, and tend to the needs of your body and soul. If you're craving healthy food, make some. If you feel achy and sore, try running a hot bath with lavender oil. Breathe in and out deeply while you soak.
2. You would never call her names.
The same goes for how you treat yourself. Are you not losing weight as fast as you would like to? Don't call yourself fat, it won't do anything other than make you feel worse. Instead, tell yourself it's okay because you're making healthier lifestyle choices, and when you lose weight slower, it also stays off longer. Be gentle. Remember that it's a process and you're going to commit to a healthier you. In any situation where you feel like calling yourself a name, even a "failure," think about how it would make your daughter feel.
3. You would support and encourage her.
You would tell her she could be anything she wants to be, and that if she put her mind to something, it could be a reality. It should be no different when it comes to your own goals and dreams. Tell yourself that you can accomplish anything, and support yourself. Believe in yourself, as you would believe in her.
4. You would want her to be happy.
You would want her to feel joy every single day of her life. When she's sad, you would rush to her side. Practice that same love and compassion with yourself the next time you're feeling down. Do things that make you happy, weather it's going to have coffee with a friend, painting, or swimming. When it comes to a relationship or friendship, find the courage to leave it if it is no longer serving your highest good, and not making you feel happy anymore. You wouldn't want to watch your daughter in a toxic relationship.
5. You would love her.
Above all else, you would love her unconditionally. Too often, we forget to love ourselves the same way, unconditionally. You would tend to your daughter's physical and emotional needs, so why do you neglect your own?
We might screw up, we might not get that dream job, we might not make the A, and we might not be the best at something, but life is a learning process. We might lose someone we love, and we might have to leave a relationship we've been in for a long time, which can be incredibly painful. Whenever life has you down, remember how much you would love your daughter, and practice that same kind of love when it comes to yourself.
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