I am writing this blog entry today because kindness towards ourselves is an area where lots of us (me included) can fall short. At school, we are often taught that an answer is either right or wrong, not appreciating enough that we all have our own strengths and weaknesses and we all possess different perspectives. Self-compassion is also important to our thinking process, staying optimistic and changing our own situation when needed.
I attempt to show self-compassion in my writing today by just recording whatever comes out first of all, letting go of the notion of perfectionism which makes us criticise ourselves and can block our creative flow. There are many ways we can practise this type of flexibility in our own lives. For example, at Back on Track creative writing group, I learnt to take a concept and write as many words that came to mind about it, uncensored. What was interesting was that everyone’s response was so different. Therefore, it seems to me like self-love in any process can be about letting go of our inhibitions and letting the world see us for the unique person we really are.
More recently, I have embarked on an adventure to study Primary Education at Manchester Metropolitan University. There are times when I’ve not appreciated my own perspective enough, comparing myself to others and wishing I could be more like them. For example, more often than not, I am an introverted character who sometimes doesn’t always speak a lot in social situations unless I am talking one on one or feel like I really connect with a person. At times, I have felt that, somehow, everyone else in my classes has seemed more extroverted than me and able to make friends easily. When I noticed this pattern of thinking, I showed self-respect by asking myself and looking at quotes about exactly what was good about my personality. “I am not shy. I just don’t like to talk when I have nothing meaningful to say” springs to mind. Our self-awareness may cause us to view traits negatively, but it is how we handle our own criticism which matters.
Yet, what if the action or quality under our own scrutiny is definitely negative and needs to change? The key first lies in a healthy acceptance of the issue. For example, as you may have discovered from previous posts, I can be an emotional eater. When I slip up, it could be easy to start a cycle of self-blame, but this would just promote really unhelpful thoughts. By acknowledging I have a problem and saying to myself it is OK to make a mistake now and again, I am able to get more quickly back into the habit of eating more healthily.
Last of all, if you really want to make quantum leaps in how you view yourself, join a wellbeing style course at Back on Track where you can explore useful tips and techniques to help you think and feel better. It is important to self-care to take time out to develop yourself, realising that you really do have something special to offer the world!