I work with lots of kids who are bullied by someone. I work with even more who are bullied by themselves. They are in constant fear of their own minds and wonder what lurks around every corner. What mean things will my mind say to me today? How will my mind push me around? How will my mind trip me up?
Most people fear themselves much more than they fear other people. This is because we are much harder on ourselves than anyone else is. We beat ourselves up because of mistakes we’ve made. We don’t believe we can get things done. We don’t feel we can succeed. In a podcast I was listening to recently, Tim Ferriss interviewed Dr. Peter Attia on how to achieve overall happiness. Dr. Attia sums up happiness as the way we talk to ourselves and goes further by saying that we should routinely ask ourselves “what I just said to myself – what if someone said that to my kid?” Ultimately, we shouldn’t say something to ourselves that we wouldn’t want someone saying to our own child.
Think about that. How do we want our kids to be talked to? How much kindness do we want them to receive? How much encouragement? Now think about how we talk to ourselves. I’m guessing we don’t give ourselves a fraction of the same love, acceptance and patience.
One of the best things we can do for our kids is model how to treat ourselves. It might be good to switch the old saying of treating others the way you want to be treated to treat ourselves the way we treat others. We give other people breaks, we offer encouragement and understanding. We give ourselves very little of the same.
In this new year of resolutions, adjustments and overall improvement, let’s give ourselves a break. Just as I told a teenage girl last week, drop PERFECT from your vocabulary. It isn’t going to happen. There is beauty in the flaws and people will like you better.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!