So, how much do you like yourself? 80%? 60% or maybe 40%? Let’s not focus on anything less, other than there is a little voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough, and that little voice has pretty high standards. Unrealistic high standards in fact!
Where and when does this voice arise? On one level, it’s from within, yet the external messages we listen to from a young age are powerful and influential in developing the inner voice. Whether it’s comments from parents, teachers, peers, colleagues, the media or the internet, we hear that ‘good’ is only achieved by a set date, event, circumstances, and so on, and, if we judge that we haven’t managed to achieve this, then we have failed, and we are not good enough!
We don’t focus on what we have achieved, just what we haven’t achieved. Why is it so difficult to simply dwell on the beauty that is already inside, rather than on what isn’t?
Perhaps we expect ourselves to be perfect, unlike everyone else around us? Do you expect your friends and colleagues to be perfect, or do you simply value and appreciate their positive qualities? Can you set yourself the same standards you set for others?
We each have an internal core of personal strength and inner security that we can nurture and cultivate to make ourselves stronger, yet we can only do this when we refrain from criticising ourselves or focusing on the negatives in our life.
If we explore the negatives we may perhaps find the potential to create a positive instead. Dis-satisfaction with a part of ourselves can become a motivator for change. So, if you don’t like something about yourself, don’t keep criticising yourself, think about your internal strength and how if it can positively influence you instead. So, for example, if you feel unhealthy and unhappy with your body, spend some time working out what needs to change and then make those changes as soon as possible. With practice you can change the unrealistic voice within to a more nurturing and accepting voice that is encouraging and worth listening to.
It’s unlikely our life will change unless we do something different, or think differently. If you are struggling to put this into practice, there are many self-help books available. Alternatively, a few sessions of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy will probably help you adjust your mindset.