We live in an age where we get so caught up in our day to day routine and what’s expected of us, that our own needs take a back seat to everyone else’s. In turn, we are left feeling exhausted and worn out-trying so hard to be happy and be what others want us to be- we become further disconnected from ourselves and don’t live life according to what matters to us. When you look back on your life on your 80th birthday- what do you want to see? Is it possible to slow down enough to even acknowledge what’s important to you and how you want to live your life? Do you give yourself permission to?
In our culture, it has become “selfish” to take care of ourselves and put our needs before others. So, in turn, we find ourselves trying to be everything to everyone in our world and ignore the most vital person- you. As we do this, we begin to treat ourselves as the enemy- worrying so much about taking care of everyone else, we become our own harshest critic. Would you tell someone you love and care about some of the things that you tell yourself?
We set unrealistic expectations of what we think we should be and constantly compare ourselves to others. We believe that if we criticize ourselves enough, we will continue to be “motivated”, to work “harder”, to be “better”- only then will we will deserve to be loved.
As long as we continue to run this race, we will always lose. How can you stop?
1. Recognize your inner critic: Recognizing and separating yourself from the inner critic (the voice in your head that tells you all the ways that you are not good enough) is key. There is a difference between facts and beliefs/interpretations- just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true.
2. Create meaning and joy: Start acknowledging and aligning with what really matters to you, to your deeper purpose. If tomorrow was your last day, how would you want to be remembered? Now make a conscious choice to live like that TODAY.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others: only compare yourself to the former you. Any day we can let go of our old story and adapt a new one.