A good friend of mine recently entered a tennis tournament. The morning after her first match I asked her how it went; she told me with such enthusiastic venom how terribly she had played, how pathetic her performance was and how embarrassing it was that she’d even entered. She said she was so annoyed at herself that early that morning at her regular tennis lesson she had just hit the tennis balls as hard as she could to work off her bad mood. Now bear in mind that my friend is one of the most supportive, caring and loving friends one could possibly have. I said to her “Be kinder to yourself. You know, if this had been anyone else you would never use such harsh words. You would tell them how great it is that they took part, that just entering the competition was an achievement in itself.”
She immediately realized what she’d done and knew that she would never speak to someone else like that, that she would always try to help others see the positive in the situation.
When asked “Who is your worst critic?” most people will put their hand up and admit that they themselves are their own worst critic. How often do you admonish yourself for not being better, faster, stronger, kinder, calmer, thinner or fitter? Why do we speak to ourselves in a way we would never address even those we may dislike, let alone our friends? What if we changed things around and spoke to ourselves the way we would our best friends, with support, love and encouragement?
We are responsible for looking after ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Let your inner voice be your strength and your guiding light rather than your worst critic and source of self-doubt. The first step is always awareness, and like everything, it will take some time for this to become a habit. Next time you become aware of criticizing yourself, simply replace the criticism with a compliment or caring words of support and encouragement. Think of something you would say to a friend you love and care about who found themselves in that situation.
After all, you love and care about yourself, don’t you?
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert, Spa Consultant, Speaker and Founder of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe magazine