Sometimes things happen that spiral out of our control…Sometimes our confidence gets rocked…Sometimes we just feel so down and like nobody cares.
Even on our best days, we need to acknowledge that we are only human. Not superhuman, not Wonder Woman (or man), and certainly not perfect. So what if we screwed up, made a mistake, or dropped the ball? It happens to absolutely everyone. Perhaps the fear of rejection starts to seep in, drowning us in an emotional sea of fear that nobody likes us, nobody sees us, and maybe we are just not good enough.
This feeling may stem from past experiences, negative core beliefs, or trauma. I am not going to analyze this feeling for you. But I will tell you that it is part of the human experience. Even the most seemingly confident and successful individuals have doubted themselves. We live in a fast, competitive and connected society. We are all attempting to survive, and fear often sneaks in, if only in attempt to preserve us. After all, if we aren’t afraid, how can we be prepared to face that lion or shark lurking around the corner…we are able to experience fear to build courage.
We must learn to accept that we are human (news flash-not superhuman), and acknowledge the beautiful, ugly, and glaring flaws that come with this. Self-acceptance will, in turn, help us foster and build our relationships with others. We will begin to feel more connected with others if we take the time to connect with ourselves.
How do we nurture self-compassion and acceptance? We can begin by developing a genuine approach to the way we think and live our lives. The following are some suggestions:
1. Reframing from a competitive mindset into a mindset of nurturance and support for ourselves and others, will help us feel that we are not alone, and that we can have support all around us if we can learn to recognize and draw from it. Remember, we are all human, no better than anyone else, and no one is better than we are.
2. Boosting our mood with positive affirmations and words of encouragement. There is strength to be found in encouraging and supportive quotes. Repeating affirmations daily helps us build confidence, and replace negative thinking habits.
3. Be gentle with our own mistakes. Realize that mistakes happen, that we are not perfect, and that if we can learn to accept our mistakes, let them go, and learn from them, we can grow into stronger, more capable, and compassionate beings.
4. Stay true to our beliefs. We can choose to live our lives by own values and principles, not compromising our own integrity for the sake of anything or anyone else, we can feel more authentic in ourselves and our life path.
5. Practice self-care. Make time for yourself each week to renew, refresh, and re-energize. Find a new creative outlet or hobby. Eat nourishing foods, exercise, and practice mindfulness.
6. Live in the moment. Accept that each day offers unique opportunities and challenges. We may not have everything figured out, but if we can let go of some of our attempts to control the future or re-visit the past, we can allow ourselves to gain more fully from our experiences.
7. Love the life you choose. If you don’t like the life you are living, then change it. Sometimes we get into a mindset of “stuck-ness.” We are not confined to living a reality we don’t love. Even if circumstances may be beyond our control, even the slightest shift in our mindset can help us to realize the potential opportunities that exist.
8. Build supportive and encouraging relationships with others. Make time for those who uplift and inspire you, and bring words of encouragement. If you find that you are in an unhealthy relationship, let it go and move on.Who are they to tell you that you are not worthy? Find someone who appreciates you for who you are.
Remember that cultivating self-compassion requires an investment of our time and energy in ourselves. It means acknowledging that we are worthy of this investment. That we have the ability to create value, meaning, and purpose in our own lives. We do not need to waste our precious time and resources living a life that feels disingenuous or inauthentic. We have the ability to carve our own path.