If I treated another person as badly as I treat myself, I’d almost certainly end up in prison. My guess is most of us are caught up in an abusive relationship with ourselves – we endure a level of self-abuse that we would never dream of inflicting on another person.
I tend towards self-obsession, but it is not of the narcissistic variety – instead I torment myself with harsh judgments and unrealistic expectations. I’m caught up in the false idea that if I achieve enough, I’ll one day be able to feel better about myself.
I can try to justify being hard as a type of tough love, but this is complete bullshit. Where is the evidence that treating anyone like shit has been an effective tool for their self-improvement? If abusing other people isn’t the way to help them become successful, why should self-abuse be any different?
The people who have guided me towards success in life have always acted with kindness. They haven’t belittled me or encouraged me to feel guilty about my character flaws – instead they have been able to help me to discover my inner-potential. Most of all, these people helped me by making me feel better about myself.
Success is never going to be possible until I begin send some kindness my own way. I need to stop tormenting myself with unfair judgments and impossible standards. I’m just a fallible person like everyone else – all I can do is try my best. I’m never going to feel like a success until I begin treating myself with a bit more kindness.
Being kind to yourself might sound like a strange suggestion but why should it be? How can we see the importance of being kind to other people, yet still feel it is okay to bully ourselves mercilessly? The reality is that kindness must start with ourselves because otherwise we have nothing to give. The kinder we can be to ourselves, the less we need to take from other people and the more we have to offer them.