If you sit back and really think about it – how much time is spent throughout the day being hard on yourself? A lot right?!
As I’ve become more aware of myself and my thoughts, I’ve really started to notice what it feels like when being I’m hard on myself. Something will trigger the thought and a combination of the following occurs: Tight chest, increased heart beat, knot in the tummy with a dash of nausea, and a tingly head that feels as if a rubber band is around it. Of course, thoughts going a million miles an hour that are berating, fear based, and just plain mean. These thoughts are most likely caught in the past and then they start manifesting a dismal future. To top it off these thoughts and feelings that aren’t even ours! UGH!
When we’re hard on ourselves, we’re not focusing on the present and we miss out.
Can you imagine what would happen if we were nicer to ourselves? Amazing things, right?!?! Like, being present, noticing the birds chirping, the sound of rain hitting the roof or the sunlight beating on your face. Even better yet – opportunity. The more present we are, and not caught up in the past or comparing ourselves to others, we become more aware. Aware of ourselves and our surroundings, which creates positive space, which then allows opportunity to enter into our lives.
The next time you’re unkind to yourself, take a moment to notice what’s going on. No judgment, just notice how you feel. Then ask yourself, is this how I want to be treated?
What happens when you’re hard on yourself?
Rudeness doesn’t look good on anyone. Over the past ten years or so, I’ve noticed people in the workplace seem to think being rude is fashionable. Well it’s not. Being rude is unfashionable. Rudeness can be seen as disruptive, disrespectful, and downright mean – and I’m not referring to hoarding snacks or looking at social media during a meeting. I’m talking about making others feel bad or look bad.
Rudeness is not assertiveness. Being rude does not reflect power. Rudeness, is a defense mechanism. Rudeness radiates loss of control. Rudeness is a sign of frustration. Rudeness can spread from the top down, impacting productivity – because guess what? Rudeness is a form of negative reinforcement and productivity decreases with negative reinforcement.
We are all guilty of being rude from time to time. With the amount of stress we have put on ourselves as a society, there is a lot of pressure. We’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, burnt out – the list goes on. However, we have a choice. We have a choice to be respectful. We have a choice to be kind. We have a choice to take a step back.
When you find yourself in a bad mood and wanting to take your frustration out on others, whether it be in an email or a conversation before you fire off do quick self-check in and unpack the way you feel:
- Are you frustrated, mad, stressed, overwhelmed? Why?
- Is that dig releasing aggression?
- For that moment, are you getting a high from being rude?
- Are you even aware you’re being rude?
- Is your heart racing, chest tight shoulders tense?
- On a scale from 1-10 how stressed out are you?
- Is being rude going to produce the results you need to succeed?
- Internally, how rude are you to yourself?
Try not to be rude, it looks bad and shows weakness and insecurity. If you’re still angry, after you’ve unpacked, move onto another task and come back to it later, take a walk, get some tea, look at something funny online. The point is to take a step back, look at your actions from a high level and bring awareness to your words and actions.
We wear disguises in the form of anger, competition, isolation, jealousy and weight -the list goes on. These disguises are a physical “coat of armor” acting as a self defense mechanism in lieu of having good boundaries. We miss out in life by wearing this coat of armor and putting a wall up around us.
Think of how many times you have judged people, gotten angry, held on to something or made excuses to get out of doing something out of self defense. Or the times we compete with each other, or push people away because we don’t want to, “get too close” or we don’t want someone to be doing “better than us-“ these are all self defense mechanisms, our coat of armor.
What would happen if you put away your coat of armor? How do you think your life would open up?
Allowing yourself to have a ritual that you look forward to each day is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Even if you’re stretched with work, family, kids – just 15 minutes of being still can help minimize stress. You’re just being. How many times throughout the day, are we running, multitasking, stressed, stretched, always doing, always trying to please? Pretty much most of the day. The only times we really have to ourselves, is in the bathroom. We’re always on.
What would happen if you turned off for 15 minutes? How would you feel? At first you might feel as if you don’t have time for that. You might feel guilt. You may feel stressed, uncomfortable, angry. Try it for 15 minutes. There is no right or wrong time of day. There are no rules, no expectations. This is your time. Settle down, quiet the body and just be with yourself. It is time to reset, take care of yourself, and clear your mind.
What are some of your rituals?