Being Gentle With Yourself

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Everyone makes mistakes.

This is an important lesson to learn, and to carry with you throughout your life. So often we feel like failures and beat ourselves up for not meeting expectations placed upon us, so we punish ourselves. This punishment is usually unjust and counterintuitive – it brings about the opposite outcome of what we actually desire.

The only solution to this cycle of failure, and punishment that I have discovered, is being gentle with yourself.

Here are some ways that you can get out of the loop, start being kinder to yourself, and ultimately make lasting change in your life:

1. Speak with love
Try to eradicate negative thoughts from your mind and your life. It’s not realistic to believe you’ll never think a negative thought again, but it is very possible to arm yourself with the right tools to be able to notice when you’re being negative, and to change that negative thought.
The next time you catch yourself thinking things like, “I’m a failure”, try speaking some love into your life instead.

2. Feel all the feels
It is absolutely okay to have days where you feel like crap! We all have them – it is a normal part of living a human life. Please do not beat yourself up for feeling down, or teary, or anxious, or even depressed. Don’t ignore your feelings and pretend like they don’t exist, instead, use it as an excuse to give yourself a little bit more self love. Treat yourself to a bubble bath, spend some time meditating, take yourself out for coffee, or even just light some candles. Whatever makes you feel happy and alive – do that!

3. Be present
Live in and for the moment, not in the past or the future. When we spend all of our time in the past, there is often a lot of guilt and regret in which we are surrounding ourselves. Much like with the future, there can be a lot of stress and anxiety. The best way around these feelings, is to allow yourself to be present. How can you make today, right now, the best day for you? How can you be your happiest right now?

4. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it! 
How many times are the expectations that we place upon ourselves no good? Sometimes, being gentle with yourself means loosening the reigns, and doing something (or not doing something) just because it makes you feel good and happy in that moment. There is no point in forcing yourself to run 5km when you really just feel like snuggling up with a cup of coffee and a good book. Allow yourself the freedom to do what makes you happy.

5. Don’t fear
Don’t allow fear of failure have influence over what you do in your life. Look at every “failure” as a learning experience as you grow and flourish. When you make a mistake, learn, change, and move on. Don’t stay stuck.

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“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” ~Max Ehrmann

Much love, and namaste,
Shannon. X.

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