Shifting from Punishment to Self Compassion
The easiest thing that unfortunately most of us do, is punish ourselves first and then ask questions later. Old habits and thought patterns die hard.
That said, like most things in life, if we choose to look at it from a different lens, we can reframe it to something that supports us instead.
Let’s look at punishment for a moment. Most times it is linked to our striving for perfection, in whatever form that takes. Some times it is linked to external outcomes, but it is always linked to internal expectations.
Given this is a big concept, I will start here with a few things to consider, that will hopefully have impact now.
- Acknowledging that you are judging /punishing yourself and want to do something differently is a great first step.
- Become aware that it is really easy to judge ourselves as the external world also validates that feedback. But if we take a moment to consider, for the most part, we have always done the best we could, with the knowledge that we had at that time. Shifting our mindset to give ourselves some credit may make it easier to stop beating yourself up.
- Take some time to learn about the meaning you have given to your actions and then the response those actions dictate. Instead, is it possible to consider whatever challenges you as an opportunity to learn and grow, instead of something to punish yourself about?
- Making changes is hard work. Learning to love yourself means letting go of long standing messages and beliefs about yourself. This work is hard, but learning to see the things you do really well at and let those take priority over those you don’t consider a success. Shifting focus from the negative to the positive will take time, but it is something that you can do and see progress in right away.
There is so much more to consider in the midst of this situation. I don’t mean to make light of it, but as it is such hard work, I wanted to start this process in small, manageable steps.