I think a lot of people beat up on themselves, punish themselves emotionally because they’re “not good enough” or they haven’t done enough. They berate themselves for not living up to their own or somebody else’s expectations or for not having taken a different route in life or for not getting better grades in school or a better job . . . . Once you get into that state of mind, you continue to be mean to yourself and hurt yourself in ways you may not even be aware of. It’s very important to be kind and loving to yourself. You’re the only self you’ve got, so to speak. Befriend yourself in the same way you feel compassionate and gentle with other people. If you practice the principles of grieving, accepting, and forgiving yourself, you will be making a start in that direction. –Morrie Schwartz
It is so easy to find fault with ourselves. Many of us have a PhD in Self Incrimination and Degradation. We could’ve, should’ve and would’ve ourselves into self hatred and loathing. And in so doing, we mark ourselves as losers in the game of life. This sense of not being good enough can affect us mentally, spiritually and even physically. In the same way that emotional stress and worry can cause ulcers, medicine can now demonstrate that there is a direct connection between how we think about ourselves and our overall physical health. Auto-immune diseases, heart disease, and even cancers have been shown to have a psychological component. And once we let ourselves slide into the abyss of self-deprecation, the challenge to rise out of it is formidable.
I’ve heard from a young age that ‘to err is human.’ and it’s true. I cannot be right 100% of the time. It’s impossible. There’s no way that I can know all of the variables that create perfection. It’s important to give yourself a break. You can’t do it all and you can’t win every time; you really are only human. One my favourite definitions of success reminds me I only need pick myself up off the ground one more time than I’ve fallen in order to finish the hike. So forgive yourself. Give yourself a pass on this one, stand up and move forward.
“Expectations are not results.”
Every scientist tests a new theory with experiments. Sometimes the results confirm the expectations of the scientist, and sometimes they disprove the theory. I’ve learned to plan for the best outcome and at the same time keep myself aware that my expectations may not materialize. If something didn’t work out as expected, that is a reflection of the process, not on me personally. And then I can change what I’m doing because I know that the last way didn’t cut it. Would we still be in the dark if Thomas Edison stopped his light bulb experiments at 9,999 attempts?
“I am enough!”
I have this written on my washroom mirror. It is a reminder that I am fine, just the way I am. I am not the work I do or the people I know. I don’t need anything else today. The mirror artistry is a powerful suggestion from Marisa Peer, a hypnotherapist from Britain. Much of her teaching is based on the truth that many people mistakenly believe that they fall short in some way or other. “I am enough” is a reminder to me that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone else or even to myself. Yes, “I am enough“, just as I am!
Saying it once, isn’t sufficient. We have to say it over and over to reinforce this new belief and to destroy the old tracks that say otherwise. These recorded tracks that have been in place for decades don’t rewrite themselves overnight; scratch the record enough and it can never be played again. That’s why we need the constant reminder to reinforce this new attitude because we all, despite the challenges of the day, deserve a break. And a greater sense of self-worth can do a great deal to maintain and help heal us physically, mentally and spiritually. Enough with the regrets. We can give ourselves the benefit of any doubt.
Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. You really are Enough!