Somewhere along the way we decided we need to be a total jerk to ourselves to get motivated into action.
And I need to tell you something.
It’s absolute BS! Seriously.
Here’s the thing, guilt is telling. It is giving us feedback that there is something we did or didn’t do that we regret. This is amazing feedback. Where guilt becomes counter-productive is when it triggers the internal SHIT-storm of self-criticism. You know the one…
…I really SHOULDN’T have eaten that cookie, I’ll never “stay on track” – why can’t I just stick with it?
…I SHOULD have gone to the gym/ not skipped my workout. Why does everyone else seem to have this all figured out? What’s wrong with me?
…I’m such a (insert awful name here). I need to get to the gym and work off that holiday indulgence.
Here’s the thing about self-criticism.
It’s an internal attack and it triggers the stress response. This internal response served us when we needed to fight or flee a sabre tooth tiger…but not so much when we just need to harness the inner mean girl.
And all that stress – it’s eating up your precious mental real estate! Your brain is so pre-occupied by managing this internal attack that it has no capacity left to manage making healthy choices or create new habits. In other words?
BEING A JERK IS KILLING YOUR MOJO.
Instead…embrace self-compassion. If you wanted to motivate a child learning to ride a bike…what would you say when they fell?
- you can do this
- try again
- I’m here to help
What if you offered yourself this same compassion and support?
What if when you slipped (as you will…you’re human)…you offered yourself kindness? You recognized you’re human and…weren’t a jerk about it!? What if you not only were kind, but instead learned from the mis-step and took a different step forward with mindfulness?
In this season of new years resolutions I invite you to explore self-compassion. To consider that being a jerk… making yourself feel shitty…well, it doesn’t do much other than make you feel shitty. And it’s not helping…it’s hurting.
Instead be kind to yourself. Be your inner champion and cheerleader. Because you know what…you’ve got this.