How would you describe your relationship with yourself?
Maybe we’re treating ourselves harshly. Like we’re unhappy with ourselves. Maybe even saying hurtful thing. Being unkind or even emotionally abusive.
Or it might be a relationship of mistrust. Always second guessing ourselves. Blaming ourselves when things don’t work out. Being quick to point out our faults.
Or maybe we’re disgusted with ourselves. Condescending in a way. Looking down on ourselves.
Sometimes we really want that voice in our heads to be a little nicer. But other times we hold onto it. Justifying it in a way. So here’s a question to consider. And it might be a difficult one: How ready are you to really love yourself … starting today? So think about how ready you are.
We might be totally ready and if only we knew how we’d do it immediately.
Or perhaps we’d love to love ourselves, but we’re also not so sure. The idea just sounds so foreign to us. And a little uncomfortable.
Or maybe we don’t like the idea of loving ourselves. And it feels too sentimental. Or corny. And somehow being mean to ourselves feels more real. More authentic.
How to Treat Ourselves Better So let’s do an exercise to practice this. It’s called, “The Third Person”. It’s a way of shifting our perspective on ourselves and changing the conversation. So take a moment and think about a recent time when you were hard on yourself. And now consider that situation again, but from a third-person perspective. Instead of thinking about what “I” did, think about what “they” did. “They” in this case being you. And feel free to replace the word “they” with your name, so you can better see yourself in the third person. So to start, let’s consider how this person is feeling. There’s been this difficult situation and we’ve been harsh toward ourselves. So now we’ll ask the question: How are they feeling? Maybe this person is feeling downcast. Or embarrassed. They might be feeling stupid. And angry with themselves. They could be feeling hopeless. Like they’re never going to get it right. Maybe they just want to curl up into a ball.
Now we’ll do one more step here. Sticking with the Third Person ask ourselves this question, “What do you think they need to hear right now?”. Maybe they need encouragement. To be told, “You’ve got this. I know you can do it.” Or they might need to hear that things will get better. That it won’t always feel this way. Or maybe we need to remind them of the strength they have. And the good things they’re capable of.
Great job. Now just take a moment to reflect. See how that felt. Maybe it felt uplifting. And we feel encouraged. Maybe it felt awkward. And we’re not so sure about the exercise. Whatever you’re feeling. Just acknowledge it. This is how things are right now. And no matter what. You’ve done your best. That’s all that matters. So in the future when a problem comes up see yourself as a full person. One who’s doing their best. One who may be in pain. And one who needs our support. And then ask yourself, “what does this person need?” and “what can I give them”? Our relationship with ourselves is the work of a lifetime. And you’re on that journey. So give yourself permission to know yourself, to trust yourself, and to love yourself Beautiful job.
Mental Health Matters
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