It may seem important to push or challenge yourself each day to accomplish your goals. But being kind to yourself may be the crucial factor in pursuing the life you want. The following are five reasons this is true.
1. Nurturing is the only way to promote positive growth.
Many of us have internalized a script that tells us over and over that we are not good enough. When we belittle and punish ourselves, we only reduce our growth potential and create frustration. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have in our lives yet, we need to marvel at our potential. We need to build ourselves up with consistent self-nurturing. Suggested kindness: When you wake up in the morning, spend five minutes thinking about what you accomplished the day before.
2. Nourishing your soul gives you energy.
Before you can grow, your mind and body require nourishment. We understand this fact from a young age, but as we reach adulthood, the lesson can fade. We think if we just push ourselves harder and deny ourselves more, we will get what we want faster. This mindset can lead us to eat poorly, sleep less, and neglect our emotional needs. To turn this around, we need to focus on healthful food, a regular rest schedule, and an abundance mindset. Suggested kindness: Schedule time in your calendar (just like an important meeting) for a fifteen-minute bedtime relaxation ritual each night.
3. Motivating yourself requires thoughtful rewards.
Motivation is a two-part process. You must be motivated to do something, and you must be motivated by something. Choose your rewards carefully. Aligning your goals and rewards helps you achieve your objectives more quickly. If you’re working on improving your physical health, for example, you want to avoid rewarding a two-mile walk with a piece of chocolate cake. Suggested kindness: In this case, you could choose to put a dollar (less than the cost of the cake) toward a new pair of walking shoes. Each time you go for a walk, set aside another dollar.
4. Taking time for yourself is an unselfish act.
In our quest to achieve, it’s tempting to think that the time we take for ourselves is the most expendable when faced with competing priorities. The opposite is true. If we never have time to ourselves, we grow resentful of the time we devote to others. Eventually, this can lead to feelings of selfishness and frustration that separate us emotionally from the people we love and keep us from making meaningful progress on our life goals. Suggested kindness: Schedule one solo activity each week, and let the people in your life know it is your alone time.
5. Forgiving past mistakes is the best way to move past them.
After we make a mistake, our worst fear is that we will repeat it. To avoid this, we remind ourselves of the mistake constantly. Instead of forgiving ourselves and letting it go, we hit ourselves over the head with it until it’s all we can think about. Unfortunately, this inability to move on can keep us from achieving our goals. Suggested kindness: On a piece of paper, write down the mistake that is bothering you the most, along with three lessons you learned from it. Then, crumple up the paper and throw it in the recycle bin as a symbolic gesture of forgiveness.
What is one way you’ve nurtured yourself while working toward a big goal?
Originally published at kindsoulstudio.com.