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Being Kind to Myself
Practicing self-compassion helps me be less afraid of making mistakes
Sometimes it’s hard for me to accept that my best efforts can still miss the mark at times. There are a host of reasons why I might fall short of my goals or intentions. Sometimes I am in control of those reasons, and sometimes I am not, but in the final analysis, I am in full control of practicing self-compassion; that has made all the difference.
In my dis-ease I want to be hard on myself. I want to pick on all the little things I could have done better. Basically, I want to demand perfection of myself. What a cruel way for me to go through this world!
Part of my recovery has included knowing when I can let myself be imperfect, when it’s safe to slip up and not be the best. This has been revolutionary for me, because I am practicing boundaries with what I realistically can and cannot do.
To accept when I can’t show up exactly as I would like has been a hard-won battle, and a rewarding one. Bring more gentle on myself has transformed me into a more gentle person in general. I feel kinder and wiser, and that’s because I forgive myself when I fall short of my own high standards. When I don’t expect perfection from myself, I’ve happily found that I don’t expect it from others, either.
Before I learnt this type of self-compassion, I felt incapacitated to do my job. I couldn’t make decisions because I was terrified of making mistakes. This fear also led to obsessive compulsive tendencies and the inability to feel confident about even sending an email. And while certain aspects such as fatigue can trigger OCD impulses, the lack of self-acceptance took these patterns to a level of true dysfunction.
I feel liberated now to just have a day. It no longer has to be a “good” day. In accepting my limitations, I feel gratitude to simply be given another chance to strive toward my ideals. And today I don’t harm myself with negative self-talk when I don’t meet my own standards.
That’s why I am so passionate about being kind to myself today. I used to secretly hope for a hero to come and rescue me from this world and myself. Now I see this world as something beautiful and not dangerous. I simply need to live in right perspective, which I am grateful I can do now.