The human society is facing many challenges but currently the most problematic issue is a deep lack of love for ourselves. But don’t get alarmed! This is something normal knowing how our brains work. Our brain is programmed to keep us safe ad studies have shown that people tend to focus on 9 negative things and 1 positive event.
Neuroscience is making progress day after day and is giving us hopes that if we get to know how our brains work, we will be able to create a great and happy life for us only by changing the way we think: mindset is key!
I suppose you agree with me if I say that we always criticize and judge ourselves for every mistake or every time we don’t get what we want.
But how do we act in relation to others? How do we react when someone makes the same mistake as we did? Do we criticize our friends the same harsh way we criticize ourselves?
Let me give you an example: Let’s suppose that you and your friend are a little overweight. Imagine what you would do to yourself: Always criticizing yourself, always feeling bad and guilty that you are not that thin person that you would want to be, always blaming your weight for not getting what you want!
And now I ask you a question: Do you torture and pressure your friend for being overweight just like you do to yourself?
Of course you never do that!!! How can you make someone feel bad for their weight??? You would probably encourage them and make them feel ok with who they are.
We accept others as they are and are the worst judges of ourselves.
Instead, we hurt ourselves all the time with criticism and guilt, even when we don’t have the power to change things, people or situations!
We have not been taught how to love and accept ourselves or even congratulate ourselves for our small victories. Do we say nice words to ourselves when we get dressed in a beautiful dress or suit? Because we do that to other people, just to make them feel good with themselves.
So, why is it so hard for us to love ourselves, at least as much as we love and appreciate our favorite people?
I agree to the point that self criticism is necessary (when done in a healthy way) and that reflecting is always suggested as a technique that helps you improve. But let’s also agree to the fact that harsh self criticism is unhealthy and damaging.
Personal development practices such as gratitude or self appreciation help us to get out of this brain trap and create new mental models.
In order to appreciate yourself more, I suggest you keep a gratitude diary where you can write all the acts, aspects and events that make you feel proud of yourself. Start to respect yourself and to appreciate what you already have. As the old saying goes “smile while you have teeth”.