Carol the Coach: Treat Yourself with Compassion

Treat Yourself with Compassion

Change is tough. When women set goals that they don’t accomplish, they end up “beating themselves up.” They may be frustrated with different aspects of their life including their jobs, their parenting, and their relationships. As a result, they become self-critical. Women have higher standards for themselves and oftentimes evaluate unrealistically. They don't believe they work hard enough, and they constantly assess their performance and believe it wasn't good enough. This has many ramifications for their self-esteem, their performance and success.

The truth of the matter is that women need to be kinder and gentler to themselves. They need to practice more self-compassion. Whenever I meet a woman who is overly critical, I explain to her that her self-criticism makes it difficult for her to believe in herself and that her criticism makes it difficult to change.

You see one thing we know about change and success is that people are more likely to do better when they feel they are competent and capable to do so. This means that they have to look at what is going right in their life as opposed to what is not. They have to have a certain level of self-esteem before they can actualize their potential.

I know you may have learned the change really only occurs when you are “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” leaving you feeling fed up with a certain aspect of your life. But in reality, there has to be some sense of mastery and belief in yourself to make changes happen.

Good self-care means that you appreciate your strengths and build upon them to tweak whatever it is you believe needs to change.

I know many a client who has ruminated about how they looked or about how unhappy they were in a relationship and in actuality these feelings have immobilized them from creating a healthier life.

One of the first steps to change is accepting things exactly as they are.

As difficult as it may be, I encourage people to appreciate their life regardless of their circumstances.

·        Are you 30 pounds overweight come? Can you still see those things that are beautiful about your body despite the fact that you 30 pounds overweight?

·        Are you in an unhappy relationship? Can you still find positive things about the relationship to focus on while you decide what you're going to do in relationship?

·        Do you hate your job and dream of finding a new one every single day? While you are in that job, it's important to focus on what you like so that you can enjoy what's in the present when you look at building a different future.

When you're able to create both of these realities at the same time you're much more likely to actualize your life and make it different. This means you are actually happier in the present time and are able to strategize how to fine-tune your situation so that you can accept the imperfect and embrace self-compassion. But this means that you stop being so hard on yourself and start noticing the positives that surround you regardless of your situation.

I would invite you for the next 30 days to spend at least five minutes every day focusing on something that you would like to change while remaining positive about your current status. That means noticing the inherent strengths in each situation with self-compassion. This will be the necessary ingredient to empower you to change!

Carol the Coach: You Determine the Impact

Do you see yourself as a survivor or a thriver?  Do you fall prey to the things that happen to you or do you put them in perspective and ask what you can learn from the unfortunate circumstance?  Do you often feel devastated by the cards that are dealt to you, or do you gather your bearings and ask yourself, ‘what do I need to do to recover from this’?

 Life has lots of challenges.  We live in a world that offers both good and bad.  Many unfortunate things have occurred have nothing to do with your behavior…they just are.  Cancer, traffic accidents, space shuttle disasters, terrorism, physical disability are all occurrences that happen through no fault of your own. 

Personal situations like divorce, abuse, downsizing, a spouse’s addiction may not be in any way a result of your behavior.  Yet, those types of life circumstances require the use of the life skill—reframing. 

 Reframing is the ability to look at life’s situations and glean what can be learned from them.  Where is the growth in the situation?  A person who uses reframing does not fall victim to life’s circumstances—they grow stronger. 

 I frequently ask clients to practice the life skill of reframing by teaching them an empowering statement to keep things “in perspective”.  I ask them to memorize the phrase, ‘No one or nothing deserves that much power’.  They must use the phrase anytime they feel overwhelmed with life’s circumstances.  This applies to situations that fall both inside and outside of their control. 

·         If your ex-husband or wife is power struggling with you about the kids and you are giving it too much mental energy…tell yourself, ‘my ex does not deserve all this power’.  Remind yourself that only you can give your ex all that power. You may not be able to control whether they take you back to court, but you can control how much time you think about it. 

·         You feel overwhelmed by the Columbia shuttle disaster and are starting to question if anything is safe in this world.  I would ask you to say to yourself, ‘I won’t give this event so much power that it colors my vision of the world’.  This is not meant to be trite, but accidents happen, and those brave astronauts lived life to the fullest.  The gains were worth the risks to them.

·         Your adult child is mad at you because you wouldn’t loan him money to pay his bills.  You feel guilty.  Your head knows that you must stand by your convictions, but your heart questions whether you should give in—just one more time.   Don’t give your child that much power.  Take back your confidence and do the right thinYou Determine the Impact

Do you see yourself as a survivor or a thriver?  Do you fall prey to the things that happen to you or do you put them in perspective and ask what you can learn from the unfortunate circumstance?  Do you often feel devastated by the cards that are dealt to you, or do you gather your bearings and ask yourself, ‘what do I need to do to recover from this’?

 Life has lots of challenges.  We live in a world that offers both good and bad.  Many unfortunate things have occurred have nothing to do with your behavior…they just are.  Cancer, traffic accidents, space shuttle disasters, terrorism, physical disability are all occurrences that happen through no fault of your own. 

 Personal situations like divorce, abuse, downsizing, a spouse’s addiction may not be in any way a result of your behavior.  Yet, those types of life circumstances require the use of the life skill—reframing. 

 Reframing is the ability to look at life’s situations and glean what can be learned from them.  Where is the growth in the situation?  A person who uses reframing does not fall victim to life’s circumstances—they grow stronger. 

 I frequently ask clients to practice the life skill of reframing by teaching them an empowering statement to keep things “in perspective”.  I ask them to memorize the phrase, ‘No one or nothing deserves that much power’.  They must use the phrase anytime they feel overwhelmed with life’s circumstances.  This applies to situations that fall both inside and outside of their control. 

·         If your ex-husband or wife is power struggling with you about the kids and you are giving it too much mental energy…tell yourself, ‘my ex does not deserve all this power’.  Remind yourself that only you can give your ex all that power. You may not be able to control whether they take you back to court, but you can control how much time you think about it. 

·         You feel overwhelmed by the Columbia shuttle disaster and are starting to question if anything is safe in this world.  I would ask you to say to yourself, ‘I won’t give this event so much power that it colors my vision of the world’.  This is not meant to be trite, but accidents happen, and those brave astronauts lived life to the fullest.  The gains were worth the risks to them.

·         Your adult child is mad at you because you wouldn’t loan him money to pay his bills.  You feel guilty.  Your head knows that you must stand by your convictions, but your heart questions whether you should give in—just one more time.   Don’t give your child that much power.  Take back your confidence and do the right thing.  You own the power, now have the confidence to live with it.  Be thankful that you have the strength and wisdom to do the right thing.  If people are so mad at you…so be it.  Possessing a strong backbone isn’t going to make you popular, but if you know in your heart that it is what someone needs, take back your power and feel good about your decisions. 

 The next time you’re arguing about a situation, tell yourself, ‘I won’t give it all that power’.  If you use that reframing tool, you will be mentally healthier, have a better sense of control, and you will join the group of people who choose to look at life through empowered eyes instead of through the eyes of the victim. 

 g.  You own the power, now have the confidence to live with it.  Be thankful that you have the strength and wisdom to do the right thing.  If people are so mad at you…so be it.  Possessing a strong backbone isn’t going to make you popular, but if you know in your heart that it is what someone needs, take back your power and feel good about your decisions. 

The next time you’re arguing about a situation, tell yourself, ‘I won’t give it all that power’.  If you use that reframing tool, you will be mentally healthier, have a better sense of control, and you will join the group of people who choose to look at life through empowered eyes instead of through the eyes of the victim.