When it comes to understanding ourselves, reaching goals, hitting deadlines and evolving, you’ve got to exercise a balanced hand. On the one side, you’ve got to be disciplined and driven, on the other, you’ve got to understand the value and importance of rest and laziness. It’s this duality that can make self-compassion a tough order. But it can be done, with a little knowledge.
Don’t Judge Others So Harshly…
…And you might judge yourself less damagingly. When we go out into the world, and find ourselves watching others closely, picking at imperfections and shortcomings, more often than not, it’s just an expression of our own brittle standards and low self-esteem. The trouble with having inflexible standards is that they can’t meet up with reality, so you’ll constantly be let down by other people, and more importantly by yourself. This is not the road to happiness.
When we pick at others’ imperfections, more often than not, it’s just an expression of our own brittle standards and low self-esteem.
Telling yourself that every day for the next month you have to be up at six, in the gym for an hour, and eating perfectly, is only going to lead to disappointment. You’re setting yourself up to fail, and in the long run that only ever puts you further behind on your goals. No pizza in 2018 is not a reasonable expectation. Pizza just once a week on the other hand, is.
The trouble with having inflexible standards is that they can’t meet up with reality, so you’ll constantly be let down by other people and by yourself.
A better philosophy, rather than judgement and high standards, is understanding and flexible goals. You need to combine the seemingly contradictory traits of self-acceptance and love, while still reaching higher, and desiring self-improvement. You can’t do that if you’re just constantly trying to whip and bully yourself and others into better shape.
Stick by Your Decisions, and then Make Better Decisions
It’s been shown that lacking integrity, and failing to stick by your word can have a bad impact on your overall mental health and self-esteem. If you find yourself committing to do things, whatever they may be, to yourself or to others, stick by them. Even if mid-way through, you wonder whether it’s the right course after all, stick by it, and make a better decision in future. You’ll feel better, stronger, and more in control simply by sticking to your goals and aim, and maintaining your integrity and word.
Understand the Benefits of Flexibility or Elasticity
And I don’t mean physically! If you’ve got a diet, work regimen or exercise schedule you’d like to keep to, understand that sometimes, we, as humans, fall down and fail. Understand that, and your own fallibility, and then develop the skill to ignore failure, and get back on with your goals.
It’s been shown by lifestyle coaches like Tim Ferris that having one day a week where you tell your diet to go away is hugely beneficial. Telling yourself you’re never going to drink beer or eat chocolate again is a huge commitment that only serves to sow the seeds of doubt and undermine the diet. Knowing you could have that big dirty takeaway, that pint and that ice cream on Sundays only is going to be a big comfort, and keep you on track.
Therefore, instead of falling off the wagon once, and abandoning your plans, you can fall off and go back immediately. After all, working out every day in a month, bar two days when you just didn’t feel like it, is still going to be fantastic for you, rather than giving up because you couldn’t match your own unreasonable standards.
Don’t just use a pre-planned cheat day either, use the cheat day mentality whenever you just can’t bring yourself to do something. When you’re worn out, and doing whatever task is just going to push you closer to giving up, exercise your veto, and put your feet up. Cancel that failure guilt, and carry on tomorrow.
Accumulate Positive People
People frequently label others’ partners and friends as being either good for them or bad, and there’s a logic behind that. The people you spend your time with have a huge effect on your personality, goals, mind-set, motivation and general happiness. It’s been said that as a person, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Be they family, lovers or friends. Be they angry, depressed people, or happy, motivated go-getters.As a person, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Click To Tweet
Now I’m not saying don’t spend time with people when they’re not providing a positive impact on your life. Being there for a struggling friend can be rewarding for both of you in the long run. However, spending too much time with people who overall have a negative impact on you and your life is just going to set you back. You need to limit contact or ideally cut off from these kind of people.
continue to part 2