Tuesday, September 8, 2015

On Being Polite & Kind To Yourself

My trainer is currently running a 30 Day challenge- it's multi-faceted with a choice of fitness and better eating challenges (I'm working on getting some upper body strength) and a daily health, fitness or wellness challenge- #bodymode30daychallenge So far there's been everything from a sit-up test (I used to be pretty hot at the bleep test, not so much these days...), to giving up on excuses, blame and expectations. Today's prompt was to start something new, and being polite to yourself struck a chord with me.

"Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will."

In recent months I've labelled myself with names like lazy and fat. I stopped wearing clothes I liked because I wasn't happy with what I saw in the mirror. I stopped bothering with my hair or putting on make-up, because I wondered why I should even bother. I told myself that whatever I was challenging myself to do, it wasn't enough because there are other people out there doing more, better.

The problem with treating yourself like that, is that it reflects on other people in 2 ways. The first is It is true that if you do not love and respect yourself, you are not setting a standard as to how others treat you but just as importantly, you are setting a standard as to how other people can expect to be treated by you.

If you cannot celebrate your own achievements or choose to diminish them, I cannot share mine with you, because you may dismiss or diminish them. If you think you are lazy, might you be thinking I am too? If you think it's not worth the bother of enjoying your own appearance, do you think my enjoyment of this beautiful dress or curling my hair is frivolous?

Off on a road trip.
To you it's jeans and a jumper. To me it was smiling at the reflection and feeling confident that I looked as happy as I felt.

Lots of things have helped me to find some of the old Chloe- the one who likes to socialise, drives dodgems with reckless abandon and is excited by lipstick, and one of them has been taking some guidance on my training and exercise. Having a friendly and supportive voice to remind you that you are making progress, that you have tangible achievements to reach for helped to blow away the nagging voice that tells me, I am not good enough. Another major turnaround has been the prospect of helping other people- being involved in a project that helps people to find the joy in exercise and sport is hugely important to me, I wouldn't want any of my own negativity to be projected into an environment that is about encouragement, support and the celebration of achievement.

Being kind to yourself, and polite to yourself when you expect more from yourself than you ever would another person is a difficult habit to form. I am taking time each day to reflect on positive outcomes rather than failings- the solutions found rather than the problems encountered, the achievements rather than the setbacks and goals rather than the results.

Being kind to myself and using the kind of language I would use for others has reminded me that I am a lot of things....

kindness collage

I am a girl who looks good in lipstick, a girl who rides and who runs, I am a competitive person and I like to win, I am good at my job and that is important to me.

I am not setting a goal or a challenge, but I am committed to being kinder and more polite to myself because I like feeling confident again, feeling worthy and enjoying my successes.

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