13 November 2017

Be kind to yourself


Quite a week, this. We have World Kindness Day (WKD) on the 13th of November, a day which also kicks off a week of focus on Self Care and Anti-Bullying.

WKD celebrates and promotes kindness in all its forms, something which is particularly important in this day and age of power over people, avarice and self-interest.

Yet it’s self-interest that I want to focus on. Not at the expense of others which is what some people do, but rather by focussing on the vital role of kindness to yourself, self-talk and self-care. After all, you’re in a much better position to help others when you feel good about yourself. 

This theme often comes up in our workshops and coaching sessions. We can be our own worst enemies at times, especially going through periods of feeling low, making us think that so many things in our lives stink! We concentrate on aspects which are really negative and become highly self-critical of ourselves. Every little thing we do wrong or which is not perfect gets added to this list and we soon find ourselves in a web of self-deprecation and even loathing. This can lead to a spiral of self-talk which can end in low moods and depression.

Our self-talk is the key to the reversing a low mood. With coaching clients I often encourage them to start thinking about all of the positive attributes that they have and how they take them for granted. They are also encouraged to start accepting the positive observations others make about them. What about three to five things that were good about their day rather than all the negatives? This thinking inspired our #1positivethought campaign.

Some say that they find it difficult to stop these thoughts or feelings rushing into their heads. They are encouraged to literally shout STOP in their head or visualise a STOP sign or touch a bangle on their wrist. ‘No, don’t go there’ is the message!

Kindness to oneself also involves knowing when to ask for help. At Result CIC we quickly knock on the head any notion of asking for support being seen as a weakness. Self-reliance is fine but knowing when to lighten the load is also a real strength. So many say that they don’t want to burden family and friends whereas, when asked whether they would do something important for a friend in need, the resounding response is ‘YES OF COURSE!’

Finally, don’t forget to reward yourself for doing things well. Whatever it is that makes you happy – do it. It’s a reminder that you appreciate even small positive developments in your behaviour and, the more you do it, the better you will feel. This self-talk can be reversed by the control that you will have over your thoughts, feelings and actions. You are the one in control of it all!

In terms of self-care, there is much focus on physical well being through exercise and more associated activities like doing yoga and mindfulness. Most of us are well aware of the need for active hobbies (vs slouching in front of the telly as appealing as that can be too). Gardening, walking the dog, spending time with people you care about can all have a huge impact on your sense of self worth and happiness and mindfulness is also an effective way of looking after yourself.

At work, don’t forget the power of mentoring and coaching of course….says a coach!

So let’s briefly think about bullies. I don’t want to write too much about them. They are the weakest type so why dedicate much time to them? What it boils down to is that they are incredibly insecure and messed up inside and therefore have to take it out on others. Once you realise this the feeling of being scared of them reduces and can gradually dissipate. With this and an assertive mindset you can overcome your fears. We work with young people and adults who have gone through being bullied and this is the start of overcoming them. It can be very painful but feeling stronger and standing up to their behaviour becomes a powerful force in itself. 

All of this reminds me of the power of coaching in strengthening oneself. This week, with three national days about self care, this seems more relevant than ever.

Read more about coaching or contact us to discuss further.

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We are Result CIC, a community interest company. We work with people who feel marginalised or excluded to become more confident about their abilities and to fulfill their potential. We also work with Directors, Managers and CEOs who need support to bring about positive change in terms of diversity and inclusion in their organisations. We each have personal experience of the issues affecting the people we work to support, including disability, immigration, mental health and sexuality. We have also worked in senior positions in industry and government.

Our vision is a society where every individual can achieve their potential, feel fulfilled and make a valuable contribution. 

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