Coach’s Challenge for 9/9/12 “Being Hard on Yourself”

Good day, team.

This has been my week to berate myself. It’s not something I do often, but when I do, it really feels awful. A discontented state of mind hangs over me like a stormy day and can be accompanied by nasty thoughts of judgment and negativity that shoot at me like arrows. I once saw a painting of St. Sebastian with hundreds of arrows piercing his body. That’s how it feels, but the arrows are on the inside shooting at my internal world rather than outside striking my physical body.

Sometimes, the coach needs a coach. Fortunately, because I write this challenge each week, I try to read things that inspire me and give me ideas. One of these things is a wonderful blog called Tiny Buddha. I love how author Lori Deschene takes her life experience and turns it into tiny bits of wisdom. After this past week, I really needed some help, and Tiny Buddha offered it up with the following:

“On Being Too Hard on Yourself”

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” — African Proverb

“Sometimes we judge ourselves pretty harshly. We blame ourselves for things we have absolutely no control over. We criticize, berate and even disparage ourselves, treating ourselves far worse than we’d ever treat other people.

“It’s just all too easy to hold ourselves to high standards and then get frustrated if we fail to meet them. I know I have done this before, and, at the risk of sounding defeatist, I know I will do it at some point again.

“I believe that in much the same we will inevitably have conflicts with other people, we will also go through times when we’re not kind and loving to ourselves.

“Perhaps the key to silencing the enemy within is accepting that it is there — that we all possess both darkness and light within us — and then learning to create a higher ratio of self-affirming to self-diminishing thoughts. Maybe the goal shouldn’t be to always be positive but to recognize when we start being self-critical so that we can shift our thoughts more quickly and effectively with each internal struggle.

“In a perfect world, we would always know the exact way to think and thing to do to nurture ourselves and honor our needs, and we’d instinctively always do those things. Maybe some people do. But I can’t speak for them, because I sometimes struggle.

“What helps me is to focus on progress, not perfection — to forgive myself when I’ve gotten negative and then start anew from right where I stand.

“Today if you get down on yourself, remember: You’re doing the best you can, and you have the power to choose, right now, that your best is good enough.”

And so dear subscribers, your challenge this week is to take Lori’s advice. Even if you don’t get down on yourself, remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. And if you choose to believe that your best is good enough, you might just feel more empowered. If you do have a down day or week, Lori’s words will be particularly meaningful. The sentence that made me feel so much better this morning was this one:

“Perhaps the key to silencing the enemy within is accepting that it is there — that we all possess both darkness and light within us — and then learning to create a higher ratio of self-affirming to self-diminishing thoughts.”

This week, try using Lori’s tiny wisdom to bring you back into the light.

Have a good week,

Kathleen

Kathleen Doyle-White

Pathfinders Coaching

(503) 296-9249

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