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On Being Kind to Yourself

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Ambitious driven professionals have a tendency to set the bar high – for others and more importantly, for themselves.

If the bar is at a reachable stretch, it is achieved with the right amount of effort. When you cross the bar, you can raise it again. Bar heights are not set in stone.

So what happens when the bar is set so high that you, an otherwise competent professional start to struggle?

Well, it could be exhaustion (working long weekdays and weekends), strained relationships with colleagues, family & friends and if pushed too far, the creation of a self-destructive negative mindset, unhappiness and perhaps depression.

High achievers in school and college may have the bar set for them by others. Maybe parents who are trying to live their unfulfilled ambitions through their children, teachers who need to prove that they produced fine students and even us if we really want to be seen as part of the A Group. Since we believe and are conditioned by others and ourselves, we don’t step back to ask;

Does this work for me?

What worked for me in the past………does it still work?

Today, I am going to write from the perspective of a Super Professional who found peace and success when I moved from perfectionism to being human. I also found that I was still on top of my game but much happier and loved.

Success without happiness is no success. To share advice from my Mother, who I acknowledge is a wise lady and often quotes words of wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita – Happiness comes from within. Do your best and leave the rest to God.

My best friend in Poland, who suffered from the same malady but was intelligent enough to figure things out sooner than I did advises –

Don’t be so hard on yourself

I say – Be kind to yourself

You are your best friend.

Your companions in the journey of Life will come and go. Some may stay for a season and some for a purpose or reason but the one constant is you and your relationship with yourself.

So before you practice love and compassion for others and try to save the world, love yourself. Be kind to yourself. There is only one of you in this world; you are a masterpiece. So go forth and achieve without destroying everything which has value for you in the long run.

Embrace Compassion, embrace yourself and know that being critical or judgmental about yourself will not help you achieve your goals, even if after reading this post, you decide to lower the bar to a reachable height.

Here are a few pointers to get you started on loving yourself and being kind to yourself. The rest will come to you on your journey to Self-Compassion.

Step into the Now. Cherish each moment as if it were the last moment you have. Stop to smell the flowers, say hello to an elderly neighbor, dust the books on your bookshelf and watch the sky change colours during sunset. Hey, even pat your pet dog or cat! Value who and what surrounds you in the moment. That moment will be a part of the past before you realize it.

Work out what the important things in your Life are. Is it meeting a deadline that can wait till tomorrow or being home in time for dinner with the family? In other words, value what is really important for you in your life. Don’t take family and friends for granted. Love them, appreciate them.

Learn to listen to your intuition and your heart. When you feel a sense of guilt about something, know that you are being told to correct course by your Higher Self. We are all connected to Divinity. When we stop to love ourselves, our true Inner Nature comes out – one that loves unconditionally and is loved back unconditionally by the world.

When your Gremlins come out to play, acknowledge them and send them on their way. Be kind to yourself. Remember there is only one of you.

A lady whom I once knew used to write letters to others when she wanted to tell them things that she knew if said would destroy the relationship. It used to help her get things off her chest. She would then destroy those letters.

I suggest you write a letter to yourself today acknowledging how wonderful you are and why you need to be kind to yourself. It may be a short letter or a very long one. Read it a few days later and do come back to tell me what you realized.

Until then, be kind to yourself

Written By: Vatsala Shukla

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24 Responses to “On Being Kind to Yourself”

  1. I so enjoyed your post, Yatsala! Yes, we must be kind to our self! I love what your wrote: “When your Gremlins come out to play, acknowledge them and send them on their way. Be kind to yourself. Remember there is only one of you.” Lovely! 🙂 Thank you!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Alexandra, how nice to have you visit my blog again! Thank you so much for your kind words. Some Gremlins are impossible to get rid of and I believe we can still try by acknowledging them to reduce their hold over us.

  2. A beautiful article! I found that I love myself. In loving myself, I love God/Creator Source. We are One. Be Kind To Yourself-We all need to hear this again and again. Namaste.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Namaste Barbara. I have often heard that when one learns to love oneself, one easily learns to love the world too. I believe it to be true. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. What a great reminder that we need to love ourselves. After all, we are with ourselves our whole lives and isn’t it better to be kind than not? I like what you say about “when you feel a sense of guilt, you are being told to correct yourself.” That’s a great tip. Stop. Be in the now and know that you are loved. Thanks!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you for dropping by Martha. Interestingly with many clients who come to me for career coaching, one of the questions that I often ask at some point is, do you love yourself? It often helps with a breakthrough towards enhancing self-esteem related career problems.

  4. Excellent post! It’s so important that we remember to be our own best friend – we all must treat ourselves with the same level of love and respect that the Divine has for us. Sometimes the gremlins arise just as a wee reminder to get back to that truth!

  5. Sharon O'Day says:

    Somewhere along the line, our society decided that “loving yourself” was somehow selfish. In fact, selflessness was promoted. But the question I keep asking is this: If we don’t love ourselves and nurture ourselves first, where are we going to get the love and nurturing for those around us?

    • Karmic Ally says:

      We are conditioned to equate loving oneself with selfishness by well-meaning role models in childhood. Sadly the message also affects our sense of self in later life with consequent issues of self-esteem and self-worth, which are so different from being selfish.

  6. “When your Gremlins come out to play, acknowledge them and send them on their way.” I like the way you describe getting rid of the fear, anxiety… etc. Great post.

  7. Such a beautiful post, Yatsala – so much wisdom and gentle healing. It took me a long time (and a lot of help) to fully understand the importance of loving and having compassion for myself – it’s sure made the world of difference.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Lisa for your loving and kind words. I am inspired and motivated to be the best I can. Many of us love to give and care for others and yet forget that we too need to be nurtured. A heart that loves oneself unconditionally has even more to give to the world and interestingly receives more in return.

  8. Anita says:

    Its so important that we take care of number one! As women its so easy to get caught up in service to others first and forget!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Absolutely Anita! It is good to be of service to others but not when we do a disservice to ourselves. That holds for men too!

  9. You’re right. WE all need to be kinder to ourselves. Then we can be kinder to tohers too.

  10. I think all too often we forget to be kind to ourselves. We are often our own biggest critic.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Very true, Shawn. Which is why we need to take time out to think about ourselves and not be too hard if we don’t meet our own high standards. Our best has to be good enough.

  11. My guess is that many people are still very hard on themselves. I think we are our own biggest critics and yet all that does is derail us and often paralyze us from moving forward. The idea of starting within very much interests me. Life truly does happen from the inside out, and yet we seem so very concerned about what the outside world is doing or saying we need to be doing or saying. I am guilty of being hard on myself and am learning to step back and find the space and time to refocus and be kinder and gentler with myself. It is a reminder we all can use, especially as life becomes more hectic and more filled with outside influences and distractions. Thanks for the timely post, Vatsala. Very appreciated.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Always welcome, Beverley. Quite often, many of us who need to stop and smell the roses have been high achievers early in life or have tried to live up to others expectations without asking if we were happy. A journey inward always provides clarity and whether we really need to push ourselves. Kindness needs to start with us, if we are going to be kind to others.

  12. We get carried away into busyness and conducting our lives by checking off our ever-growing lists.

    I love that you mentioned patting your pet – this is something I do with my dog and it’s known to give me calmness 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Ah yes, Delia. We pet people do have a ready made antidote for stress right at home. 🙂 When I first learned that some hospitals had a plan for dogs and cats to visit the infirm to help raise their spirits, I knew that it was the right move towards enhancing the healing process.

  13. Liz daRosa says:

    I love the writing style of this post. How you interweave quotes & feelings from people who are meaningful to you with your own insights & advice. If more people lived “be kind to yourself” as you signed off, we’d probably have happier people & a kinder world!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Welcome to The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Blog, Liz and thank you for the compliment! It is easier to be genuinely kind to others when we know and treat ourselves with kindness first.

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I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

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1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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