“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L. Hay
Lori Deschene, author and founder of Tiny Buddha writes, “We all have techniques we depend on to lift our spirits when we’re feeling down about ourselves or our lives. A while back, I realized something about the ones I’d found most effective when struggling to forgive or accept myself: Many of them involved seeking validation from other people.
Some of my most effective mood-boosters included:
◦Reading emails from readers who’d benefitted from my writing
◦Calling people I loved and reminding myself of how much they valued me
◦Sharing my experiences and recognizing through the resultant conversations that I wasn’t alone with my feelings and struggles
These are all perfectly valid approaches to feeling better, but they all hinge on praise and external support. Getting help from others is only one part of the equation. We also need to be able to validate, support, and help ourselves.”
Deschene has come up with 5 ways to help us validate ourselves so that we do not have to rely on outside sources alone.
- In addition to a gratitude journal, Deschene suggests that we recognize and record things about ourselves that we are proud of. Rather than dwelling on the things that we do not like about ourselves, write down the things that we have done well and qualities about ourselves that we would not want to change.
- Before going to someone else for validation, think about what we would like that person to say to us. Tell ourselves the same thing. Example: Turn the following thought, “ I am hoping that they will tell me that they are proud of me,” into “I am proud of myself.”
- Look at ourselves as the parent to the child version of us. What would we want a parent to say to us? Tell ourselves that same thing.
- Figure out what it is that we really need and what will make us feel better. Are we tired? Do we need sleep? Are we feeling out of balance? Do we need to reevaluate our priorities? Are we sick? Do we need to see our doctor? Are we feeling spiritually bankrupt? What do we think that we need to do about that? Really reflect on what it is that we need?
- Recognize when we are judging our feelings. Remind ourselves that our feelings and our behaviors are two different things. It may not be in our best interest or in the best interest of others to behave the way that we want to behave (especially if we are really angry), but we can remind ourselves that we do have a right to feel the way that we feel.
Deschene tell us, “It is one of life’s great ironies, that it feels so natural to feel bad about feeling bad. All this does is keep us stuck. When we stop blaming ourselves for having room to grow, we’re free to focus our energy on doing it.”
What are some other ways that we can validate, support, and help ourselves when we are feeling down or just having a really bad day? I would love to hear from you.
Thank you, Lori, for sharing your article with us. Lori Deschene is the Founder of Tiny Buddha. I encourage you to check out her article.
•5 Ways to Validate Yourself: Be Part of Your Support System (tinybuddha.com) See link below