With greater awareness of how we treat ourselves comes greater responsibility to treat ourselves well. This means eliminating harsh self-judgments! Over the past several weeks, we’ve discussed six steps to trading a self-critical attitude for a self-compassionate attitude:
- acknowledging that we want to change.
- becoming aware that we put ourselves down.
- catching ourselves each time we are self-critical.
- becoming our own nurturing self-parent.
- learning where the self-critical messages originated so that we can challenge them.
- picturing ourselves as children.
While Steps 1-6 require the hard work of emotional self-exploration, Step 7 asks you to put that work to use by replacing negative judgments with loving thoughts. This step is really about “reprogramming” your brain. What do I mean by that?
It took time and repetition for those self-critical thoughts to take root in your head and heart, so it follows that with time and repetition, loving thoughts will take root as well. Try telling yourself, “I am a worthwhile person that can do anything I set my mind to do.” Say it to yourself over and over again and pretty soon, you will begin to believe it.
Make a list of your positive qualities and review it regularly. You really are reprogramming your brain to think kind and compassionate thoughts about you.
Take a look back at Steps 1-6, and be sure to check back next week for the eighth and final Step!: