Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kind to self!

It's been long since I penned down my thoughts. I  recently had a wake up call that I absolutely lack work-life balance. I enjoy my job immensely and in such a scenario, my work has become my life. It is the ideal condition everyone aspires to be in. I am never exhausted mentally and I have the energy to do six days' work at once. Nevertheless I consciously choose to take a step back and relax a bit. I need a respite from workaholic schedule.

Today I was faced with a situation where there was a minor mishap in my work. It occurred due to a combination of faults from 3 people but I had to face the consequences. I was chided by my superior and fell into the guilt trap immediately. My mind was clouded with the self-abnegation. I just couldn't forgive things going on a any path that is less than perfect. I was cruelly judging my preparedness, dedication and capability all at once. It took a colleague's soothing moral support and my own reflection to bounce back into being happy.

What makes it so hard to be kind to self?

  • Ego
  • High expectations from self
  • Societal expectations
  • Fear of failure
  • Doubts about one's own capability 
  • Locus of control lying outside of your mind
  • Less energy to stop the penetration of external influences into your mind
  • Lack of clarity on one's efforts and the outcome
  • Circumstantial pressure
  • Self-criticising 
All the above reasons are daunting to tackle at once. But all it takes to overcome them is self-awareness. Being extremely conscious of one's own thoughts and emotions is crucial to practising kindness on self. We find it easy to help a friend at times of distress but to muster the will power to help oneself requires practice, confidence, resilience and grit. High degrees of honesty plays a major rule in accepting mistakes and turning them into learnings. One more underestimated tool for practising kindness on self is humour. Being able to laugh at your mistakes is the most courageous thing to do. Standing up to an enemy (your brain) who knows you very well is outright intimidating. First line of defence is to empathise with self. Then the below cycle follows:
  • Take notice of the mistake
  • Observe your emotions towards the mistake
  • Embrace your weakness
  • Be vulnerable and stop playing perfect
  • Analyse the growth points
  • Do damage control
  • Go back to the arena being vulnerable and ready to make another mistake
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” 
― Dr. Seuss

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