The Power of Empathy….With You!
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
My goal for this blog is to share a reframe I provide for my clients when I notice they are being too hard on themselves. Often, I hear clients say, “I have to be my own worst enemy to get things done”. Some feel without self-bashing, they won’t be motivated enough to make a change. However, we are just fueling a cycle of self-doubt that leads you to be your own worse critic, thus hindering the ability to self-soothe. We now depend on others to self soothe, for us (Spiral). Around we go in our minds feeling trapped. Below are some thoughts to consider.
Enable vs Empathy.
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share feelings with someone else. I am promoting you to do that with yourself. What presents to be a roadblock, is when we are trying to rationalize/understand behavior, we feel as though we are enabling ourselves, encouraging bad behavior, and letting ourselves off the hook. Let's take a simple example that we’ve all done (guilty). You stay up late one night leading you to sleep past your alarm clock the next morning. You are now late for work, school, or whatever you had planned that day. Because we do not want to enable this behavior it turns into a “What's wrong with me, I can never get it right..” spiral into self-bashing. Empathy in this situation can be seen as. “It's okay, (breath) yeah I could have done better, looking at it now I see where I could have adjusted, this is what I will try next time..” (It is okay if that statement feels a little uncomfortable..it's new). In this, you are not enabling yourself, your learning about yourself. Calming yourself enough to see the circumstance objectively and adjusting from there. Self-bashing promotes a barrier to self-awareness. Where does this possibly come from..serves as a separate blog :)
No one expects you to have it all together. A mistake is an opportunity to learn about yourself. The idea of seeing something objectively (Outside the box) is where you want to be. Further, self-talk is a powerful tool. What we say to us matters a great deal. Does my self-talk have to be positive? Meh kinda. What actually holds substance is self-assurance “It's okay, I will be okay”. The ability to comfort yourself during an anxious moment can alleviate so much. With practice, you have the ability to mitigate anxious thoughts. When this is solidified, you can now depend on you for comfort. Reducing the dependence on others.
Self Kindness Brings Growth:
So in closing, be kind to yourself. You can still grow and hold yourself accountable without hurting the relationship with you. Start by telling yourself it is okay. Your voice matters. Thanks for reading. I look forward to sharing more as I continue to learn.