You may have heard the saying that “Charity begins at home” and perhaps you wonder what this has to do with kindness?
The answer is this: You cannot give what you do not have. In other words, unless you are kind to yourself it will be impossible for you to be kind to others on a consistent basis. Yes, you may find yourself doing a kind act or sharing some kind words but when you learn to be kind to yourself you will find that kindness flows out of you like water from a tap.
The person you speak to the most is you, so I ask you to think about this: Would you say to other people the things you say to yourself?
Have you ever found yourself saying things such as;
I am so stupid?
I never do anything right?
I will never be any good at this?
If you are honest I believe the answer is yes, because I know I have said similar things to myself in the past. Now think about this. How would you feel if someone else said these things to you? What would it say about you if you said them to someone else? How would you feel about yourself then?
When you take time to reflect on this I think you will agree with me that to make comments like this to someone else would be hurtful and is also a form of bullying so why is it ok to say them to yourself? It isn’t, so why are we so hard on ourselves?
Here is the truth: We are taught “what” to think, not “how” to think. We are not taught how to connect with our emotions or how to identify our purpose, passion, and strengths so is it any wonder that we don’t give ourselves the kindness and love that we need?
I spent my life trying to please other people, both personally and professionally. I would always make sure that I was giving them praise, even when they messed up. I made a conscious effort to spend more time on their strengths than their weaknesses yet I never did this for myself. It wasn’t until I was turning 50 years old that I started to understand the power of “self-talk” and what an impact it can have on your life, both positively and negatively.
Each month I will be sharing tips that will help you to become a great leader. Before you say, “I am not a leader”, I want you to know this. Leadership is Influence. We all influence other people through the words we use and the actions we take, therefore we are ALL leaders. Becoming a great leader requires you to be intentional about how you are influencing other people and it starts with you. There is nothing more satisfying than helping someone else and when you do so, you will experience personal growth that will make you even more influential.
Take some time to answer these questions:
Who do you look up to?
Who do you aspire to be like?
Who makes you feel special?
What is it about this person, or these people, that makes you feel this way?
Now answer these questions about yourself:
What do I do well?
What are my natural talents?
What do I love to do that I lose all track of time?
What do other people always ask me for help with?
Eliminate these words from your vocabulary:
I am afraid of
I don’t believe
I am not good enough
I always mess up
Make these words part of your vocabulary:
I am confident
I do believe
All things are possible
I am good enough
I know that this is probably going to be a little strange to start with and many people think that this is teaching them to be selfish but I encourage you to remember that what we are doing is helping you to think about yourself in a positive way so that you can have a positive impact on other people. You have everything you need within you to rise to greatness and become a great leader. You have the power to choose the path your life takes and when you identify your purpose, passion and strengths you will be able to live in that zone every day.
Welcome to your journey, now let’s go out there and change the world!