Treat Yourself the Way You Treat Others

Do you ever beat yourself up for the things you "should" have done that you didn't do? Do you regret not doing what you "could" have done when you had the opportunity? Do you think about what you "would" have done differently in a particular situation?  
"Could haves", "should haves", and "would haves" get us into trouble with ourselves more than we realize. Every time we "should" on ourselves we deny ourselves the opportunity to celebrate! We tell ourselves that what we did wasn't important, didn't matter, wasn't good enough...the list can go on. Simply put, we beat ourselves up and we fill our heads with negative thoughts. We all question ourselves – our actions, our behaviours, and our decisions – from time to time but how we question ourselves can make a huge difference in how we feel and what we think about ourselves. There is a difference between asking yourself what you can do differently next time to get a better result and asking yourself why you even bothered in the first place. "Shoulding" on yourself won't make you feel better about your situation but congratulating yourself for making the effort, doing the best you could with the information and resources you had available at the time, and using the opportunity to learn and grow sure will.

You are worthy of being treated with love, compassion, gentleness, and respect. Let the universe know this by the way you treat yourself.

What do you tell yourself and how do you treat yourself during moments of self-doubt? Do you "should" on yourself, question your abilities, or second guess your decisions? Saying things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else is counter-productive yet many of us have a tendency to say them anyway. Of course it is healthy and normal to evaluate a situation so that we can identify what worked and what didn’t, what adjustments need to be made, and how to improve but beating ourselves up with “could haves”, “should haves”, and “would haves” doesn’t serve us well.
I was being very hard on myself a few days ago and with every negative comment I was spiralling deeper and deeper into a dark and unforgiving place. On that particular occasion my verbal assaults on myself happened to be out loud and in front of my husband. He is without a doubt my biggest fan and supporter – a quiet cheerleader who is always there when I need him most. After paying me a few compliments that I dismissed he said something to me that snapped me out of my funk: "what would you say to your clients, your friends, or complete strangers if you heard them talking to themselves the way you are talking to yourself right now?" I responded immediately and without hesitation that I wouldn't let them beat themselves up like that – I would help them to reframe their perspective and to see their strengths and accomplishments. I would show them kindness and compassion. I would help them to work through their challenges. "Then why don't you treat yourself the way you treat everyone else?", he said very matter-of-factly. 
His questions really did stop me in my tracks and he was absolutely right. I would go out of my way to help someone who was feeling angry, fearful, frustrated, misunderstood, anxious, or worried but I wasn’t willing to do that for myself. When I realized what I was saying to myself and not only how untrue it was but how hurtful it was I recognized that continuing to talk that way wasn't going to help me grow, be more successful, or gain confidence. That doesn’t mean that I won’t ever doubt myself again but hopefully I will be a little more aware of what I’m doing and be able to shift my thinking a little more quickly.

Self-doubt can be tricky to figure out yet we all experience it from time to time. What my husband did was help me shift my perspective. I'm sure that you know at least one or two people you can call or visit who are great at this. When you feel yourself struggling why not pick up the phone or go out for a coffee with them. Looking at a situation objectively can help to stop the self-doubt and sometimes we need a little outside help to do that.
How can you reframe some of the negative messages you tell yourself? Are there quotes or mantras that you like to read, write, or recite to yourself? Surrounding yourself with reminders of your achievements, sayings that motivate you, and being around people that you feel good being around sure can help. Celebrating your successes can really help too! Rather than being hard on yourself for not getting a particular job focus instead on the great things you do in your current job or remind yourself of what you did really well in a previous job. Think about a time you persevered and remember the positive outcome you had as a result. Congratulate yourself for getting in an assignment in ahead of schedule. Think through the strategy that helped you deal with a particularly challenging customer in the past. Pull out your recent performance appraisal or a thank you card from a client to see in writing what others appreciate about you.

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others, and the world at large, to follow. Above everyone else, YOU deserve YOUR respect. So make sure your decisions, behaviors, and actions reflect your self-respect as you carry out your plans.

You will experience moments of self-doubt and your confidence will waver. Try to keep your challenges in perspective, focus on your successes, and remember to treat yourself the way you treat others – with kindness, gentleness, patience, and positivity.

I believe in you and I am rooting for your success!


For a FREE 30 minute consultation please feel free to contact Paula directly at or 780.589.2245. Connect with Paula on LinkedIn or Facebook.

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