By Kelly Ross, MS, PCC. You might have another name for this idea: self-compassion, self-care, being kind to yourself, not judging yourself too harshly, etc. I don’t think it matters what we call it.
- Are you talking to yourself as you talk to others?
- Are you behind, or not accomplishing as much as you used to (and being unkind to yourself about it)?
- Are you hearing only the judgmental view of your inner-critic voice?
In my coaching work with leaders these days, I am seeing a pattern of being tough on ourselves. I know I can give myself some more grace and I wonder if you can too?
Here are three practices I am working on, with varying degrees of success depending on the day. I invite you to try them.
- Are you talking to yourself as you talk to others? This wisdom from Brene Brown is so very powerful as we talk about giving ourselves grace. Stop and notice. Are you holding yourself to a standard or expectation that you would not hold a friend/colleague/partner? Is your inner voice harsher than you would use with that friend/colleague/partner? Write for a few minutes what you will say to yourself instead. Be specific. Stream of consciousness is totally fine, this is only for your eyes.
- Are you behind, or not accomplishing as much as you used to? I am hearing this pattern from so many people. Take a moment to reflect on one thing (only one!) you have on your very-imporant-to-do-list. Where are you realistically on this item right now when you consider what done will look like? Where do you want to be in a specific amount of time (i.e., I want to have these seven other steps done by the end of week)? What one small, realistic step can you take today to move in the direction of done? Before you do that step, pick one small thing you will do to celebrate making progress.
- Are you hearing only the judgmental view of your inner critic voice? My inner critic, whom I call my gremlin, is so loud these days. Take a walk with the express goal of listening to the different voices your inner voice has to offer. What is your judgmental voice saying? What is important to notice about how this voice wants to keep you safe? Thank that voice. Breathe. Now listen to the voice that is you at your wisest or what you might hear from a supportive mentor. What is important to notice about the wish this voice has for you? Thank that voice. Breathe. Before you finish your walk, notice how your body reacts to these different voices.
Have your shoulders separated a bit from your ears? Are you breathing more deeply? Just notice.
To learn more about grace, self-care and empowering you as a leader, schedule a consultation with Kelly.