Be nice to yourself

The world is often backwards. Babies and toddlers are encouraged to walk, talk and play. But as we get older, we are told to sit still, shut up, and get serious — otherwise, you’re a problem. Later in life, we are encouraged to try new things, but ridiculed when we make mistakes.

When we fall short, it seems like much of the pain is not from failing to reach a goal itself, but the shame or embarrassment of failure. What’s more painful and pervasive if you get a D on a test? The sting of your parent’s judgement? Or your teacher telling you that you aren’t a math person?

On the flip side, think about that teacher or coach who really changed your life. How did they motivate you and inspire you to do better? At the core, it’s because they believed in you. They didn’t spend the bulk of their time crucifying you. Even if they were tough in their methods, it’s likely because they saw your potential, and believed you could reach it.

You can’t rely on other people to be your #1 fan. Family, friends, and supportive significant others are great blessings, but, ultimately, you’ll have to be your own support system. Recognize your mistakes, of course, but don’t drown yourself in a cesspool of negativity.

There is plenty of negativity in this world to go around. It’s not hard to find. In fact, some people and businesses thrive off of berating people, or making you feel less worthy. You don’t have to add to it as you seek your goals. Be nice to yourself.

When you love something, you care about it, and want to take care of it. The same goes for your body and well being. You should exercise or eat healthy because you love your body, not because the world told you you’re a scumbag for being overweight or too skinny.

Of course, negativity is a strong motivator. Many great athletes became the best versions of themselves after the toughest moments of competition. Many great artists create masterpieces when they hit low points. This is true, but all trials come to an end at some point. A trial is only a trial because it’s temporary.

Great things also come from positive inspiration too. Your negativity has to have a limit, otherwise, it becomes a tar that holds you back from future happiness.

Be nice to yourself, and use your emotions wisely, my friend.

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