All of us need support in our life. When going through life traumas, relationship stress, or mental suffering (beating ourselves up, feeling insecure, bothered by what someone said about us), having a support system is important. Oftentimes, this support system takes the form of your significant other, family, and close friends. Take a second to think about your support system. Who do you talk to when you have a bad day, when your coworker is driving you up the wall, when you’re having relationship problems, or when you’re feeling insecure about a situation you’re in?
This is Part 2 of my Compassion blog posts. In Part 1, I shared what it feels like to offer yourself compassion. When you are able to offer yourself compassion, you find yourself feeling at peace and in acceptance of what is currently happening. So, the next question is how do you offer yourself that compassion? Sometimes telling yourself to cut yourself some slack just doesn’t seem to take the stress level down. In Part 2, I’m going to share a technique that has made a significant difference in my life: Voice Dialogue.
We have all heard the word compassion, but do you know how to offer it to yourself?
Merriam-Webster defines compassion as: “a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.” Okay, so it is more familiar when it comes to others, but what if we took a moment to offer it to ourselves? (screech…..What??? Wouldn’t that be selfish????)
Well, talking about “selfishness” is a whole other blog post (or 10). But, let’s let go of the culture-induced use of the word selfish, and really just let ourselves be front and center here. Remember what they say during the emergency directions on a flight: ”put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST, then your child.” Why? Because if you are oxygen-deprived, you can’t help someone else (wait, no one thinks THAT is selfish!!).
Many of us call ourselves a perfectionist. If you’re one of these people, you know all too well the inner perfectionist can be a little domineering sometimes. Yet, what you might not know is that you don’t have to be victim to it. Your inner perfectionist can be managed effectively by practicing being aware of it, knowing it is not you and getting support from others when you can’t seem to separate from it.
You don’t have to suffer through the rest of your life by letting your inner perfectionist run the show.
What does the perfectionist sound like?
Do you hear yourself saying “I should…” a lot?
I listen to people and note how many times I hear “I should…” which makes me pause. What is this “I should”-ing about?
Perhaps it means, “I am supposed to be doing such and such, but I don’t really want to.”
What if you changed the word “should” to “want”?
As much as we think we are in control of life, it isn’t the case. Life is really the one in charge.
When we attempt to control life, we are being motivated by fear. “Whoa!” you might say, “What?”
For example, when we are in traffic, we want everyone to drive like us (follow all traffic rules---but we ALWAYS follow ALL traffic rules, right??? ha ha). We don’t want any traffic jams and want to reach our destination on our timeline. But, we all know traffic laws are not always followed. Drivers are distracted (texting/talking on phone), and some are just bad drivers. We can’t control this, and this makes us vulnerable every time we get into a car. Someone could hit you and cause major damage to the car and worse, yourself and your kids. It’s very scary. Yet, do we acknowledge this vulnerability? Most of us do not. Instead, we attempt to control our environment.
Living an authentic life means you are aligned with your values. We all have 5-10 top values, that influence our decisions. I don’t mean religious or political values per se, but more comprehensive: integrity, beauty, freedom, inspiration, etc. For a more complete list of values, go here.
I invite you to review this list and pick out your top ten, then your top 5. Take those top 5 and determine how often your decisions and actions are in alignment with them. If you notice that your decisions and actions are not in alignment with these top 5-10 values, you aren’t being true to yourself.
When we are aligned with our life purpose, we fully feel alive. It means living a life of intention and making choices that align with our values. You hear the same thing when people talk about a mission statement or vision statement - it’s getting to the heart of what your legacy is.
Life purpose is a path. Along this path you will experience internal and external voices that will tell you to go in different directions. You are most vulnerable to these voices when you are unsure of your purpose. Claiming your life purpose gives you a powerful sense of direction. The truth in your life purpose statement can make you virtually unstoppable.
We make many choices every day that keep us in our comfort zone. There is nothing wrong with our comfort zones....unless we don’t get out of them on a consistent basis or never get out them at all. A few indicators you might be stuck in your comfort zone are:
How often do you say, “I don’t have time” or “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”?
I hear statements like these at least once a day, sometimes more. It always strikes me as bullshit. Why? Because it really isn’t true. We all have the same amount of time available to us each day. It really boils down to the choices we make in our lives daily, monthly and yearly.
Andrea helps clients declutter and get organized in a sustainable way that works long-term for them. Andrea also coaches private clients on career changes and personal development, helping them create a fulfilling, happy and exciting life. In her free time, Andrea enjoys cross-country skiing, reading and road cycling.