Are You Kind to Yourself?

One of my friends, a business psychologist, recently told me about the critical-friendly dimension.
At first, I thought this was not new – I knew perfectly well that there are two attitudes in life: One friendly and one critical. Some people are predominantly optimistic and positive, and some people are predominantly pessimistic and negative. However, that was not what he was talking about. I should have guessed!

“It is all about the inner dialogue you have with yourself”

He was talking bout being friendly or critical towards yourself. It is all about the inner dialogue you have. This made me think of a list I have mentally been preparing for years. Even though I have refined this list through a multitude of my Personal Business Plan executive coaching programs, it is still not complete. Anyway, let’s have a go at it.

CRITICAL FRIENDLY
Provide Enjoy
Must Want
Duty Desire
Calvinist Hedonist
Pessimist Optimist
Sow Harvest
Seriousness Joy
Pain Gain
Forsaking Gratifying
Denigrating Appreciative
Produce Obtain
Give Receive
Excusing Assertive

 
Inner Dialogue
You yourself can probably continue the list based on your own experience. The key is to be able to decipher your inner dialogue. Do you tend to use moods and emotions mostly from the Critical column or mostly from the Friendly column? It is all about the inner dialogue you have with yourself.

Do you sometimes stop up and enjoy the moment? Have an ice cream? Breathe deeply and enjoy the oxygen? Express gratitude? There are thousands of small rewards that you can offer yourself – and they are mostly free. Gratitude is an attitude.

Large Bandwidth
I have coached thousands of ambitious individuals. They are often characterized by having a large bandwidth. This means that they can reduce complexity and create clarity – in their surroundings as well as in their own life. A common trait is also that they are relatively hard on themselves. This provides a certain inner drive. Proud, but not satisfied!

My personal experience is that it is easier to be friendly towards others than towards myself. Somehow, there is always this little feeling that I could do a little bit better. That if I just give it all I have now, I will be able to profit at a later stage. Deep down, I perfectly well know that at that future time I will find other ambitious objectives, goals and targets.

But then again – isn’t that what life is all about?

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