Learning to let go of criticism — especially of yourself – is strong medicine. It will change your life as few other things will. We have all been trained to criticize. Loving yourself means you will unlearn many, many years of your training. How do you do this?
First of all, don’t get impatient with yourself. When you fall off the wagon and start to criticize, don’t spend too much time criticizing yourself for being critical. Acknowledge what you are doing and then start again. No use wasting time beating up on yourself for beating up on yourself.
When this happens, replace the critical thought with a positive supportive one. For example, if you have just told yourself you are fat and unattractive, say “Delete. I love myself, and I love my body. I am learning to take care of myself and pamper myself. I appreciate my body because it is my home here on earth, and it deserves respect.”
[Tweet “Substitute loving words for critical words. If you can’t think of a substitution, simply say “Delete.” And then say “I love myself.””]
Or, if you have just told yourself that you are an idiot because you can’t get a handle on your finances, say “Delete. I feel frustrated because I am not experiencing the success I want in this area. But there’s nothing to stop me from learning a different approach, and I am going to keep on educating myself, and trying different things until I get a handle on this. I can do this!”
Or if you want to criticize your spouse for making a mess, say “Delete. Not going to go there. I am learning to love myself by creating a harmonious environment here at home.” Then you can kindly ask your spouse to help you clean up the mess. If (s)he won’t help, then you can clean up the mess because YOU deserve to live in a nice home. It is an act of self-love to take care of your house. It has nothing to do with the other person! You are not at the mercy of someone else understanding and agreeing with you! You can just take action FOR YOURSELF! This is loving yourself. I can hear some of you saying, “It isn’t fair that I should have to clean up other people’s messes, etc.” Is it fair for you to get an ulcer because you are angry and at the mercy of other people’s behavior?
Loving yourself means putting your comfort and satisfaction ahead of taking on the monumental (frankly impossible) job of training someone else to please you and to “do it correctly”. But I digress. Lesson Five is about letting go of criticism, especially of yourself. Substitute loving words for critical words. If you can’t think of a substitution, simple say “Delete.” And then say “I love myself.”