This is a topic that’s coming up a lot for me personally lately.

What would I do if I were 5% kinder to myself?

Between you and me, I only really feel like I’ve resurfaced and reintegrated fully into my day to day life in the last month or so, after a bit of an emotional time in recent months. My definition of resurfacing and reintegrating basically means  that I’ve hopped back on the treadmill of daily to-do list ticking, I’ve returned to my productivity obsessed super-woman complex and I’m back in that familiar territory of overwhelm and a need to demonstrate how much I can achieve on my one-woman show.

To be frank – it sucks!

Having gifted myself the luxury of detaching from all this busy-ness while nursing my dog’s health and even after we had to say our goodbyes, I now notice how getting back into this manic mode is not fitting so well anymore. Yes, it’s great to have so much work, and having my efforts recognised, but I also acknowledge that this is not a sustainable state. It’s a given that after a period of time stuck in this gear, the universe is going to throw you something that forces you to slam on brakes and idol in neutral for a while. And it’s for your own good!

How Andrea was kinder to herself

andrea-womens portrait photographer cape town, Abigail K

A little while ago, Andrea booked a portrait session with me, for no other reason than to acknowledge where she is in her life and to give herself a confidence boosting experience.

This struck me as a very kind thing to do for herself. To make the effort to step out of her comfort zone and the routines she knows so well, and do something for herself that can change the way she sees herself.

It’s important to give ourselves the acknowledgement and attention that we all too often skip and redirect onto those around us.

I’m a firm believer that we teach others (and the universe) how to treat us, and if we’re completely de-prioritizing ourselves, then that’s what we’re going to experience in life – that we are nobody else’s priority.

So this idea of giving to ourselves is not born from a place of selfishness or conceitedness, but rather from a place of honouring ourselves. To lead by example how we expect and deserve to be treated.

So well done Andrea on taking this step! I honour you!

Over the years, I’ve done a blog series called Confidence According To… and one of the questions I ask is:

If you were 5% kinder to yourself, starting tomorrow, what would you start doing differently?

Here’s some of the responses I’ve received over the years:

“Daily meditation rituals. Go for regular beauty sessions and spend more time with family and friends.” ~ Gwen

“I’d make the effort to actually exercise and I’d try to eat healthier” ~ Mandy

“Listen to more music that I love. With my workload being extraordinary, I sometimes don´t take enough time to relax.” ~ Judy

“Going to bed earlier” ~ Jillian

“Make more time to rest….” ~ Carmen

“Be less hard on myself when things dont work out as I’d hoped they would.” ~ Rose

“I’d start my day with yoga or walking on the promenade, every week day and I’d not give up dancing because I have too much work to do. I’d allow sufficient time for sleeping every day until my body wakes me versus the alarm clock.” ~ Mandy

“Celebrate my accomplishments more than just internally (and more often!)” ~ Renee

“Looking at myself differently in the mirror. No self saboutage, no bad self talk, maybe wearing something different that makes me feel more feminine.” ~ Kim

“Stop worrying about what other people think” ~ Alison

What would you do differently if you were 5% Kinder to yourself

Based on the answers above, I know I’m not alone in my struggle.

So what I’m going to do to be 5% kinder to myself is:

  • Stop filling every waking hour with productivity. Take time out to detach from the to-do list at regular intervals.
  • Be more realistic and mindful about what I can achieve within a given time frame.
  • Be a source of calm and peace for myself.

And you know what happens when we give to ourselves? We have more to give to others. You can’t give what you don’t have. On this basis, I expect to be able to give more time and attention to others, because I’m giving myself more time and attention.

So please share with me in the comments below – how do you plan to be 5% kinder to yourself?