Often, people who are the most kind to others forget to be kind to themselves. Does this describe you? Dr David R Hamilton shares a simple exercise to improve your self love…
Being kind to others doesn’t mean instead of yourself. There is a misconception that it means putting others before yourself all of the time. This misconception causes some people to wear themselves out in the service or others, and others to feel guilty about enjoying themselves or treating themselves.
Sometimes, of course, putting others first is the right thing to do and we need to intuit when these times are; but sometimes it’s not. Often we need to care for ourselves, to charge our batteries, to respect our own needs and desires. The result of doing this is that it gives us more energy, more focus, and makes us even better at being kind to others.
Think of it like this: you need to take a breath in before you can breathe out… you need to respect and attend to your own needs and this gives you energy and focus for giving out!
So would you say this applies to you? If so, make a list of the typical ways that you are kind to others. Now for each of these entries, are you doing it because you think you should or because you genuinely want to or feel moved to?
If it’s because you want to or feel moved to, then keep up the good work.
If it’s because you feel you should, like a duty or that you would feel guilty if you didn’t, then ask yourself if there is some way you could tend to your own needs as well as doing these things. What adjustments (large or small) to some of your list could you make you bring in some attention to your own needs and desires?
We all need to love ourselves – to respect ourselves, to comfort ourselves, to have compassion for ourselves – as well as being there for others.
About the author
Dr David R Hamilton is an author and motivational speaker actively flying the flag for kindness and self love. Check out his fabulous book, I Heart ME: The Science of Self-Love, for more great advice.