5 baby steps to being a bit nicer to yourself.
I’m guessing as a reader of my blog, you’re likely to be a relentlessly hardworking, conscientious, independent badass who gets a massive kick out of stuff when it all feels perfect and under control. But on the flip-side, you feel really down on yourself and a complete failure when it’s not.
So whether you’re in the headspace of just starting a business or a side-hustle, keeping a business going, or you’re just mad into your career or family and you’re constantly giving it everything you’ve got, it’s so so important to look out for yourself. I know your sort 😉 like ridiculously well *cough-no-names-mentioned*
It’s actually based on the ol’ airplane practice of putting on your own oxygen mask before you help anyone else with theirs – you’re no good to anyone if you’ve passed out mid-helping-someone right? In fact, what you’ve done is just made a hindrance of yourself – every fiercely-independent-conscientious person’s worst nightmare! So keep that in the forefront of your mind reading this.
But where on earth do you start? How do you go from going a bazillion miles an hour for something or someone else, to then stopping and taking a slice of that all for yourself. It’s certainly not easy, but it’s certainly possible.
It’s all about the baby steps.
Baby step No. 1: Me-time
This is totally down to individual taste, but I'm talking making an unbreakable promise to yourself to do that one thing for you, whether you commit daily, weekly or fortnightly, you've just got to commit. Some me-time could be an overly-bubbly bath, a relaxing, lengthy moisturising sesh, some solitary trash-telly-time, a brisk walk with outside-oxygen, a workout or hobby class – whatever! The objective is to realise that your time is just as important as everyone else's, if not more so, so don't give every minute of yours away to everyone else. You never know, when you get the hang of it, you might even hit the big time and progress into booking weekend getaways for yourself, or dare I say it – a freaking holiday! 👏🏻
Baby step No. 2: Say no
I used to be soooo brutal at this, but I’m getting better and better at it as I get older. (So the good news is, if you're a sufferer of yes-person-syndrome, there's hope for you yet honey!) 🙌🏻 I think the key to mastering it, is knowing what you want your end goal to be. So you need to nail that first. Professionally-speaking, what do you want to achieve? Do you want to go full-time with your side-hustle? Do you want to hit a six-figure turnover? Do you want to get a career change underway? Or personally-speaking, what do you want your life to look like? Do you want to make Saturdays exclusively for your family? Do you want to focus on being healthy and eating clean? Work out what your most important end-goal is and never take your eyes off it.
And then when an opportunity to say yes or no to an opportunity arises, does you saying yes bring you closer to your end goal? Or distract you from it? The answer should be pretty clear. If it doesn't help you get to where you want, then you get to try out your newly-acquired mega-balls and say nopety-no-thanks! 💪🏻 Yes you might disappoint some folk, but you're not disappointing yourself, which is the key bit of brain-training here. And hey, you never know, you might even start getting a buzz out of getting more of a grip on your time, and you'll be no-ing all over the place! That's my girl! 👊🏻
Baby step No. 3: Just wash!
I'm fully aware that this sounds revolting, but I’m definitely in need of my own advice here and have only recently gotten into this habit! 😂 With a rambunctious one year old and an increasingly busy business to run, my first thought in the morning was never to get myself in the shower ready for the day. I’m gonna be real with you! It was either getting dug into my emails from contacts from different time zones so they have the info the need from me, it was whacking out a blog post while my daughter’s still sleeping and not clambering to smash the bejaysus out of my laptop, or it was dashing out of bed to soothe my teething baby’s sobbing and not getting anything productive done until the next nap time hours later.
If this sounds like you too, y’see what that does is, it defo doesn't put you first, and it makes you feel behind and frustrated with yourself for the remainder of your day as a result. If you need to pop out, have a Skype call, head to work (or generally do anything that involves being amongst humans), then you either have the option of looking homeless; or experimenting with ways to safely restrain/entertain a toddler for the amount of time it takes to shower and dry [ideas welcome!]; or be be late for all the things you need to do as you have to wait for the next nap time to shower up!
It doesn't set me up for a positive, productive day, and I can’t imagine it would for you either! So take that time to get yourself functioning and feeling like a normal human, before you start taking on the world. If you do it, I’ll do it, k? 👊🏻 Deal.
Baby step No. 4: Be realistic
Instead of starting your day with the most insane to-do list of 23+ tasks that you know deep down you're never gonna get through (and subsequently feel sh*te about), instead try and concentrate on one big to-do a day. Sure, there's certainly more to do in a day than one thing, but setting yourself up this way means, you'll definitely get the one big thing done (which'll feel awesome), then anything extra you may or may not squeeze in beyond that are complete bonuses (which'll feel awesome). It’ll stop you beating yourself up at the end of the day too for trying to do too much and inevitably feeling like a failure when you don’t. Because you're never a failure for not completing 23+ tasks a day, you're only failing at not being nice to yourself.
Baby step No. 5: Forgive yourself
Ah man, I reeeeeally needed to get x, y, z done today, and I didn't. I'm so damn annoyed with myself.
Ah crap, I totally forgot to pick up some whojammaflip from the shop. I'm such an eejit. I can't do anything right.
I've got that dress to fit into next weekend at so-and-so's wedding, and here I am wolfing down pizza, beer and a vat of ice cream. Ugh, I'm such a big fat pig. I'm never gonna be slim enough to get a fella.
Anything sound familiar here? All this negative poking at yourself, is obviously the opposite of being nice to yourself. In fact, it's possibly the most destructive behaviour out of everything I've mentioned here. But! ☝🏻 the good news is, reversing it can be one of the most transformative behaviours imaginable. So let's try and imagine it for a second and replay the first three scenarios;
Ah man, I reeeeeally needed to get x, y, z done today, and I didn't. But I did manage to get a, b, c sorted, so that's something at least.
Ah crap, I totally forgot to pick up some whojammaflip from the shop. I must have had a lot on my mind, maybe I need to write a list down next time.
I've got that dress to fit into next weekend at so-and-so's wedding, and here I am wolfing down pizza, beer and a vat of ice cream. But this tastes sooooo good, I hope my food baby sticks around so I can proudly show it off.
Forgive yourself for being a human and back off with the pressure you're constantly laying on your shoulders. In fact, forgiving yourself can be so transformative, I'd love for you to consciously try out flipping your inner voice on its head, just for a week at first, and see how much more you like yourself . Just see.
So are you gonna give any of these a try? Even if you only manage half a baby step, I'm proud of you. It's so freaking hard to consciously put yourself first, especially when you're made like we are, but just think – all that amazing stuff that you manage to achieve in your life from being hard yourself, imagine what you could achieve if you were nice to yourself? Something to think about...
Keep me posted with how you're getting on anyway in the comments below, or over on Instagram, I'd love to hear if any of these baby steps have helped you. Or perhaps you know someone who definitely needs to try out being a bit nicer to themselves, it'd just be wonderful if you could share this.
Until next Sunday sexypants 💋