Archives for April, 2012
Did you catch that switcheroo in the title of this post? Usually, it’s “love thy neighbor as thyself.” But in our society, we tend to reverse that. We find it easier to be compassionate toward others than toward ourselves. Being nice to others is a good thing, right? Yes, but it begs the question: Why can’t we be nicer to ourselves?
That Inner CriticYou know that chirping little critic you hear inside your head sometimes? Most of us have one. It’s that voice that says, “You’ll never be good enough.” “Why even try? You know you can’t do it.” “You’re such a hypocrite (loser, slob, dimwit, etc.)” Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion and a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, says this voice probably developed as a means to keep us safe, a basic need that we all have. Also, she posits that we may think we need this voice to keep us motivated. After all, wouldn't we just be completely out of control if we didn’t talk to ourselves this way? You know the answer to that. We don’t need that inner critic to keep us in line.
Who’s in control of your life? Is it you or do you allow forces outside of yourself to make decisions for you and determine your path in life? Being convinced that other people or circumstances in your environment control you – called external locus of control – can lead to feelings of helplessness, passivity, and depression. Feeling like you have control of your life – known as internal locus of control – increases self-confidence and your ability to problem-solve effectively, both important skills in learning to bounce back in life. What’s your locus focus?