Hey Karen, Don't Be So Hard on Yourself

Suppose you had the chance to give one piece of advice to yourself 5 years ago. What would you say? If it were me I would tell myself that I need to not be so damn hard on myself all the time. As many of you may know, 2015 was a year marked with emotional upheaval, some major losses, and huge changes both personally and professionally. No one goes through all of that without coming out a little worse for wear. If you know me though, you know that no matter what I go through I am always a dash more hard on myself than anyone else would ever be. Part of that is knowing what I know in my heart what I am worth and what value I can bring to my relationships and work life.

The reality is that no one knows what challenges lurk around the next corner. Then again, we don't know the blessings that lie ahead either. If we know this, why is it that we put so much pressure on ourselves to anticipate what may happen next? Why do we always look to the next thing instead of appreciating what we have? Furthermore, why do we ask ourselves what others do for us without asking what have we done for them? What value have we added to their life? I know, lots of questions, and I do not have any clear answers. These are constant questions I ask myself when I evaluate my relationships and my social interactions.

Lately, however, it seems that the world has shifted from "What can do I for others, to what does the world owe me?". It is a sad commentary that we no longer feel that we need to take care of one another, but have become more "it's all about me" instead. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with putting oneself first, but for me it has always been a crafty balance between the two concepts. I feel we can practice self care and concern without failing to help others as we do so.

Often we have to learn the hard way that the all or nothing mentality very rarely gets us all, but all too often gets us nothing of value. Even when we do come out ahead it is far less than what we could have achieved had we not been so difficult on ourselves and had not demanded so much from each other to get there. I guess what I am hoping is that we all decide to be a little less hard on ourselves, and a little kinder to one another. If we can all do that, maybe then we would have a world much better off.


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