Treating yourself with kindness isn’t just about typical self-care; self-kindness is more holistic, more all-encompassing. It lays the groundwork for you to be your best you, which in turn lets you be the best parent, employee, coach, consultant, volunteer, artist, etc. that you can be. This is putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs, folks, and it’s just as critical. Let’s look at some ways you can practice self-kindness – and let these be part of your foundations for 2013.
Welcome to Bliss for Business! If you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or career-driven individual, tune in on Wednesdays to join Dani on an adventure to learn how to bring your work life in harmony with the thirteen Bliss Habits.
Wow – here we are in 2013! A blank calendar, a year that sounds like it belongs in a sci-fi show, a world of possibility ahead, and a fresh slate for starting new adventures. I’ve heard it said that you should start how you mean to go on – so how fitting that we start the year here at Bliss Habits with kindness!
I’m sure that we all have a vision or two for the year ahead – what we want for our lives, our businesses, our careers, our futures; lots of pretty pictures overlaid on the world around us like a mental Pinterest board. As you begin laying the foundations for those plans, and taking the actions you need to take to make them happen, I’d like to invite you to practice some radical kindness toward yourself.
Treating yourself with kindness isn’t just about typical self-care, although that’s often the first thing that comes to mind – massages and meditations and time alone. That kind of self-care is definitely important, but self-kindness is a step beyond. It’s more holistic, more all-encompassing. It lays the groundwork for you to be your best you, which in turn lets you be the best parent, employee, coach, consultant, volunteer, artist, etc. that you can be. This is putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs, folks, and it’s just as critical.
Ready to explore? Let’s look at some ways you can practice self-kindness – and let these be part of your foundations for 2013.
- Pay attention to your needs – and feed them. Feeling stiff? Stretch more. Craving sunshine? Get some. Never feeling awake enough? Look at your sleep (and exercise) schedules. Constantly tripping up over something in your every day world? Get some help – learn how to do it better, or bring in someone to help you, at least until things run a little more smoothly. Need more income to feel secure? Go get it! This is a big one for us self-employed folks, who often hesitate to look at “traditional” income sources, or options outside our business, once we’ve taken the plunge. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself what you need – even if that means sharing a little bit of your brilliance with a different type of client than you normally would.
- Embrace the art of saying “no”. There will never be a time and a place when you can say “yes” to everything that’s asked of you – nor should you. Know your values and your priorities, and say “no” to the things that come along that don’t suit your needs. Yes, this may mean turning down potential work, or bowing out of family commitments. (Nicely, of course!) If you’re pulled in all directions, you can’t possibly be your shining self in any of them – and anything that makes you feel icky? You’re not going to give your best to that anyway. Say no.
- Create space for your desires. Creative-minded folk often see the need for this, but non-creative folk need it just as much. Are you a painter, a musician, a writer at heart? Make time for those things. Prefer hiking? Golfing? Geocaching? Listening to radio dramas? Reading? Taking baths? Whatever it is that fuels your soul, make time for it! These things that create joy are integral parts of who we are, and we are best when we have them in our lives.
- Practice moderation and realism in all things. Overdosing on self-kindness, on your favorite things, can be just as harmful as not showing any kindness at all. There’s a difference between making time each week for a hobby and spending all day every day on that hobby. A difference between saying no to the things that are wrong for you and saying no to everything that makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable. If you fill your days only with the things that feel perfect and right to you, you leave no room to grow, to change, to expand – and that’s not good for you or your business.
What acts of kindness can you practice for yourself today?
Dani Nelson is a geek and a hippie with a passion for helping smart, creative entrepreneurs make their businesses better. Her secret ingredients? Strategy, tenacity, tasty beverages, and two unshakable beliefs: that you (yes, you) have awesome things to share with the world, and that marketing doesn’t have to be awful.