February is often a month dedicated to practicing kindness and love with other people, but there's no reason why it can't be a time for being kind to yourself as well. This wonderful article on practicing kindness with yourself was written by Poornima Vijayashanker, is a foodie, femgineer, and founder who enjoys quiet moments practicing yoga, running, and exploring the world.
In elementary school we are taught to practice random acts of kindness, with strangers to brighten their day, such as holding the door open or simply saying “please”, “thank you” and “have a nice day”. As we become adults we continue to practice these random acts with others. However, on any given day may get a paper cut: someone rejecting us, acting rudely, or something we were hoping for doesn’t happen, which upsets us and causes us to resign into thinking we don’t deserve a good life, good things or worse pick on ourselves. We may continue to show kindness to others, but we don’t show it to ourselves.
Stop Relinquishing to Rejection
Rejection in any form is hard because its dealing with unmet expectations. It’s easy for people to say don’t take it personally, but we do. Getting rejected repeatedly causes us to then think we don’t deserve the good life.
Let’s try a different reaction to rejection. What if you did accept the rejection? As in telling yourself “OK they don’t want what I have to offer. Is there someone else that maybe interested in helping me? Is there another approach I haven’t though of?”
Giving into rejection and letting it defeat us gives others the power over your self-worth. Instead, we need to accept the rejection with a “thank you”, and then move forward. It's the act of moving forward that opens us up to other opportunities and people.
For example, last year I was fundraising for my startup. Everyday for two weeks I would talk to investors, and over a two week period I met with over 25 of them. There would be days I would get rejected over and over again, but at the end of the two weeks I had at least 5 people who believed in me and what I was doing. I accepted rejection, but moved forward in meeting with others. Had I given into the first person or the 20 others who had said no I wouldn’t have found the 5 people who cared about what I was doing.
Give Yourself a BIG Hug
How do you move forward? Rejection isn’t someone rejecting you, it is their inability to give you what you want. In order for you to move forward and attract those who can give you what you want, you first have to give yourself what you need: a hug.
Everyone enjoys being hugged because the act is a pause that establishes a connection, which puts us at ease. It makes us feel secure and loved. Too often we wait for others to give us one instead of giving ourselves one first. Practice the act of hugging with yourself in any form. My form of hugging myself is practicing a little yoga every morning before I leave my home, walking outside after lunch, and enjoying a good meal at the of the day. These are my random acts of kindness with myself. They let me reset throughout the day, and help me to move forward instead of giving into rejection.
Think of what your random acts of kindness are towards yourself, and what is going to put you at ease after experiencing a stressful situation. The next time you get a paper cut pause and show yourself some kindness. Practice makes perfect!