Personal Development Self-Care

Dear Me: You Are Worth The Extra Effort

You are enough. You are whole. You are worthy. So treat yourself the same way you treat the people that matter most to you.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Buddha

Each of us has a group of people that means the world to us. These are the people worth dying for and holding on to for the rest of our lives because they appreciate us for who we are.

Yet somehow, we fail to come up to the standards we established for ourselves.

Think about what life may become if we treated ourselves the same way we treated our precious friends or loved ones.

Consider the moments you went above and beyond for a friend. Perhaps it was rescheduling your priorities in order to make time for a friend who was distressed and needed someone to talk to.

You would not hesitate for a second because you knew they are worth it. However, I am here to tell you that you are too.

What if we go above and beyond for ourselves the same way we would do for our friends?

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

Lucille Ball

We should embrace the notion of self-compassion by treating ourselves the same way we treat others around us. If you want to take it up a notch, we should treat ourselves the way we treat our children.

It is not about hiding a chocolate bar under the dinner table so your children light up with joy, or buying your parents a new house, or treating yourself to new non-essential electronic gadgets.

These are times when you refused to give in to your children’s demands because it is unhealthy for them, or when you made an appreciation card for your parents instead of giving them a new home. Or when you decided to fetch a friend in the evening because you refused to let her return home all by herself.

Let us ask ourselves the following question: what if we picked up another communication system simply because we wanted to? What if we stored moments and experiences the way we keep them for our loved ones? Or if we looked after our health the way we desire our little ones to take care of theirs?

Our bodies deserve our best because we only get to have one.

Rather than having a steady diet of junk food on a daily basis, consider how it harms your body, and remind yourself what your body is capable of doing if it is being taken care of with tender loving care. Obviously, it is easy to advise yourself to quit smoking or drinking, but it is difficult to put it into practice. Moreover, being conscious about your health all the time can be exhausting and mentally wears you out.  However, even a tiny amount of effort towards a healthy lifestyle will benefit you significantly when done consistently over time. Your body and organs will thank you for your time and efforts.

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

M. Scott Peck   

Wait, there is more. It is not just your body too.

It is all about you and everything that you commit to.

Take work, for instance. When your career becomes a daily routine and monotonous, it is not hard to stare at your work and contemplate, “This will suffice.” This is your work and your career. Hustle as if it is your last day on the planet. Put together your presentation so that it will be your best one yet. Keep working on that project until you are highly confident that it cannot get any better.

Unquestionably, there will be times when you would not be able to execute this. For example, if your firm is missing critical deadlines, it may be time to dump away the idea of achieving perfection and introduce the principle of steady progress. However, adjusting your frame of thinking to make sure all your work is perfect will make them shine brighter. With time, these new and improved habits will follow you, even if situations stop you from consistently accomplishing them.

However, if you can deliver more, go for it.

This way of thinking is also applicable in the context of relationships.

It is highly likely that we already treat our precious ones better than we treat ourselves. However, the relationship itself needs to be cared for too, notwithstanding you and others.

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

Louise L. Hay

These notions are applicable no matter the relationship type, be it casual or intimate. You will most likely come across more people who are casually passing through your life than people who have decided to stay with you. Perhaps you will never meet many of them ever again.

For those who have chosen you to plant themselves into your life, there is real potential. Hence, give everything you got into your relationship like they will remain for eternity. If they decide to leave you at some point in the future, at least you would not be left wondering if you have done enough.

If you put in the effort and things did not pan out the way you envisioned, you will agree with yourself that there is nothing more that you could have done. Otherwise, you will never find out if that additional effort would be worth it.

We incline to work more for those who matter to us, but too many of us lose ourselves in the process. Hence, when we fail to deliver, we let ourselves down and start telling ourselves that we will never be enough, and we deserve to blame ourselves all the time.

If you would not tell someone off for the same set of circumstances, then do not do it to yourself. It is not worth it.

Do not treat yourself too harshly. Be reasonable to yourself. Give it your all for yourself, your health, your career, your relationship, and your life in general. Treat yourself as though the world needs you. Treat yourself like you are enough and worthy.

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