What would the world be like if we made an effort to be kind every day? A simple, thoughtful gesture can make someone’s day; it costs nothing, and creates a positive ripple effect. In order to be kind to others, you need to be kind to yourself first. Here’s three ways for you to get that momentum going:
1. Love yourself
Accept yourself as you are and learn to love all of your qualities. Easier said than done, right? If it were that easy, we wouldn’t have a multi-million dollar beauty product industry!
We tend to be most harsh on ourselves. The simplest way to begin to love yourself is to notice when your inner critic rears its ugly head. When this happens, stop yourself from indulging in whatever you believe is wrong with you and start focusing on your positive traits.
Instead, find at least one thing you like about you every day and say it to yourself in the mirror. It works. Try it, even if you feel ridiculous talking to yourself in the mirror.
2. Let go of judgment
While you are talking to yourself in the mirror, notice how quickly your mind goes back to judging your appearance. Notice when you are judging others as well. The first step is to acknowledge that you are judging yourself and others. The second step is to not judge yourself for judging!
“When you judge another, you do not define them. You define yourself.”
– Wayne Dyer
Instead, try unattached observation of yourself and others, without needing to label what you see as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This may take some practice, as the mind likes to stick to old habits. The more you catch yourself in the act of judgment and choose to see the beauty in yourself and others instead, the less judgmental you will become over time.
3. Practice Forgiveness
With less judgment, it opens the door to forgiveness. Practice forgiveness with yourself and others. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you will forget, nor condone unacceptable behaviour. Withholding forgiveness from yourself prevents you from moving past the pain of whatever has hurt you.
Instead, offer yourself peace of mind by letting go of anger and hurt for any wrongdoing you have suffered as a result of your own, or other’s actions.
There are many ways to create a kinder world. It all starts with you. Create a kinder mind and you will create a kinder world. Starting today.