Kindness is an inside job. Most of us have no problem with being kind to others, yet secretly we lash out at ourselves. Our minds are full of thoughts like:

“I shouldn’t have said that…”

“I need to STOP doing that!!”

“I am so fat / stupid / lazy / disorganized / {Insert your favorite put down here}.”

“I should be more outgoing / confident / disciplined / {insert your favorite “should” here}.”

I think you get the picture.

Left unchecked, that little voice in our head can run around screaming at us from sun up to sun down.

I refer to this voice as the Inner Critic. It’s important to realize that the Critic itself is not bad, it’s just misguided.

It’s like a loving but totally obsessive and extremely high-strung parent, constantly trying to push us to be the best version of ourselves. Unfortunately, even if it creates a short term change, this method rarely works in the long run.

After many years of being blasted by my Critic, I’ve found that what DOES work is kindness.

When I treat myself with kindness, I am in a much better position to create lasting change. I’m more flexible and open to trying different things. I’m also more resilient, capable of not only surviving setbacks & challenges but learning and growing from them.

Treating myself with kindness, the way a loving parent would treat a beloved child provides me an internal wellspring of confidence, compassion, courage, and creativity.

By treating myself kindly, I not only feel better & get more done but, even more importantly — I send myself the message that I am WORTHY of kindness. That I deserve to be treated compassionately and respectfully. That my feelings, dreams, and preferences are important.

When I focus my efforts on treating myself kindly on the inside, I automatically show others how it’s done. By giving kindness to myself first, I also naturally have more available to give to others.

This creates a ripple effect of tsunami proportions and is ultimately how we heal the world.

It’s also one of the fastest routes to peace that I know of.