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Cut Yourself Some Slack

Written by Sue Fuller-Good (MSc Physio WITS) Physiotherapist with a special interest in the mind-body connection


Meet yourself with compassion, tolerance and kindness.

Watch your self talk and beware your inner voice.

This article is meant for all those people who have oversized and over powered inner dictators.

Life is tough enough without setting the goal posts so high you can never reach them. It’s rough enough without beating yourself to a pulp whenever you mess up, and its unfair to shift the goals the instant you accomplish something without even taking a moment to say: ‘well done’. So for those of you drivers and achiever types, this is especially meant for you, can you be more mindful of your behavior?

If you wouldn’t treat your children, niece or nephew in a certain way, you shouldn’t be treating you that way. What would life be like if you treated you the best of all? If you only gave yourself the fairest and most caring, appreciative, kind of treatment, giving yourself the benefit of the doubt at all times, how would you feel?

I started to notice that I always went to bed dead beat at night. No exceptions, completely exhausted and yet feeling as if I hadn’t even touched the edge of the tasks I had planned to do in the day. Eventually it dawned on me that perhaps I was being unreasonable in my expectations of myself. I had to admit to my own inner jury, that I had been unjust in my self-handling. I’d been practicing unfair labour practices for ages.

I now run my self- expectations and labor practices past my own learnt human resources knowledge and fine myself for unfair practice if I find myself being unjust.

How many people could afford to have such internal investigations? I bet most of the people suffering from burn out and low energy, chronic fatigue and auto-immune conditions, could afford such an inquiry. Maybe, changing our self-management may still be able to save our health and restore balance in our lives.

I hope you will give your inner dictator a long overdue holiday and let your inner rebel/wild child have a chance to play with gay abandon every now and again unchecked!

Here are 10 easy ways to implement some new patterns:

  1. You can’t stay on the wagon and perfectly disciplined ALL the time. Take the odd day where you throw discipline to the wind. Jump back into line the next day, but have a day off every now and again. Or maybe even an afternoon off, if a whole day seems out of range.

  2. You can’t work full time and compare your physical shape to someone who is paid to stay in shape (for example a model). So don’t look at a magazine and wonder why you can't look like the models you see in there, or compare yourself to your most revered film star.

  3. You can’t be the best at everything you do. You will excel at what you value most and not at everything you try. Decide in advance what you will work towards excelling at and then allow yourself to do the other things just for the fun of doing them. Be okay with being really bad at the non-valued things and do them anyway.

  4. Notice whenever you compare yourself with anyone. STOP immediately! No one has had your exact journey, challenges or supports, fears or insecurities. You never walked in their shoes and they never walked in yours! There is no value in comparing an apple with a lasagne and no value in comparing you with another person!

  5. Perfection is usually floored somewhere. It’s often a veneer, it’s an illusion. Even seeking it is unfair on yourself. Someone, somewhere will always be able to find fault with everything. So, do what feels good to you and if it’s your best, call it perfect. Even the most perfect roses have blemishes and that is what makes them real.

  6. Life is a journey you don’t have to do it all now. Tomorrow is another day, another chance, so relax your time urgency, even if only from time to time.

  7. Winning and succeeding is not the purpose of life. Life is about participating and showing up!

  8. So much creativity and brilliance comes from relaxation time. Einstein used to spend 4 hours of most days in a bubble bath.

  9. When life is effortless, we do our very best. It’s never effortless when we push too hard.

  10. Sometimes it’s worth just flowing with the river of life. Even if we flow just a tiny bit more.

Your body will show signs of an over active inner dictator, just tune in and you will hear the warning bells. They will be in the form of anxiety, fatigue, depressed energy, low grade pain or repeated infections, difficulty relaxing and sleeping, food cravings, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome among others . Of course there may be other reasons for these symptoms, but this is one common cause of them.

Take a look at your habits today and decide if there are some habits that you need to change. Tackle one at a time and enjoy just a little more joy and freedom, energy and vitality, because you are not over pushed and over driven.


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