You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise Hay
What does that mean?
This is an interesting quote, in that it describes so many of us, at least at some point in our lives. Sadly, this behavior seems to be part of human nature.
We are natural mismatchers. We find things that are different very easily. That was a useful skill at one point in time. Bush, bush, tiger, bush. Something is different, how quickly you recognize it could be important, right?
However that is a little less useful in the modern world. However, we still find the things which are wrong far more quickly than we find the things which are good.
In short, we criticize easily. Others, as well as ourselves. This quote points out that it that hasn’t worked well in the past, so why continue? It’s time to try something else.
Why is self-approval, self-confidence, and self-esteem important?
Have you ever been down on yourself for no good reason? Even those times when you thought it was a good reason, did it really help? Yes, it can provide a bit of anger and motivation in the short term, but what happens to that anger and that feeling of pain and inadequacy? What damage does it do over time, and when it happens time and time again?
Have you ever considered what the quote asks us to try? Have you ever considered not being so hard on yourself? Have you tried to find the good things you have done and approve of those behaviors, and focus less on the things you are less than happy about? If you have, how well did it work? If not, when do you think you might want to try?
While the criticism tears down your morale and your self-confidence, approval has the opposite effect, so long as it is genuine. That the approval is genuine is important, as faking approval doesn’t do much for morale or for self-confidence, right? But when it is real, whether from within yourself or from outside, it helps.
But what does it help? It helps you face the next obstacle with confidence and a belief in your own ability. Without that confidence and that belief, each obstacle becomes the toughest thing ever, and a possible show-stopper. The difference is quite stark, and I hope you are willing to try the route of approval in the near future.
Where can I apply this in my life?
This quote can be applied to yourself, and it can also be used to help you better deal with others. I actually have been trying to work on this for a while, with fairly good success. In essence, instead of seeing what isn’t right with others, you look to see what is good. Instead of criticizing their faults, you approve their good points.
When you apply this to yourself, you get to the heart of yourself, as well as the heart of your self. The first is a bit general, and deals with the whole of you. The second is specific to your core, your essence, the real you, deep down inside. This quote can be applied to both, but I would recommend starting with the latter.
What about you and your attitude towards yourself? If you were asked to describe yourself on a scale of failure to success, where would you place yourself. Now think about how you really treat yourself. What do you say in your internal conversations when you try something and it doesn’t work the way you hoped?
For many people, this is where the criticizing of self comes in. When you talk badly of yourself, and do it to yourself, that can really leave a mark. That is something that, with time, becomes part of your identity, part of who you are and how you think of yourself. Even if you don’t acknowledge it out loud, or to others.
We all have faults. We all have successes. Whatever you focus your attention upon most often, you will see most often. And you will start to generate more of them as well. If you focus on what you did wrong, you won’t be terribly happy, will you? And you will tend to notice all the times you are not as successful as you would like.
Note that I said ‘not as successful as you would like’ – you don’t need to fail to criticize yourself. You can do that by simply not being good enough. Have you ever heard that said, or worse yet, said it yourself? That can be a real killer of your confidence and belief in yourself. These comments are the paving stones of the path of pain and inadequacy.
So you goofed up. Now what? You can ask “Why do I always do it wrong?” or you can ask “What can I do to make it better next time?” Which question will lift you up, and which will drive you down? To me, this is the point the quote is trying to make. How are you treating yourself? Are you a friend or a bully?
No one is perfect. I believe we all know that. Yet somehow, we expect more than is humanly possible at times. And then we beat ourselves up for being human. That is the path to madness, pain, and feelings of inadequacy, right? That’s not my destination. Is it yours? I hope not.
From: Twitter, @ogmichelle45
confirmed at : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-can-heal-your-life-louise-l-hay/1100318469?ean=9780937611012 search for 2nd approving
Photo by phobia and, per request, found here as well.