Creativity

Journal prompts: Kindness matters

When we are young, especially as teenagers, it is almost uncool to be kind to others.

Some people seem to never grow out of this. I see it as a sign of immaturity.

But each and every person out there is going through their own stuff. We often don’t know what it is. As Ian Maclaren said,

Be kind – everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Being kind to someone can be the difference between making them feel good or ruining their day. And it doesn’t take any extra energy to be kind – I think it takes more to be nasty!

I believe the more we are kind to others,kindness matters the more others will be kind to us, and the world will be a little nicer. Not only that, but I believe being kind to others can make us feel pretty good too. Try this next time you’re feeling crappy: do some random act of kindness for someone else, a stranger if possible. I guarantee you’ll feel better for it.

Something else I don’t think is talked about enough is being kinder to ourselves. How often do you catch yourself talking to yourself in such a nasty way that you would never speak to others? Not only is kindness to others important, but kindness to ourselves is equally, if not more, so. Treat yourself and speak to yourself as you would to a dear friend.

>>> Prompts:

What does kindness look like to you?

How are you already being kind to others? How can you include more kindness in your day?

How kind are you to yourself? Do you find you are nicer to others than you are to yourself? How can you treat yourself a little better?

Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.

Creativity, Self Empowerment

Perfectionism: be gentle with yourself

Well, it finally happened: I missed a day of blogging in my 100 days.

Not even for a good reason – mostly just poor organisation. I was tempted to beat myself up about this ‘failure’, but then I reminded myself of one of my intentions for the 100 Days Project: overcome perfectionism.

If anything, this is a good learning opportunity. I missed a day in my (so far) perfect 36 day blogging streak. In the past, I would have probably given up at this point because I’ve ‘messed it up’ (thank you years of dieting for this kind of thinking).

Actually, let’s be honest: in the past I probably wouldn’t have made it this far. I’ve mentioned before that it’s hard to blog every day. I actually think if I didn’t have followers I probably would have given up weeks ago. But I’ve managed to keep going.

And instead of using this missed day as an opportunity to berate myself for once again failing to do something right, I’m going to take the chance to congratulate myself for doing something well, and for getting straight back into it. I’m not going to let my perfectionism trip me up again.

I read an interesting quote about perfectionism:

At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success – Michael Law

Did I miss a day in my 100 days? Yes. Does that mean I’ve failed the project? Only if I stop here.

Life is not black and white, failure or success. It is not doing it right or not doing it at all.

Life is making mistakes, getting messy, quitting, then starting again, then taking a step back, then making headway, then hitting a wall, then trying again. It is never linear, it is never straightforward, it is never without error.

Celebrate what is going well, and be gentle when you make mistakes.

Speak to yourself as you would to your best friend, or a small child: you wouldn’t tell them they are a loser who you always knew would fail. You wouldn’t tell them to just give up now because they will never succeed. No: you would speak to them gently, you would remind them of what they’ve done well, you would encourage them to keep going.

Try to be aware of how you speak to yourself when you make mistakes or ‘fail’. How can you be more gentle with yourself?