What is wrong with you?
We all have habits that we consider bad or unproductive, but have you ever stopped to question why you associate unproductive with that? And more importantly, if this is a way you wish to continue to judge yourself?
Most of us have not even labelled this as judgement, just facts. "I should be like THIS", or "I must work harder", or "I need to deserve rest". What begins to happen when we bring thoughts like this from unconscious to conscious is that we can decide if they align with our values.
It's easy to get up in the never-ending project of trying to change, to do more, to fit more work in, to clear your inbox, to Marie Kondo your house, to build your Instagram followers, to be the perfect partner, to cut carbs, to love yourself like a meme, and to get nine hours sleep a night. Is it any wonder that we are all tired all the time?
Your body and your life and not a reality TV Home Improvement show. This filtered perfect life harms us in so many ways, but most tangibly, it drives us away from life right now.
Unconditional acceptance sounds like a radical idea which drips with fear of forbidden things like laziness and indulgence. But rather than accepting the guilt associated with these labels, just pause and check if these messages bring you closer to thriving.
The concept of laziness is born from the idea that your value is based on your productivity. The result is an inability or fear or guilt about rest or needing to justify rest. Rest is something that your body needs as basic survival. The puritanical demonising of it as indulgence serves to remind us that we should not dabble in enjoyment too much, or we might get a taste for it and suddenly realise we don't want to spend our entire existence working.
However, by accepting ourselves unconditionally, we can start to see ourselves as the marvellous, complex, precious beings we are. This shift in mindset allows us to see our pain, failure, frustration and vulnerability not as evidence of our wrongness or not enoughness but as evidence of the fact that we are having a human experience.
Being fully human is the first step to stepping off the hamster wheel. When we start to believe that there is good reason for our habits and that they have all served to protect us at some point and keep us alive for others, we begin to lean more into the deep wisdom our bodies and our minds have collected for 1000s of years of survival. It may not always feel natural but sometimes, perhaps. Your body knows what you need more than your inbox does.
Learning to listen to your body is a crucial step in the journey to self-acceptance, and self-acceptance is essential on the road to not feeling like everything is a battle. Embracing our true selves and recognising the value in every aspect of our being, we can start to see the world through a different lens, a world where you just created more space for all of you to feel more welcome with more kindness.
If you would like to build more confidence in yourself and your emotions, join the Critic to Confidence course this April.