image of Janet M Banks

Be gentle with yourself – you’ve got a long way to go | Janet Mohapi-Banks

In her latest column, our mindset and money columnist, Janet, shares why we should stop being so hard on ourselves…

How many times have you berated yourself for not being further along, not knowing things
beforehand, or acting too quickly without thinking things through?

It’s so easy to get into the mind trap of believing that in some way you’re not enough. It’s
your constant job to remind yourself that you are, and always have been, in exactly the
right place, doing exactly what you were meant to be doing at the time, and that beyond all
doubt, you are indeed, good enough.

If you compare yourself to others you’ll have yourself believing that the opposite is true.
But you don’t know that persons journey or struggle or the criticising self-talk that they
battle with every day.

But it needn’t be a battle.

And it needn’t be a struggle.

Battling and struggling are a state of mind that will keep you exhausted.

If, instead, you can hold yourself with so much compassion and grace that you let yourself
off the hook, the struggle and the fight disappear in an instant.

Instead of feeling as though you need to play catch-up, look at how far you’ve actually
come.

And instead of feeling as though you’re doing things wrong, focus on all the things that
you’re doing right.

As women we tend to downplay our achievements and overplay our failings but
isn’t it time to turn that around?
Most successful men have got to where they are knowing half as much as the average
women, they’ve just beaten the drum of confidence and figured it out afterwards.

How would your life and business be different if you did that?

When I was in theatre school, one of the things that we were taught was regardless
of whether you can or you can’t do something that was required to get a part, for instance,
horse riding, you always said that you could do it.

Can you hand-glide? Yes! – You can book your first lesson once you’ve got the role.
Do you speak French? Un peu! (it means a little) – Download Duolingo on the train ride
home.
Are you ok with snakes? Absolutely! – Book yourself into a hypnotherapy session to get
over your phobia.

It doesn’t matter what it is, you get to decide whether it’s going to be an obstacle or not.
And if you decide that nothing is going to stop you, then nothing will.

But you don’t get that momentum and level of ease if you’re constantly beating yourself,
telling yourself that you can’t; that you shouldn’t; or that people like you just don’t.

Be kind, be compassionate, be loving, be gentle – first and foremost with yourself.

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