Be kind to yourself, or, just don’t be a dick.
Good morning all – Happy Monday!
This week I want to discuss the importance of something most of my in person & online clients will have heard me say.
‘Be kind to yourself.’ – Me, 2019
‘Yeah, alright Michael wtf is this lovey ‘be one with yourself’ shit. You’re a Personal Trainer, shouldn’t you be yelling at people and giving out burpees?’
First of all – fuck off m8, I can talk about what I want.
Secondly, if you give anyone burpees – you’re a shit bloke/chick/gender-pronoun-of-your-choice. Burpees are the worst, and we all know it. There are just as effective exercises that aren’t so bloody shite. #Burpeesareforbellends
This is a topic that is particularly close to my heart, because it took me so long to learn the importance of. So, strap yourselves in – I’m about to explain one of my pillars of living a good life.
Whenever I used to hear someone say, ‘be nice to yourself’, I thought they were the most wanky kind of people. You know the type, the order a ‘Large, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte With Soy Milk’ kind of people. Just get a regular coffee, Karen, you muppet.
My immediate reaction would be something along the lines of, ‘harden up and get through it. Knuckle down, find your backbone and push for all your worth’ (it didn’t help that I was working in construction at this time and surrounded myself with 50 year old men who had done exactly that for the last 30 years).
I thought it was a cop out – someone giving themselves reasons to indulge.
‘I’ll just have another bit of chocolate – bc i’ll be kind to myself’
‘I won’t go to gym today – bc I’ll be kind to myself’
‘I’ll spend the next 8 hours glued to the couch in sweats covered in dominos crust dust rewatching Friends – bc I’ll be kind to myself’
However, as time has gone on the whole, ‘be kind to yourself’ phrase has taken on a new meaning to me.
Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean giving yourself reasons to be a lazy piece of shit. Actually, it kind of means the complete opposite.
Being kind to yourself means giving yourself the means to operate optimally – giving yourself the resources to look, feel and BE at your best, mentally & physically.
It means holding space for yourself, to give yourself what you actually need. It’s the ultimate form of self respect.
Being kind to yourself means pushing yourself when you can, and allowing yourself to unwind when you need.
It means giving yourself the right nutrients (diet) so you can operate at your highest level, but also allowing yourself to enjoy treats/life.
It means working out when you’re primed to go, but allowing yourself a break if you have underslept/overworked.
It means giving yourself the extra hour of sleep so you may be more effective when you’re awake.
It means putting work away when you can to enjoy time with Family & Friends.
It’s treating yourself right, but equally about pushing yourself to achieve the levels you absolutely deserve.
(Sleep is such a huge one here for me, personally. I used to always try to push myself on with as little sleep as possible, thinking I needed more time awake to get all my shit done.
I now know that the benefits I will gain from resting myself completely, outweigh the negatives of not being awake, 10:1)
Think about it this way, If you met a stranger who randomly told you their life story (the WORST kind of person) and revealed to you that they were underslept & overworked, under eating & over working out, hadn’t have a day off in weeks & planning to work the next two weeks straight – what would your advice be? Probably to go home and get some fucking sleep you raging sociopath. Easy to say to someone else – but we don’t apply this to ourselves!
We find space to act empathetic to others, even complete randoms, but we struggle to do the same to ourselves. Think of your body as separate from your mind – it deserves rest after all this shit you have put it through.
Being kind to yourself is giving yourself what you deserve, so you may achieve what you deserve to achieve. YOU deserve to be great, but you also deserve to feel great.
Your body deserves exercise (especially resistance training).
Your body & mind deserves good nutrition (protein pls pls pls).
Your body, mind, ambition & future deserve quality sleep, rest & recovery.
You deserve to treat yourself well. Not treat yourself to what is easy & convenient – but treating yourself to a higher standard.
Not being a dick to yourself means getting out of your own damn way, so you may reach new heights.
So be kind to yourself. If it isn’t possible to be kind – just don’t be a dick to yourself. There are so many people out there that are willing to be a dick to you, don’t do it to yourself.
Anti-selfdick behaviour management principle consultant