Whenever I couldn’t perform to the best of my ability or follow through with a project, I would typically come down very hard on myself.
One thing I am trying very hard to learn since my idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) diagnosis is that being as tough on myself as I was pre-diagnosis leads to nothing but frustration and being upset. In fact, I am trying not to be tough on myself at all.
Instead, I am trying to be a little more understanding, compassionate, and gentle with myself. That is true when it comes to many aspects of this disease and what is expected of me as a result of my illness.
Imagine for a minute that your best friend, partner, parent, or child had a horrific day. Maybe they made a mistake at work. Maybe they got very little sleep. Maybe stressors seem to be striking from every angle. Maybe they struggle with sadness or anxiety.
Either way, they’re devastated. What would you do?
No doubt, we sprint to console them. We hug them and ask them what they need. We listen and empathize. We might even crack a joke just to make them smile.
Now, how would you react if the person who was hurting was you?
Would you acknowledge your pain and figure out how to help yourself? Would you be just as kind and empathetic?
In my experience, being kind to myself in everyday life is one of the best things I can do for myself. Life becomes lighter, and my relationships improve. I feel happier overall, and my self-esteem and my sense of deserving good things in life will go up.
Although it may be very challenging, those living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis could benefit from positive self-talk.
Tell yourself it’s going to be OK. Give yourself a morale boost by reminding yourself of your past successes. Then, come up with a plan for dealing with what happened and take action.
When you do something you’re proud of, stop for a minute and dwell on it. Praise yourself and relish the achievement. Complement yourself. Living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is tough enough, so pat yourself on the back and say the following: “Kudos to me!” You deserve it!