Meditate With Compassion To Overcome Any Challenge
Love yourself like you love others.
I peer out the window of my Brooklyn apartment and see the sun starting to set. The sky is pink and think to myself, “This is perfect for Instagram”. I scour the pile of papers and electronic cords laying on my desk. My phone is nowhere in sight so I simply stay and gaze.
As I stare into the hypnotizing view, I drift off into thought. I dream about building an impactful platform to help others grow a meditation practice through easy access to teachers and community. I dream about building a family. I dream the legacy I want to leave on this planet. I then notice I’m feeling tired — mentally and physically. I notice I’m not feeling a sense of accomplishment. I start to reflect on the day.
“Julio, you should’ve woke up earlier”
“Julio, you worked on that ONE problem the whole day, you could’ve solved it in a simpler way.”
“Julio, you’re not going be successful moving at this speed”
This is the story that I tell myself over and over. I am quick to grip onto these stories, which ultimately create stress and anxiety in my life.
I have always been critical about myself. I believe it stems from trying to seek the approval of those close to me — my parents, siblings, girlfriend, and friends. At times, it’s useful because it constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone. At times, it’s far from useful as it robs me of the optimism I need to succeed.
This sense of optimism gives me the belief that I can create a future that everyone around me might not believe. I believe what fuels this optimism is self-confidence and self-worth. You need to be your biggest fan.
I left my job this past January to pursue a new sense of purpose. Meditation has impacted my life in a profound way. I truly believe I’m here to use background in product and app development to spread it as an effective tool to dealing with internal challenges.
I’ve taken a big risk and with risk comes fear. Fear in the form of self-doubt and the constant question of, “Did I make the right choice?”.
We have to make tough decisions in our life. We have to take risk to fail, learn from failing, and ultimately achieve what we define as success. We have to be happy. As Jay Samit says in “Disrupt You!”:
There is a difference between failing and failure. Failing is trying something that you learn doesn’t work. Failure is throwing in the towel and giving up
NOW, how do I get over being so self-critical to overcome self-doubt to be optimistic AF? I do it by practicing self-compassion. The ability to keep those voices that bring me down at bay is crucial. The ability to love myself and be okay with my faults is crucial. It is crucial so I can get right back up when I fall down.
I practice self-compassion with my daily meditation practice. At least once a week I’ll break away from the usual meditation object of the breath and use visualization. I visualize myself as:
- a newborn and ask what do I love about myself back then?
- a child and ask what do I love about myself back then?
- a teen and ask what do I love about myself back then?
Last, I visualize a recent challenge that I overcame and focus on the growth and learning that came out of it. The formal name for this visualization technique is called Loving & Kindness meditation.
This visualization technique reminds me that I can love myself now because I can love myself in the past. It also reminds me that I have overcome challenges before. I have proven to myself time over time that I can accomplish anything I put my mind towards.
Thinking about a recent challenge and the person that powered through it also ignites a sense of pride and admiration. I use this sense of pride and admiration to power through any hardship I’m dealing with at the moment.
If you’re telling yourself the same thoughts that are keeping you from achieving what your heart desires, practice self-compassion. Practice loving yourself to be okay with the imperfections. Being successful at what we put our mind towards, takes hard work and to be able to accept failing at times. At the very least, practice loving yourself to be happy!