I want you to start noticing something…

What you put your attention on grows.

Think about that for a second.

For example, if you move your pot plant close to a window you often walk past, where it can feel the wind and enjoy the sunlight, and you nourish it with water, it’s going to grow. And what about if you look for the good in someone? If you take the time to stop by and notice what they are doing and praise them for what they’ve done right, then they are likely to do more good things and continue to develop aren’t they?

Now, think about what happens if you notice what someone else is doing wrong? Taking that a step further, if you voice that fault, aren’t you likely to put that spouse, child, employee, or family member on edge?

If they feel uncomfortable, and that generates more mistakes; are you responsible for the mistake or justified in your criticism? We are so sure that by pointing out someone’s faults we can stop them from making further mistakes in the future but often that’s just not true. We then get further way from solving the problem and building good will in our interpersonal relationships.I can guarantee that if you are super critical of others you are even more critical of yourself. Isn’t it ironic then that by being kinder to them you inadvertently will start becoming kinder to yourself?

Let’s take the example of a rescue dog. If you bring home your rescue dog and all that it’s ever known is beatings with a stick, it will shake, quake and shiver whenever you come close. It is unlikely to risk going outside its kennel, and it will shy away from you and mistrust every other human it sees.

In a nutshell, fear stops it from reaching its full potential as a dog, doesn’t it? Now, replace the dog with your inner child.If with your self-critical interior monologue, you have beaten up on your inner child then you may have reached only a half or even less of your human potential.

The reverse is also true, if despite his shortcomings you hug your dog each morning and bid him good night? If he gets fresh water and you take the time to play and walk with him every day then he becomes the full expression of a dog. He’s not a quivering mess and he’s happy, loyal, fit and free.

What is the difference? There’s no difference, in fact, your inner child needs this level of acceptance from you too to truly flourish and for you to reach your full potential.So, next time you feel shame for not being perfect or decide to beat yourself up? Ponder instead whether you are limiting yourself from flourishing and decide if you want to put your attention on something you did well today instead of something you didn’t.In my experience, if you look for fault, you find fault.

As always, I’d love you to just start noticing your own self talk and to hear how it goes.