Being Gentle on Yourself

Being Gentle on Yourself

Matt Church

Matt Church

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Published by Matt Church – Founder on 29 November 2022

The journey to success as a thought leader running a commercially successful practice has stretch, growth, and increase, and makes some demands on you to level up along the way.


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Within our School for experts, we often say; ‘It’s not a personal development program but you will choose to be transformed.’ That’s because standing out in the world and sharing what you know comes with some ‘demand’. This demand can feel like pressure but only if you let it become that. The stories we tell ourselves around what’s happening to us create the pressure, the commitment to growth actually releases pressure. To create the pressure release while you are expanding, I have
three gentle suggestions:

  1. Be easy on yourself.
    In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a practice and set of teachings known as Lojong. Lojong speaks to the idea of cultivating compassion and one of the teachings that speaks to being gentle on yourself is the daily intention setting.Essentially, we set an intention in the AM and then conduct a reflection in the PM. We know that you can start the day with good intentions such as ‘don’t speak angry words to others’ only to have moments of relapse throughout the day. One of the mantras is ‘one in the beginning and one in the end.’ This speaks to holding compassion for yourself if you feel you fell short at the end of the day.Pema Chodron, my go-to teacher in this space, explains it beautifully: ‘It’s like you can never do it, but still you try. And, interestingly enough, that adds up to something, it adds up to appreciation for yourself and for others.’ She goes on to explain how it adds up to more warmth in the world and a recognition that everyone is doing the best they can with what they’ve got.
  2. Hold a bigger space.
    The best thing you can do is hold a more expansive view around what something might mean. Expand your worldview and watch for the contractions. When we lead above the line, we hold a bigger space for ourselves, for others, and for what is possible. It’s like you place your being in an open field as opposed to a closed room.Be bigger, more expansive, open, and lighter around what something really means, or what is going on.You will feel less pressure if you mimic the cosmos and expand the edges of thinking and feeling to a place where you become slightly untethered. Michael Singer writes about this so beautifully in his autobiographical non-narcissistic book, The Untethered Soul.
  3. Let go.So much of the pressure we create in our practice (and maybe life) is a tight holding onto stuff.  We hold onto the past, the relationships, and the stories. I love the hippy T-shirt slogan to ‘let go and grow’. Let go of how you think things should turn out. Let go of past transgressions. Let go of the story you tell yourself about yourself. And most definitely, let go of the stories others tell about you that you know are not true. What anyone thinks of you is none of your business.Running a thought leaders practice asks a lot of you. It is a demand to expand and an invitation to elevation. It doesn’t have to create pressure, these three ideas help you be bigger, more expansive, and gentler as you increase the impact of your work in the world.

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