I try to imagine what I would say to myself if I was another person giving advice. Like, what would you say to your mum, sister or friend if they were feeling like you are right now, but say it to yourself instead. I'm not sure if that makes sense!
It's more like thinking - what would I say to a friend or family member who was feeling this way? Then practice that on yourself. Many people who struggle with negative thought are v hard on themselves but v kind/caring to others.
"How to Accept Yourself" by Windy Dryden is a great book. I always think to be kind to oneself one must first accept oneself (warts and all). Self acceptance is very different from the notion of 'building self esteem in order to like oneself'. I think you might find Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy principles quite helpful (which is what this book is based on). It is a structured approach to belief change that might give you a method for reconsidering how you see yourself.
I have recently downgraded my negative self talk on making even a little day to day mistake from, e.g. quietly thinking to myself, 'f***ing idiot!' to something like,'oops, silly billy!' or 'buffoon!'. Still not fabulous in the self love stakes but a major step forward for me. And even that changes takes some mental effort. I can happily say, however, that it works. Good luck!
I think you're right - people say that I'm lovely to work for, very kind and understanding but then I have just realised that I won't apply the same for myself. Eg. I'll think "well they're working really hard, she has two little ones and her husband works long hours". But then if I don't complete a task when I said I would, or I need to leave a meeting ON TIME not even early, I think that I should be putting more in - but I'm a single mum and the boss with the extra workload and pressure! What's wrong with me??
You are analysing, intellectualising and over thinking "how to be kind to myself." Once you drop those thoughts, because they are getting in the way of you truly seeing your inner beauty, you should be able to fall in love with yourself.
It does seem to be very deeply ingrained with you!
Could you write down some acceptable boundaries that you will accept for yourself. Would thinking about this as setting an example to your kids help. Where did you learn that you can never do/be enough? How about seeing it as a form of self-sabotage; is there a part of you that feels being happy is somehow suspect or "not what we do"?
Meditation is good or concentration on a mantra, the breath or a candle for a while because it rests the mind of psychological thoughts. But after the meditation the egoic psychological mind will return and of course the negative thoughts will follow. If are going to meditate, do the highest meditation. The one where you are aware of your thoughts all the time as practiced by Advaita Vedanta teachers
No advice but I am place marking as I feel exactly the same. All my close friends think that I have everything together because I always give such sound advice. They would be genuinely shocked to know how I feel about myself and how much it undermines everything I do. Well done for making steps to sort it, OP
I sometimes find myself calling myself a stupid bitch, when I've done something that irritates the hell out of me, and telling myself that I can't get anything right. This past year, however, I've made a real effort to check myself when I'm about to be negative, and remind myself that I wouldn't say that to anyone else, even though I sometimes think it, so why say it to me!
I think it really is as simple as that. My counsellor was horrified when I told her that I can be so hard on myself and she told me to practice kindness towards myself. Like you, I didn't understand what that meant, and then she explained that you have to love yourself and mind yourself. It's all a work in progress, but I'll carryon, as I'd rather do that than not.