Challenge 1 — Reverse the Golden Rule

The golden rule demands that we treat others the way we’d like to be treated.  Sometimes, though, we blame or derogate ourselves for even the slightest failure—even if we’d be compassionate and understanding towards someone else who failed the same way.  This sort of toxic perfectionism creates anxiety and depression, and can make it harder to connect with others, too.

Today try reversing the golden rule—treating yourself the way you’d treat other people.  Think back to a recent failure, or time you disappointed yourself.  Now imagine that a close friend or family member failed in exactly the same way.  What would you say to them, how would you feel about them, and how would you want them to feel?  Finally, turn that same lens back on yourself—trying to give yourself the same grace and compassion to yourself that you’d give to a someone you love.

Reflect on this experience.  Were you initially harder on yourself than you would be towards someone close to you?  Did reversing the golden rule allow you more self-compassion?  How could you apply this strategy during hard times in the future?