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Kind Discipline: Transform The "Good/Bad" Paradigm
By Christine Jensen,
Healing From The Inside Out (page 75)
The "good/bad" paradigm equates
"good" with being disciplined, and bad with being
self-indulgent. In other words, being "good" means resisting something you want
forcing yourself to do something you don't want to do, while "bad" means giving
how you feel.
In this paradigm, to be "good" you must constantly force yourself to do things
want to or deprive yourself of things you want. Virtually no one can live up to
standard (and how enjoyable would life be if you did?). But, if whenever you
fail to meet
such unreasonable, unrealistic expectation, you label your behavior as "bad",
shame, low self-esteem and inner turmoil.
A healthier alternative would be to change the question from "Am I being "good"
"bad"?" to "Would this action be kind or unkind toward myself"
Discipline can be kind or unkind. Kind discipline is getting up to exercise most
because you know you'll feel better the rest of the day if you do. Unkind
never allowing yourself to have a day off: no matter how you feel.
Self-indulgence (giving into what you feel like) can be kind or unkind. Kind
indulgence is allowing yourself some foods you love that have "little or no
value" and allowing yourself total permission to eat and enjoy them.
Unkind self-indulgence would be bingeing on junk food in front of the TV, not
pleasure in it and feeling unhappy with yourself and physically uncomfortable as
a result of your
The "good/bad" paradigm often creates an inner split between the "stern parent"
us and the "rebellious child". The "stern parent" scolds and punishes; the
rebels. Neither role fosters being in touch with your true needs. Self-kindness
unifying principle that helps you be sensitive to your needs and meet them. It
from balance and personal integration.
The importance of focusing on self-kindness is that it can help quiet the inner
motivates you toward successful behaviors and health choices. For most people
of weight-loss and a healthy lifestyle is to feel good and enjoy life more. How
you feel and how much will you enjoy life, if you are not living from a
The goal is to find a balance of discipline and generosity toward yourself,
the goal to be that which will best support your well-being. In relation to
food, this means
making choices that combine health with pleasure. In relation to exercise this
choosing an activity level that will support fitness without creating exhaustion
emotional barriers to success.
How often do you shame yourself and call yourself "bad" when you give into what
Does your self judgment really help you do better next time?
How severe are your expectations of yourself in terms of self-discipline?
In which lifestyle change areas will you consider reframing your choices through
the lens of
"self-kindness?" Notice how self-honoring and respect allow you to make
from a place of personal freedom to expand your visions of healthfulness.
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