Tiny Wisdom: On Helping Yourself

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.” ~Swedish Proverb

Helping yourself is telling people what you need, even though you’re afraid to acknowledge it.

It’s forgiving yourself for your mistakes, even though you feel like dwelling.

It’s taking responsibility for your problems, even though someone else may have played a large part in them.

It’s breaking a problem into tiny, manageable pieces, even though you feel overwhelmed.

It’s living in accordance with your values, even when they stand in the way of something you think you want.

It’s allowing yourself to dream, and then focusing on creating instead of arriving.

Every one of these choices enables you to help yourself. And when you make the effort to help yourself, you can better help other people—and the world.

What do you need to do to help yourself today, and can you start right now?

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Great post Lori.

    The phrase “love thy neighbour, as thy self” is flawed given how badly most of us talk to ourselves and give ourselves a hard time.
    Its one of the greatest weaknesses of humans, that we allow ourselves to be so negatively influenced by others and then feel guilty that we haven’t lived up to these misplaced expectations.
    There is no word in Tibetan for “guilty”. The closest translation is “intelligent regret that decides to do things differently”.
    The Dalai Lama says that the busier his day is going to be, the more time he sets aside to meditate in order to make sure he is in the right frame of mind.
    So how about cutting your self a little slack this week?

  • I need to remember to trust myself, and trust that I have grown and learned from past mistakes – and that I don’t need to repeat them. And yes, I can start now 🙂

    Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  • Dragon51525

     I agree. The real meaning of living lies not in never making any mistake, but in learning from it every time you make it.

  • I love this post, Lori!  Thanks for the reminder of the kindnesses we give ourselves but often take for granted.  I’m at the start of learning to help/take care of myself.  This applies to me in so many areas of my life right now.  Today I looked at all my mail concerning my student loans and when I finished I felt pretty good.  I know I’ll do what it takes to even though I don’t know the specifics now.  I’m not so mad at myself for purchases I made with that money anymore.  I had to learn somehow, haha.  I figure I created this situation so I would sort of force myself into learning how to handle money mindfully.  Thanks for writing this.

  • Very strong message Lori. Sometimes it is appropriate to have “me” time. I believe that we can’t truly help others or make them happy unless you first take care of ourselves. It’s like when they tell you on an airplane to put the air mask on YOU first, THEN help your neighbor. Because you don’t do anyone good once you’re dead. In the same way, you can’t help others or make them happy if you yourself aren’t happy.

  • Thanks Lori, this is a great post! I love the way it reads and makes me question if I’m really doing this right now.

    I may print this out and stick it above my desk! Thanks,x

  • very helpful, thank you.

  • Wow, that’s fascinating that there’s no Tibetan word for guilty. Your comment about the Dalai Lama reminded me of a quote that goes something along the lines of — the more important time to take a break is when you’re too busy to do it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. =)

  • My thoughts exactly, Steven! I have always been an extreme people pleaser, but in my younger days, despite always overextending myself, I wasn’t able to really be there for other people. I couldn’t be helpful to them because I put my desire to be validated by them above my need to be accepted and nurtured by myself. I have learned I can only be helpful to others when I truly believe that my needs are priorities, and then back that up.

  • You’re most welcome, Fiona!

  • You’re most welcome, Justine! I’ve definitely gotten down on myself about money in the past. I had to learn some lessons the hard way, but I think we all go through those kinds of things. It really helps me to ask myself, “What would you say to Tara (my sister) if she was the one in this position?” I would most likely be a lot kinder to her than I might be tempted to be to myself. This has helped a lot with my negative self-talk!

  • You’re most welcome–and thank you for that reminder to trust that I have learned!

  • My pleasure Lori. Thanks for the great work that you’re doing.  

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