blog title graphic with a peach color modern flower on a beige background that says, how to think positively with the golden rule of self-care

Life changes when you think positively and treat yourself with love, compassion, and respect. The Golden Rule of Self-Care is a great way to know what to do and when so you stay on track.

The Golden Rule of Self-Care is all about starting at the beginning – with you. Your relationship with yourself is built on your emotional well-being and how you communicate. Following the self-care steps below can lead to emotional mastery and positive thinking.

A great relationship is based on being well treated, even when it’s your relationship with yourself. An exchange of goodwill, respect, and kindness starts within your heart.

When you love and respect yourself, it’s tough to shut down feeling empathy for others or to treat others disrespectfully.

And the opposite is also true.

Starting from a place of self-loathing, it is easy to view the world as a hostile and threatening place to live.

No matter how you slice it, it all starts with you and your relationship with yourself.

Quieting self-criticism that rumbles around in your head is challenging in the beginning. Negative thinking from self-criticism, pessimism about the future, and everyday problems with others cloud your viewpoint. When this happens, It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of negative thinking, making it nearly impossible to think positively.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Adopting a growth mindset requires you to increase your self-awareness and take action. As you practice, it gets easier and becomes your natural way of doing things. Your skill level increases and you feel better when you make choices that move your life into greater well-being

3 Parts of the Golden Rule of Self-Care

Hear no evil – limiting what you pay attention to and allow into your world.

See no evil – mindset shifts from seeing what’s missing to seeing the fullness of life.

Speak no evil – how you use language with yourself in your internal running monolog and with others.

Golden Rule of Self-Care #1 – Hear No Evil

Each person can sift through the millions of data coming at them at any given time. One of the “easiest” ways to do this is to limit the amount of negative information you’re exposed to daily.

But, sometimes, this can’t be helped…

Unhappy coworkers who vent, a perfectionist boss always wanting more, angry-obnoxious neighbors, a family member who drinks too much, a teacher who doesn’t want to teach, etc. The list is endless, without mentioning the news, wars, politics of hate, etc., or social media criticisms and comparisons that grab your attention.

The Golden Rule of Self-Care – emotional mastery results in thinking positively.

Since no one can escape or ignore, as enticing as that may sound, it is possible to filter out the negativity. You can increase your awareness to be choosier about what you allow into your internal world.

Your level of emotional mastery supports you in making choices. If you tend to “overdo it” with stress, eating, exercise, drinking, working, etc., the craving for relief can be overwhelming. And the cycle keeps repeating because it’s not a solution. When stress levels rise again, so will the old coping skills, even when you don’t want them.

Here are three things you can do right now to stop listening:

1. Commit to not participating in negative conversations. Sometimes, what’s not spoken or commented on speaks for you. Remaining neutral is often a good place to be. You don’t always have to take a position or choose a side.

2. The ongoing conversation with yourself is usually the toughest for most people. The challenge is practicing patience with yourself. When a problematic thought comes, acknowledge it and practice letting it flow through you without getting stuck. If it gets stuck, give it a gentle nudge, and again, with neutrality in mind, shift your focus to peace. Most of my coaching clients practice this a lot. Consistency is key.

3. Change the subject if you’re talking with someone else. It’s easy to get on the critical bandwagon and beat that drum. It’s often much nicer to walk beside the wagon, listen, let the other person vent and know that their feelings are theirs to manage. You don’t need to relieve or take on another’s struggle. You may need to change the subject gently, or at times, you may need to directly state that you don’t want to talk about it, it’s not your place or concern, etc. Both are okay. Being kind to the other person and yourself means not engaging in unproductive conversations that keep you stuck.

Golden Rule of Self-Care #2 – See No Evil

It is tough when you get stuck in a rut of doubt, fear, and hopelessness.

The way out is to follow the Golden Rule of Self-Care and allow yourself to see the fullness of life. There’s much goodness, hope, and joy in life, as well as pain. Our lives are both – positive and negative – and what we do with those experiences makes a difference.

Is the glass half empty or full? Maybe neither. Sometimes, when you’re thirsty and there’s water in the glass, it’s a great moment. Perhaps if you’re thirsty and it’s empty, that’s okay too because you know that you can seek out refreshing water and fill your glass.

A growth mindset is like this and you start seeing the world from the viewpoint of possibilities. You have options and choices. Yes, we all experience problems in our lives; some of them are huge, and at the same time, we also have a lot of outstanding experiences.

Quick fixes, like any of the popular quick weight loss diets, lead down the path of “all of the bad things in life will be gone once you get back into your high school jeans!”

How do we, intelligent women, fall for this? It’s just so alluring. It’s a little pain for a lot of gains. Most of us who have fallen for this illusion know just how short-lived the gain is

Long-lasting change is not a quick fix.

Since no one can escape or ignore, as enticing as that may sound, it is possible to filter out the negativity. You can increase your awareness to be choosier about what you allow into your internal world.

Emotional mastery supports you in making those choices so you can think positively with self-compassion. If you tend to “overdo it” with stress, eating, exercise, drinking, working, etc., the relief you crave is about shifting the negative thoughts that keep rolling over and over in your mind. And the cycle keeps repeating because it’s not a solution. When stress levels rise again, so will the coping skills, even when you don’t want them to.

Three things you can do right now to practice a growth mindset

1. Focus on your health and wellness. Shift out of thinking, “Not this, I can’t, that’s bad.” Instead, think about moving toward what you want and what you are creating in your life. It takes much more energy to repel yourself than to move toward what you want.

2. Create a mantra that is meaningful and quick for you to repeat. Develop a mantra you can repeat when it’s difficult to stop thinking about what’s wrong. This happens to all of us. It will take extra effort. And it will get easier with practice.

3. Remind yourself you’re in this for the long term. You are transforming your relationship with yourself. You are worthy of compassion to learn as you go, make changes, be curious, and take good care of yourself. The reward is the lasting change that frees you from negative thinking and gives you choices for the rest of your life.

Golden Rule of Self-Care #3 – Speak No Evil

How you talk to yourself is an excellent way to gauge your mindset. It is a window into your experience of the world around you and your expectations of it.

It only takes a fraction of the time for you to consider what process your experience into language and make a judgment about it. Language shapes how we think about things. Communication is also two ways, even within our being.

Your relationship with yourself is the most important one you can have. You also have all of the things you need to transform your way of thinking.

The vision of what you want your life to be, based on the Golden Rule of Self-Care, is something you can change today. And the good thing is that starting where you are right now is the perfect time and place. Start where you are and shift when needed. There’s no big reveal – it’s just you living your life.

Do you ever notice that people who complain, find faults, and sit in judgment tend to gravitate toward each other – usually without offering to help or being part of the solution?

Thoughts can be like this, too. You get one negative thought, and it’s easy to build on it.

The opposite is also true. People would much rather be around consciously grounded people. People who don’t shy away from problems but actively try to be part of the solution. You can do this with yourself, too. Build positive thoughts and the experiences will follow.

This includes your relationship with yourself, too!

You will have a much better experience making the changes you desire when you can overcome the fear and disappointment and shift into patiently transforming your relationship with stress, your body, and your heart. Practice setting the tone. Let the words you say to yourself be encouraging and growth-focused.

Plan for your success. Take care of yourself and prepare for your day. Have an idea of what you would like to create for yourself. Have a backup plan for when life goes differently and flexibility is needed.

Changes made slowly over time allow you to integrate what you need and let go of what you don’t. You can communicate with kindness even when you’re frustrated or angry. If you know your needs, you will better master your impulses and reactions.

Three ways to communicate with more kindness.

1. Set the tone for growth with your internal conversations. The most important person to focus your flexibility on first is yourself; all the other relationships will also flow with kindness.

    2. Give yourself patience. There isn’t any deadline for when you need to be fully conscious. It’s a process of becoming more and more aware.

    3. Allow yourself to accept the good things in life with grace and gratitude, no matter how small. Know that challenges will be clarified, and you’ll move forward with momentum.


    The Golden Rule of Self-Care is your relationship with yourself and daily interactions with everyone else. Kindness, respect and loving yourself in the basic sense of each word are the foundation for transforming your relationship with stress and creating a fulfilling life you enjoy.