Just shut up!
Have you ever sat there thinking about something you did wrong or something you would like to do and found that inner voice berating yourself? “How could you be so stupid?” “You said you weren’t ever going to do THAT again!” “Who do you think you are thinking you can do this?” “You can’t do this! You are not *whatever* enough!” I call her my Doubting Debbie. And I can tell you one thing…. She is one nasty B***h! I finally paid attention to what she said one day and I was horrified! I would never talk to anyone the way I talk to myself in those moments? So, why was it OK to talk to myself that way? Well… It isn’t.
Now, why do we talk to ourselves that way?
- Are we playing back what we’ve heard them say?
- Are we imagining what we think people will say?
- Are we comparing ourself to an unattainable ideal or to someone who we feel excels in this area and we feel we can’t measure up?
- Did we make a mistake we haven’t forgiven ourselves for even though we’re not the same person we are today?
- Why do we believe we are not good/strong/smart/etc… enough?
In order to start to push past this voice, it is important to realize a few things:
- We may not be perfect, but we are unique and we are awesome!
- There are many things we are good in
- We have unique abilities that make us who we are and better at some things than others
Since I first realized how mean I was to myself, I decided I had enough and came up with a few things that have helped to really quiet down that voice
- STOP and take a breath – when I start talking to myself negatively, I just stop and and ask myself the questions above
- Turn the negative into a positive. When I think of something negative, I also look for 3-5 things I feel good about, things I am positive about or that I am good in. At first, that was hard. But the more I do it, the easier it gets. It’s like learning a new exercise. At first you struggle, but as time goes by, you get better. So start by finding one thing, no matter how small and build on that
- Accept that I can’t be good in everything and that’s OK! There are things I excel in. Others where I’m as good as anyone else and let’s face it, there are things I suck at (like giving and following directions)! And that’s OK! That only means there are things I can shoot for to become even better, faster, stronger (cue Daft Punk)
- Surround myself with people who bring out the best in me. I noticed that who I surround myself with has a huge impact on how I talk to myself, so if your circle is toxic, change it! If you feel you can’t, start reading! There are a lot of good books that can help until you are ready to make the changes you need to make. I recently picked up Aim True by Kathryn Budig and am going to take my time going through the book. It promises to be an adventure!
- Start believing in yourself. I am learning to believe I am more than capable of doing what I set my mind to
Life is hard enough as it is, with all of its challenges, difficulties and obstacles. We are our own best ally to excel in this game of life.