Have you ever spent time paying attention to the way you talk to yourself? The way you think or feel about yourself? When you’ve done something right? What about when you’ve done something wrong? We all know that when someone else does something right, we are (normally) quick to congratulate them and inform them to give themselves a pat on the back. And if they’ve done something wrong, to go easy on themselves … that everyone makes mistakes.
So you say those types of things to yourself too right? You let yourself feel that exuberance of doing something right … or sooth yourself with calming and gentle words for something you’ve done wrong (or could have done better)? Yeah … I’m guessing that’s a work in progress.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t learn by default to be kind to ourselves. We hear those words at times, but our actions don’t necessarily reflect them.
One of the most important things to learn in life is to be kind to yourself.
Begin to listen to yourself. Spend some time writing down some of the thoughts and feelings you have on a day to day basis. Literally do it. When you wake up in the morning, what are you saying or feeling? “I hate my job … here we go again … sigh … ”
When you catch yourself being negative, stop and try to think what you would say to a friend in the same position. Say those same words to yourself.
A rule I have begun to live by in my life is:
If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, you can’t think or say it about yourself.
That one idea will change your world, if you really begin to live by it. Examples: you try on a pair of pants and they make you feel fat. Would you say to your friend “You fat thing… disgusting … “. No, you’d never say that. So you’re not allowed to say it to yourself.
What would you say to a friend then? “It’s the cut / shape / sizing. Try something else. Ignore the sizes. We can find something that works better.” Then that’s how you speak to yourself … it’s that simple. But it does take practice.
Negative self-talk is a just a bad habit. And habits can be changed! It just takes a bit of work and effort.
There are lots of places/sites/videos/books on the internet to work on self-talk, here are a few links to some good pages:
And in case you are interested in a great program:
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Self-talk: one of the keys to a happy life! (and it’s free!) Learn more at: https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2020/09/28/how-do-you-speak-to-yourself/
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