We’re the hardest on ourselves. Have you ever noticed that? Those little voices that intrude on our thoughts, telling us we’re too much of one thing or not enough of something else. Too fat, too thin, not good enough, not clever enough, should be better. You get the gist. It’s insidious and slowly but surely wears away at us. We wouldn’t talk to our best friend or loved one in the horrible ways that we talk to ourselves. So it’s not unreasonable to extrapolate that perhaps we should also be kinder to ourselves.
I used to be the same. My own worst enemy. In my twenties and early thirties my confidence was rock bottom and so was my self-esteem. I didn’t feel at all worthy. I made self-deprecating jokes all the time. Luckily for me I had some AMAZING managers who saw potential in me and helped me to develop my fledgling confidence. They believed in me when I barely believed in myself. Another friend took me aside and told me gently but directly that my so-called self-deprecating humour was actually quite annoying, and could I please stop?
I took it all seriously. I made a pact to myself that I would stop doing myself down and I asked for help identifying when I slipped back into bad habits. Bit by bit, I re-wrote the story that I felt about myself. And do you know what? It made a massive difference to my every day life. Yes, I felt more confident internally, but the real benefits showed on the outside too. More people believed in me when I believed in myself, this was obviously absolutely key when I started running my first business and was working with new clients every month. I still have to practice quietening those negative voices. I have bad patches when things seem to go wrong. But I know now that’s all they are. A bad patch, not a bad life.
TALK TO YOURSELF LIKE YOU TALK TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE
– Brene Brown –
This week I would love you to concentrate on RECOGNISING your own pesky negative intruders. They are NOT YOUR FRIEND! Recognise them and acknowledge them. They are trying to keep you small, sometimes they try to keep you “safe”. But small and safe means little to no growth. And growth is where the fun and magic lie!
So RECOGNISE, ACKNOWLEDGE and then STOP. Simply stop every time you notice the pattern. It will take a while to retrain your brain out of this negative habit (it’s had years of practice after all) but it DOES work and it IS worth it.
Can you do that for me?