A question for you: I’m wondering how many of you, much like myself, speak to yourself in your head when something hasn’t gone right, or you’ve done something wrong, whatever the case may be, very unkindly. Like, in a way that you would not speak to your partner or your children, but we say those words to ourselves. I do it, I know I do it. Even, not meaning to do it, being unaware of how much I do do it.
So today, I wanted to talk about how self-care is “speaking kindly to yourself.” That doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself tough love. That doesn’t mean you can’t get on yourself for not being where you want to be in life. But, man, can we be super, super unkind to ourselves! And really, if we were to speak that way to anyone else, we know it doesn’t serve them. It would be out of anger. It would be to hurt that person. But, we do it to ourselves all the time. You know, when you step out of the shower and you check yourself in the mirror and go “Yuck, disgusting”. I know I’ve done that before. Or, when you screw up, and you do something terrible, something you’re not supposed to do, you forget something, and you’re talking to yourself going “God! I am the worst mom ever! How stupid could I be?!?” Really? I highly doubt you are the worst mom ever. And I’m also saying it to myself, because I subconsciously say these things without even thinking about them, thinking about what it means and how it’s affecting me. Because, at the end of the day, thoughts and words affect us. And that’s how we are always speaking to ourselves. We are constantly beating ourselves up and beating ourselves down with that kind of language and those kinds of words. I mean, it’s no wonder why your self-esteem may drop or you don’t feel great about yourself. Because, ok, you screwed up. But, are you really the worst mom in the world? Are you stupid? You may have made a stupid mistake, but that doesnt make you stupid.
Words matter. How we use them matters. The things that come out of our mouth, the words that we place on ourselves, affect how we feel about ourselves. And obviously, I know I can so casually think these things from time to time, and I had to really make a conscious effort of recognizing when I do it, and changing how I’m speaking to myself. You know, when I look in the mirror and I don’t like what I see, like “OK, your legs are looking fabulous today, let’s see what else we can do to get this tummy back.”
Ok, that’s a different way, instead of saying “God, I’m just disgusting.” That’s not serving me in any way. Now, we can want to change many things about ourselves, but we don’t have to talk down to ourselves in order to achieve those things. As a matter of fact, I would personally say that that works against you. It makes you feel worse. It doesn’t motivate you.
So, when you catch yourself speaking to yourself in that way, and I know we all are guilty of it, and you may not even be aware that you’re doing it, I wasn’t. Catch yourself in those moments, and change the words that you are using with yourself. So, instead of going, “My God, I’m just so stupid,” try “That was a mistake, I’m going to do better next time” or, “Oops, I didn’t mean to do that, that wasnt smart.” Don’t call yourself stupid. You’re not disgusting. You’re not the worst mother ever or any of the other words that could possibly come into your head when you’re not happy with how you look, or what you did, or the mistake you made. We would never ever speak to our children or our partners that way, or our children that way, so why are we speaking to ourselves this way? So, this week, when you catch yourself speaking to yourself in that way, just stop yourself, and change the wording. Change how you approach it. Instead of calling yourself stupid, and maybe you did do something stupid. Call the act stupid. Say, “Ok, that was stupid mistake. Now I know better for next time.” It doesn’t make you stupid. We all make stupid mistakes. It doesn’t make the person stupid. Our children make stupid mistakes, but I try really hard not to call my child stupid. The act can be stupid. The… forgetting something, can be, not a great thing. But, check how you are speaking to yourself and just make that small transition acknowledge whatever it is that you don’t like, in a more positive use of words, and more effective use of words. Because beating ourselves up… man, are we our toughest critics. Really beating yourself down is not healthy. It’s not making you feel better. It’s really the opposite of self-care, and it’s not going to move you forward, it’s just going to drag you down. So let’s change that self-talk. Make it positive. Make it something that will actually move you forward. Have a conversation with yourself about what you are going to do differently the next time. But, just beating yourself up? Not effective. Not good for your self-care or your self-esteem. So, I have tried my best to become very aware of this. Remember. It is a practice. It’s something you will have to do over and over. You’re not always going to do it right, especially if its a natural habit for you to beat yourself up. Become aware of it, and start changing the language you are using on yourself. I’m in this process, so I just wanted to share it with you guys, too.
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