A few years ago, when I started my journey of personal development, a mentor asked me: Would you be offended if somebody talked to you the way you talk to yourself?
This question hit me out of nowhere and it made me take a very close look at myself and how I talk to me. It was a true eye-opener! Turns out, I was rather harsh, more like brutal, when I was talking to myself.
Taking inventory on my self-talk was no fun at all. What I was telling myself were the same things that were hammered into me from the very beginning. Continuously, I was talking down to myself. Beating myself up over things I had said and done. Telling myself I wasn’t good enough and what makes me think I can do whatever I wanted to do. Constantly being that negative and pessimistic voice that kept holding me back.
That does not even include the names I was calling myself! Those were a whole other can of worms. Of course, realizing all of this, I beat myself up even more…
Does this sound familiar? How do you talk to yourself? Would you be offended if somebody else would talk to you in this manner? Are you aware you are doing it?
Armed with this new awareness, I knew I had my work cut out for me. This negative self-talk business was a deeply instilled habit. Would I be able to ever break this pattern? How can I stop it and turn it around? Where do I even start?
The good news is that it is simple. However, it is not easy! The biggest challenge was to get off auto-pilot and pay attention. It was difficult in the beginning, and it took me a while to realize I was doing it. Of course, as soon as I caught on, I started beating myself up over it.
For a minute anyway… then I apologized to myself and said something positive to cheer me up.
Over time, the negative self-talk became less and less. Oh, make no mistake… It is still coming through every so often! I am human after all.
However, these days, I am far kinder and way more loving toward myself and how I talk to me. One thing that helped me, and it was soooooooo awkward, was talking to myself in the mirror. It is a fun exercise. Simply look yourself in the eye and compliment yourself. Tell yourself how much you love and admire YOU.
It gets easier and easier and mostly, it becomes less awkward. Pay attention on how your conversations with yourself change. The other thing you might notice is how conversations with others change as well. It still boggles my mind every time I take inventory.
From now on, instead of beating yourself up, imagine you are talking to child, YOUR inner child. You wouldn’t talk like this to anybody else much less a child, would you? It is time you encourage yourself and become your biggest cheerleader! You are the most important person in your life!
Be kind to yourself. Encourage yourself. Love yourself.
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