Do you ever think about or listen to what your personal self-talk sounds like? Self-talk can be influenced by our day to day living, experiences, and our beliefs. It’s the inner voice that we allow ourselves to listen to. What is yours saying? Are there moments when you are criticizing yourself? How about judging yourself? What about this, are there moments where you praise yourself? Is there ever a time you are gentle with yourself?
As we move through life all these things may come to pass at different times. When we are stressed or frustrated it is so much easier for our voices to become critical and judgmental. Maybe we don’t give ourselves enough credit for doing what needs to be done, or doing what we are capable of. Instead we harshly berate ourselves for not doing better or not doing enough. Where does that come from? Perhaps we learned it in our family of origin, that to be meaningful we needed to push and overachieve and be perfect. Perhaps we learned it in school where we were made to not feel good enough, or compared to someone else that made us feel inferior. Possibly we learned it in adulthood in an abusive relationship where we felt disempowered and lacking in who we thought we were. Wherever this may have been picked up, the words don’t necessarily serves our highest good. To constantly be talking down to ourselves is more of a detriment than a favor. Listen carefully and think about what that voice is saying to you, then imagine saying those things to someone else. Would you? How does it make you feel to think about saying that to someone else?
Life can be challenging. I remember being a kid and thinking that it would get easier as I got to adulthood. That someone the challenges of just getting there were all I would have to deal with. Grown-ups seemed to be able to do what they want, get what they want, go where they want without having to answer to anyone. Hahahahahahaha, I would have to say adulthood was a wakeup call in that department. Our challenges don’t go away, they just change and morph. I think one of the greatest things we learn over time is how to deal with them.
There will always be times where we will want to be our own worst critic. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to be. What if there were another option? What if we were gentle in those times. Can we look at the experience we are having and say that we are doing our best in this moment. Knowing that being tired, being stressed, having a lot on our plates will affect what our best is at any given time. Maybe we used all the energy we had today to just make it through, perhaps we said a couple things we wish we wouldn’t have, or didn’t get the dishes done like we thought we would. Maybe, just maybe, that was our best today. Tomorrow is another day, another change, another opportunity to be our best, and chances are that will look different than it did today.
There’s also the opportunity to give ourselves credit and a pat on the back. We tend to find it easy to be hard on ourselves, yet not give ourselves the praise that we deserve. I invite you all to take some time to change that inner voice to one of compassion, empathy, and support. Take some time to think about how amazing you are, how far you’ve come in any given circumstances, and all the wonderful energy and effort you expended to get here, in this moment. That inner voice can be a powerful tool, and we have the opportunity to make it work for us and with us to be the best versions of ourselves.
If you struggle with self-talk and need some support changing the vision of yourself we have wonderful services that can help you move through your process, such as Guided Imagery Therapy or Life and Spiritual Coaching. You can also listen to our podcast on the Promises To Keep or Beliefs: The Conscious and Unconscious Saboteur for ways to change your life and that inner voice.