Self talk is often viewed as a negative and I don’t necessarily disagree with that connotation, because that is what we are prone to do. We “self-talk” ourselves into the ground sometimes, and yet when we talk to our FRIENDS we tend to “talk them up”. Why is that? Why are we SO harsh on ourselves and SO kind to others?
Why is it that when someone else is “down on themselves” or “down in the dumps” we are quick with all the wisdom and advice of a prophet, but when we look at ourselves we are quick to be the critic. I suppose there is some value to being critical of oneself right? I mean if we were all ego inflated self-loving monsters then our social interactions would be strained to say the least, so I can appreciate honest criticism even within my own personalities. Why though, why do we so often hold ourselves to a different standard then we do those we love? Why is the bar so much higher in the mirror than when it’s held out for our friends?
I’m sure you are waiting for my two-cents on why, but honestly I don’t have one. Maybe we figure if we are harder on ourselves we will someone be better than. Maybe we try to be our own worst critics because we are afraid we’ll be hurt if someone else is harder on us and it’s a way to manage what our “worst” feelings are and where they come from? Possibly it’s a combination of all of that and so much more, and I don’t have an answer honestly – my best guess is that it’s a combination of MANY things and that it’s part of the human psyche which will never be understood.
The point of my story though is that self talk does not HAVE to be negative. Who decides that? YOU DO. My challenge to you whether it’s about your weight, your gym commitment, your money, how you are raising your kids, your relationship or whatever your personal struggles are TODAY…try just ONCE a day to talk to yourself the way you’d talk to your friend. At least once a day catch your thought and make a cognitive decision to CHANGE your thought. You wanted to do 5-miles today and only did 3? Well instead of, “I’m a loser I only did 3” – try hitting yourself with the “yeah, you didn’t feel like doing any and you did three freakin miles – GOOD JOB ~ try for 5 again tomorrow”.
The whole concept for this blog came to me recently – while ON the treadmill wanting to quit halfway through my miles cuz my body was just tired and I felt miserable. First I did the negative talk, then I corrected myself – turned it to positive talk and as it turns out the power of my own positive talk got me through the rest of my miles that day and the whole thing felt like a huge success to me. So I’m just saying – don’t forget to love YOU and have patience with YOU – as much as you everyone else. You matter too! Much love – till next time around….