I love this quote, “talk to yourself as you would your best friend.”
After giving this some thought, would you tell your dear friend that she’s stupid, messed up, and could never get anything right? Would you tell her she doesn’t fit in, no-one really cares about her, or she’s a failure? For way too long, that’s how we have talked to ourselves. Silently, we have discounted compliments, second guessed and scrutinized our conversations in a group, or told ourselves just how much no one cares. It’s time to take a new stance on how we talk to ourselves.
Here’s a step by step way to do it:
First-for one day, write down all negative statements you catch yourself saying about yourself. Second-evaluate them in light of whether you would say them to your best friend. If not, then they have to go. What would the opposite or a positive spin on those statements be? Write the positive statements in a column beside the negative ones. Third-make an effort to heighten your awareness to negative statements. When they roll through your head, immediately stop repeating them, and replace with something you would say to your best friend. The more you do this exercise, the more you will catch it and eliminate negativity about yourself.
Here’s an example.
The other day I fell on the stairs. It was quite a fall! I had my hands full of the mail, a bag of groceries, and my drink cup full of icy water. As I reached the top stair, my foot caught on the step and I fell, sprawling all over my hard wood floor. My upper left arm and both knees took the brunt of it, with a sizable bruises that lasted for well over a week and a half. Water spewed everywhere from my cup when it’s cover popped off, and the mail and groceries scattered. My cat was lounging on the sofa-his normal daytime spot-and when I looked at him from the floor, he was lazily taking in this scene. No help from him! After assessing damages, I was so grateful that I didn’t hurt myself more than the bruises! My thoughts then went to how stupid that was, and that I have to stop being so clumsy etc, and so on. UNTIL, I stopped. It was just an accident, and there was nothing stupid about it. I had to talk to myself as if I was my best friend who took the spill. That talk would sound something like, “Are you ok? Oh wow, I’m so sorry! It’s ok, let me help you pick this up. I’m so glad you aren’t hurt.”
This is the start of being our own best friend. Inner conversations about you matter. Oh and, the name of your best friend, is your name.
Linda Ward, Coach