So, imagine a good friend calls you up. They’re going through a really hard time. They’re struggling. Maybe they’ve done something they’re not proud of. Maybe they’re not living up to their own expectations in some part of their life.
Imagine now you say to them
“I can’t believe you did that”
“You always mess up when it comes to X”
“You can’t handle problems as well as everyone else”
“You should be ashamed of yourself”
No? What friend on earth would say these things?
Except you do, we all do, to some extent say these things or similar to ourselves when we’re struggling.
Think about it. What’s your inner dialogue like when you’re feeling challenged? What are the things you tell yourself?
What's the impact of this conversation? How does it help you approach the challenge, overcome the struggle?
Well, it probably doesn’t.
What if you instead talked to yourself the way you talked to a dear friend?
It’s that simple.
Take a moment and write down the things you would say to that friend who calls you up.
Not the advice you would give, but the things you would say that tell them
You see them
You hear them
You love them
You believe in them
You might tell them it’s okay to make mistakes
It’s ok to struggle, to feel challenged
You might tell them to be patient and kind with themselves
If you could see them in person, you’d probably hug them, squeeze their hand, a shoulder.
So why not do all of the above for yourself.
Turn the phrases onto you.
Say them out loud to yourself.
Smile, laugh at yourself. Laugh at me. But say them aloud to yourself.
Everyone struggles sometimes
I’m allowed to make mistakes
I don’t have to be perfect
I accept myself as I am
I’m doing my best
I can be patient with myself
Or whatever else you need to hear.
Maybe place a hand on your heart as you do this. Wrap your arms around yourself in a hug.
This conversation with yourself is the greatest conversation you’ll have in your life. Make it kind. Make it count.