How to Talk to Yourself Like Someone You Love
October 15, 2016
This is one part of our four-part series on motivation
We see so many people beating themselves up. Telling themselves that they’re too weak, too slow, too old, too lazy, too [insert favorite self-criticism] to accomplish their goals. If you continually think these things about yourself, after a while, they begin to feel like fact.
But the real fact of the matter is: feeling isn’t fact.
Just because you feel like you can’t do something, certainly doesn’t mean you can’t. And just because you feel like it’s impossible, doesn’t mean it is. But with enough repetition, over time these feelings become more and more concrete in your mind, and you become more and more sure that you’re incapable of so many great things that are well within your reach.
To combat these negative mind gremlins and transform them into motivated soldiers is simply a matter of being aware of the negative thoughts when they come, and substituting positive ones in their place.
It might seem silly to repeatedly tell yourself, “I’m strong” and “I’m capable”, but is it any sillier than continually telling yourself you’re not?
Our thoughts are what make us who we are.
If we’re full of thoughts telling us that we’re less than, then we achieve less than we’re capable of. If we’re trying to get excited about a particular goal or starting something new but our mind keeps saying things like, “Remember those times you tried something new and failed?” or “You know you’re nowhere near where you should be, right?”, it swiftly takes the wind from our sails and we can kiss our motivation goodbye.
On the other hand, if we make an effort to fill our minds with affirmations like, “Look at you, being all brave, trying something new. Well done!” or “That didn’t go so great, but now we know how to be better next time” eventually those affirmations fill up more of our thought space until we become those affirmations.
Here’s a trick: the next time you notice yourself thinking something negative about who you are or what you’re doing, take a step back and ask: is this thought helping me? and then, would I say it to someone I love?
If the answer is, it makes me feel like crap and I would never say that to someone I love, replace that thought with something kinder. And it can be literally anything kinder for it to work, from “I was patient with the dog this morning” to “Remember when you kicked ass at the meeting that one time five years ago?” The point is just to interrupt the negative thought and replace it with a positive one.
It might feel uncomfortable and a little cheesy at first, but if you practice this each time you find that you're putting yourself down, it starts to feel truer and truer, ultimately reshaping your perspective and your reality. It’s truly powerful stuff.
If we don’t tolerate the bullying of others, we definitely shouldn’t tolerate bullying ourselves. Remember: the person who ought to love you most of all, is you, so practice treating yourself like someone you love!
This is one section of our four-part series on finding inner-motivation. Check out the other motivation-makers below: