Have you ever asked yourself this question, “Would I be friends with someone who talked to me the way I talk to me?” Just sit on that one for a second.
Picture this: you’re meeting a friend for drinks after work. You walk in and she hugs you, then says, “You know, that shirt looked better on you last summer when you were thinner. You should really watch what you eat for a few months to try and get back there again.”
Or maybe you’re sitting at your desk and your boss swings by and says, “Hey! Remember a few weeks ago in that meeting when you asked that embarrassing question? Everyone is probably still thinking about how dumb you sounded.”
What if your mom called to say, “Hey honey, I’ve been driving by your house for a while and it looks like your neighbors all make more money than you. Their cars are nicer and their kids are dressed better. You should have pushed harder earlier in your career for advancement, but it’s probably too late now.”
I’m pretty sure you would walk out on that happy hour, hate your boss, and hang up on your mom. But these are all common themes and stories we tell ourselves constantly. How is it that we can say anything we want to ourselves, but if someone else said them to us, it would be unacceptable?
Stop accepting this negative and inaccurate inner dialogue. If you wouldn’t accept it from someone else, you shouldn’t accept it from yourself.
There’s a phrase that I’m ready to put an end to. You’ve heard it and probably said it before. I’m definitely guilty of saying it. “We’re our harshest critics.” Enough. That phrase makes it okay to talk down to ourselves and make up false stories about the world around us. And it’s not okay. Let’s change this to, “We’re our harshest liars and trash-talkers.” That’s better.
So now what? You’re just supposed to sit around telling yourself you’re kind and beautiful and smart? Well, yeah. But more than that – let’s shine a light on this inner trash-talker and tell him or her to move along. The more you dismiss these thoughts, the less they’ll find space in your mind, and the more you’ll reclaim your headspace and heartspace.
Not many things in life are 100% in your control, but only you get to choose who and what takes up residency in your mind and your soul. You choose the rules of your inner dialogue. Just like you choose to surround yourself with kind, uplifting, gracious and positive people, choose to BE that person to yourself.