Tuesday Thoughts And Don't I Need This?
Updated: May 9
I trust you were encouraged to believe that there is light after darkness. Today, I want to shed awareness on something we all do. And I will help you question its value. Often we think that we can only be motivated if we criticize ourselves. We are convinced that by telling ourselves we did something wrong, it will help us do better next time. " Why did I miss that important meeting? I better not do that again. Why am I so forgetful?" " I didn't do my meditation/prayer today. My mind wandered. I really need to get my act together." " Oh man. I am late sending this birthday card. Why can't I do this on time? I am so neglectful." " Here I go again, going off my diet. I should know better!" and so on.... You get it, right? This applies to dieting, job related assignments, family responsibilities, friendships, projects...anything really. We feel that if we do not criticize ourselves, we will not be motivated to do better! Correct? Like the only way forward is to kick ourselves. You are with me? Now, has that really worked? You might be believing that this negative self-criticism has moved you forward. I dare question you on this. We, my generation, were raised like this. We were put in our place and corrected and criticized harshly if we made a mistake or even a perceived mistake in their eyes. I know for myself, this put fear in me, but not motivation. Sadly, I used some of these tactics in my own child rearing. I have a very different opinion of how to raise children now. And I have asked all of them to forgive me. I did what I thought was best back then. Everyone is much more motivated to change a behavior if we feel heard, understood, encouraged and supported. Let's apply this to our every day life: When you hear that negative critic start its self depreciating speech, just be aware of it. "Ah, there you are critic. I knew you'd come." That's awareness. Don't try to shut it down. Just be aware of it. And then gently remind yourself that you got this. You don't need to force yourself to do better. Just like you wouldn’t say to a daffodil sprouting up out of the earth after a long winter's sleep, "Hurry up now, you are supposed to be bright and yellow and tall. What's taking you so long?" No, of course not. Just as you wouldn't say to the acorn tree sprout, "Where is your shade and all your green leaves, and your strong trunk? You are supposed be a shade tree!" It sounds ridiculous, right? But this is exactly what we do to ourselves. Criticizing ourselves for where we are in our timeline. It takes time to change. What does mother nature do with the daffodil and acorn sprout? It gives it sun and rain and time. We can learn a lot from nature. Give yourself time. Water your "sprout". Be gentle with yourself. Receive the watering and take the nutrients from the soil. Nourish yourself. And TRUST that change IS HAPPENING. You are exactly where you are for a reason. If you want to flourish, then make sure you have the right attitude. One of grace, gentleness and encouragement. You will see, that you will grow much better, without all the harshness. And yes, just like my friend told me today, that there was a dusting of snow on this April morning, you will have some of those days too. And guess what, that didn't stifle the daffodil plant. It is resilient and will keep growing. Sometimes a silly example helps, too. So, here you go: If I told you, "You are a purple cow!" Would you believe it? Of course not. For fun, you can look up an old Milka chocolate commercial with a purple cow. I know, I know, I grew up in Germany, but that picture just popped into my head. Back to the criticism. You wouldn’t believe me, but you believe your own critic who says: " Why are you so lazy?" " Why can't you stick to your diet/ exercise plan/ meditation/ prayer?" " I am a failure." " I can never do anything right." " I am not smart/ beautiful/ skinny/ happy enough." " They will promote someone else." ..and many more. Can you trust the process and believe that you function a lot better with gentle care? Think of yourself as a plant if it helps you be gentler with yourself. I doubt you would kick a daffodil sprout.
Be gentle with yourself.
If you need help with being gentle to yourself and learning to change the self talk, then contact me. It would be an honor to guide you.
PS: Message me for a free consult to start moving toward a more confident you.
You are loved. Deeply loved. Loved beyond measure.
Until next time, Isabelle
Call or write for a free life coaching consultation #732-331-2246 Isabellestephensoncoach@gmail.com