Before you read any further… just pause for a few seconds and say something kind to yourself!
Be sincere, and notice how it creates a little positive shift in your mood…
If you found it hard to think of something, you definitely need to practise doing that more often.
If you found it easy, then great! But remember to keep doing it – every day, several times a day.
We find it so easy to beat ourselves up about our ‘failings’ and can get into very damaging patterns of negative self-talk if we’re not careful.
By making a conscious effort to treat ourselves as we would a very dear friend, we find our self-compassion blossoming and our outlook in general becomes more positive and more understanding.
For example, we might find we are not as organised as we’d like to be (or as efficient as certain colleagues).
We might find ourselves muttering under our breath that we are “stupid” or “hopeless” until we really feel completely inadequate.
We are in fact taking on the role of a bully in our own mind, and this only serves to make us more anxious and even less likely to be organised in our thoughts and actions.
If we listen to the voice in our head it may sound like a parent or figure of authority from our childhood, or it could be that of a boss or partner.
It is wrong to make someone feel bad about themselves and we need to ‘tune out’ or change the voice into a silly voice that makes us giggle rather than feel afraid – try changing it to a cartoon character’s voice and see how differently the message comes across!
The next step is to treat ourselves like our best friend – when we’re having a bad day, remind ourselves of all the things (big or small) that we have actually achieved, even if it is just making that phone call we’d been putting off, or cleaning the sink.
We all have days when our mojo is nowhere to be seen – and that’s okay.
We sometimes just need to ride out a bad day/week, be gentle with ourselves and wait for a fresh start the next day/week.
Going back to the example of someone feeling disorganised and inadequate – some people are definitely more naturally organised than others and if we find we don’t fit in that category, that’s also okay.
We no doubt have different qualities that highly efficient people may lack to some degree, like a more flexible attitude to things, and are perhaps more tolerant of changes to plans.
There is room for everyone and communities, work & sports teams, friends & family groups all need different skills and attributes to be able to function properly.
If we sit quietly and think about any issues we have in a non-critical, non-judgemental way we will probably be able to think of a few tips and tricks that could help us improve certain skills – like a magnetic ‘To-Do’ list on the fridge, or planning meals for the next few days to make shopping trips quicker and less expensive – there’s no advantage whatsoever to getting annoyed with ourselves, and being gentle and understanding of how we are will definitely succeed in bringing out the best in us.
Amanda Craven’s hypnotherapypractice is based in the Scarborough area but she also works via Skype with clients nationally, and internationally.
Visit www.amandacravenhypnotherapy.co.uk for more information.