You know what I’m talking about. Or maybe you don’t…because it is so weaved into the everyday conversation in your mind. I’m talking about beating yourself up. It steals your energy, makes you tired, and drains your spirit. There’s a much better way. Let’s chat…
Self -Nagging=Chronic Energy Drain
How does your mind get away with this? If someone were to insult, judge and criticize you so regularly you would try to avoid that person. Well your mind just does it so much that you get used to it. You don’t “hear” it. It’s more like someone nagging you than someone beating you up. That’s why it’s able to persist.
But I Don’t Really Do That
Don’t you? Take a day to listen. It’s quiet, low-level, in the background. Does any of this sound familiar:
- You’re exercising and you think about how you should have done more, ran faster, worked harder?
- You finished 10 things on your To-Do list but you lament the 3 things you didn’t get done.
- Your child falls asleep and you regret yelling at him/her, forgetting all the love and care you gave that day.
- You’re doing well in one aspect of your life, but you spend a lot of time thinking of the things you haven’t accomplished yet, thinking of them as “failures.”
- You call yourself bad names in your head when you “mess up” on things. These become automatic. And on and on…
Listen in your mind and you’ll see how constant it is.
Do This Instead
Change the pattern. Here’s how:
- Be aware of how you talk to yourself in your head.
- Notice every time you focus on real or perceived failings.
- Be sure to give yourself credit for at least 3 things you did well.
- Give yourself credit for things during the day – write them down to make them “stick” in your mind.
Our mind is like velcro for negative things and like a sieve for good things, so make it easier to hold onto your successes in your mind. Write them down, share the story with a friend, or create a physical reminder of your successes or celebrate with some type of event or reward.
Give yourself credit for all the things you take for granted:
- You got up on time today.
- You made your kids/husband a nice meal.
- You exercised.
- You were kind to someone.
- You let someone go in traffic.
Physical Reminders ideas:
- Keep a log of exercise.
- Make a checklist of things you do daily and write Good Job at the top!
- Remind yourself and your family of some of the things you accomplished for the family that day and take a moment to say “good job” to yourself. And then let others share their accomplishments.
- Make appreciation certificates for friends or family that recognize good things they do. It feels good to make someone smile. This will also help your mind to incline towards finding the good in yourself too.
What other ideas do you have for celebrating successes and breaking out of self-critical habits? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
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