Do you like yourself? I mean do you REALLY like yourself?
At first blush, people often say, “Of course I like myself!” If you really think about it, though, maybe you don’t really like yourself as much as you think you do.
One way to tell if you truly like yourself is by examining your “self-talk.” By self-talk I mean the things that you say to yourself about the things that are going on around you. For example, what do you say to yourself if you spill something? Do you say, “What a clutz you are!” or do you say something like, “Ooops – at least that won’t take much time to clean up!”?
The thing about self-talk is that you hear what you say as if someone else had said it. It follows, then, that you take it in as if someone else had said it and you can actually hurt your own feelings by what you say to/about yourself! It seems kind of silly, but that’s the way it works. Think about it… the more you criticize yourself the worse you feel. It follows, then, that the worse you feel about yourself and the more critical you are of your own mistakes, the more stress you will feel when you make them.
You certainly wouldn’t criticize a good friend. If they made a mistake of some sort you wouldn’t tell them how clumsy or stupid or careless they were; you’d say something supportive like, “It’s no big deal; it’s easy to fix.”
Don’t you think you should be a friend to yourself too?
So… what do we do about this?
I think that the most important thing is awareness of what you’re doing. When you catch yourself saying something critical to yourself, stop, turn it around, and say something supportive. You will hear that, too, and as if someone else said it. You will also absorb it as if someone else said it, and you’ll feel better. Maybe more importantly, you WON’T feel BAD about it.
Be a friend to yourself as you would to your friends. Be kind and supportive, tell yourself positive things, and be encouraging. Even when your friends aren’t around to support you, you will be supportive of yourself and you will find great comfort and less stress.
After all, you are always there in your times of need.