Stop Beating Yourself Up
Are there really 3 ways you can stop beating yourself up and be happy? It seems too easy but the ways we beat ourselves up are endless and the words we use do matter! It’s not just the words we say to others. The way we talk to ourselves is an important part of our spiritual development. Let’s start with others.
Words Can Kill
In Taunton, Massachusetts a woman who sent her boyfriend a barrage of text messages urging him to kill himself was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. A judge ruled that Michelle Carter caused the death of Conrad Roy III, who intentionally filled his truck with carbon monoxide in 2014. Clearly, her words mattered to Conrad Roy.
Let’s Get Personal
Lets take it personally. Every day, every moment, we beat ourselves up. We shame and berate ourselves. Horrible things that we would never say to another person we love are the norm. “You idiot! Why didn’t you…?” “You’re such a jerk.” You’re lazy, fat, stupid… Fill in the blank with your favourite way to beat yourself up. It’s very personal and most of the time, it’s not even our words. I wrote about a version of this recently in the Letting Go of My Old Stories. We are all “works in progress”!
Who taught us to talk to ourselves that way and can we shift it? Can we learn to stop beating ourselves up and be happy? The answer is YES! Sometimes we are using the harsh words of our parents, our siblings, or negative teachers or the abusive bullies in our lives. For myself, I’ve done my share of self-trashing and when I trained in psychotherapy, I learned how much I did it. I learned to notice when I did it. It wasn’t until I trained to be a Soul Coaching® Practitioner that I learned some practical tools for shifting those hurtful habits and replacing them with more positive self-love. Don’t worry, I’ll share them with you!
What Me Worry?
Did you know that that worrying makes you feel like you’re doing something to solve your problem and in so doing, it activates the brain’s reward centre? Rationally, we understand that worrying doesn’t solve our problems, but that ancient brain of ours kinda likes it! Thanks to curious researchers like Alex Korb, who wrote The Upward Spiral, we now know that rather than getting off on worry, GRATITUDE boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine and serotonin! Take that you worry-wart! GRATITUDE is #1. Always #1. Apparently it doesn’t matter what you find to be grateful for, what matters is searching for something to be grateful for. Let the search begin!
Observe Your Life; Change Your Words
In the 28-day Soul Coaching® Program we spend 7 days looking at our beliefs and observing our thoughts and our life. What if you were to look at the events of your life as neither good nor bad? The meaning you give those events will determine how you see your life. Most of the time, we do this on automatic pilot, regurgitating someone else’s beliefs about our lives. In Soul Coaching® we become “the Sacred Observer” and observing how we talk to ourselves is part of that exploration. “No pain, no gain.” I’m too old to think about a new career.” “I never finish what I start”… and worse, the verbal abuse we heap on ourselves are more frequently repeated in our heads that you ever imagined.
We learn to notice and we learn to reframe how we think of our lives and talk to ourselves. Become the Sacred Observer then Say it Differently is #2.
We tend to unconsciously draw mirrors to us in life. What we believe about ourselves will be reflected in the people and events of our lives. Once you have found some newer, kinder ways of talking to yourself- it takes practice- find people, attitudes and philosophies that will support, reinforce and mirror the new you until it becomes second nature and a new habit.
They say it takes 21 days to change a habit but for most of us it’s more like a million and 21 days! You could start with something simple like the music you listen to, yet you may find, over time, that more and more supportive people come into your life. Try starting small and doable by making a new playlist of songs with lyrics that says all the wonderful things that are true about you. And if you have to curse at yourself, do it like this:
3 Ways =Happiness
Happiness is hard to define without using external measurements. I’ll be happy when I find love. I’ll be happy if I lose 20 pounds. When I get that raise, then I’ll be happy…. It’s always somewhere just out of reach and dependent on an external goal. What if happiness were measured in terms of love or gratitude? If I can find 3 things to be grateful for, then I must be happy! If I can say 3 loving things to myself, then surely I’m a happy person! Way better!
- Don’t Worry; be Grateful.
- Become the Sacred Observer & Choose New Words!
- Find Reminders
Now tell me….How will you talk sweetly to yourself? Your words matter!