Why it's so hard to be nice to ourselves.
And what to do about it.
Think of someone you love deeply. Your child. A close friend. A niece or nephew.
Now picture yourself saying these things to them:
"You're an idiot."
"You're a piece of sh*t."
"You don't deserve good things."
"Why would anyone love you."
"If people knew the real you, they'd hate you."
"You're an imposter."
It's appalling to even think about. (My bad.)
We're incredibly willing to say these things to ourselves. (Let that sink in...)
Maybe not these exact words. But similar. Most of us do it. And many of us do it on a daily basis. We have somehow convinced ourselves that the only person it's okay to saw these awful things to is...us.
Carl Jung would have described this as a response to the "shadow self."
Dr. Phil Stutz would describe this as "Mr. X" trying to derail our efforts (thanks Netflix!).
Steven Pressfield would describe this as The Resistance.
Many people would call this self-sabotage, or the ego trying to protect itself.
You know what I call it?
Despite the misleading title, I don't really care where this stuff comes from, or why it's there. What I care about is the truth of it, and what to do about it.
When we are having an internal monologue that is berating or belittling to the very person having it, it simply isn't true. No more true than it would be if we said it to someone we love like noted at the beginning of the post.
We have to learn to tell that part of our mind to shut up. And it starts by recognizing in the good moments how false these internal monologues are. By reminding ourselves in the good moments that we can be kind to ourselves and that we aren't the monster we make ourselves out to be in our worst moments, we give ourselves a tool when they come.
Negative self-talk is a signal and nothing more. A signal that it's time to get out of our heads and into the present moment.
Go for a walk. Do some breath work. Take a cold shower. Do whatever you need to pull yourself out of the imaginary world between your ears and into the tangible world in front of you.
You are not your thoughts. No matter how intrusive and real they may seem in the moment.
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