Sunday, February 18, 2018

How do you talk to yourself?

How you talk to yourself and how you think of yourself is so important and frames the person you become. For the past few weeks this idea has been presented to me in so many different ways and I have wanted to write about it but never seem to find the right words because each time this idea comes to me it is with an entirely different scenario and put together they all seem so disjointed. But the message to me is the same.

An old man muttering to himself with a scowl on his face and another man complaining about something every single time I see him and never seeming happy no matter how good in life he has it makes me stop and think about how their negativity has affected their lives. 

A young lady fussing in a public washroom mirror trying to “fix” her face and get her hair just so makes me wonder what she is saying to herself at that moment.

The internal battle I seem to have with myself every time someone gives me a complement that I don’t think I deserve or don’t feel worthy of.

A recent post on a Facebook forum where someone asked if we complemented ourself or criticized ourself more often and the overwhelming response was that we criticize ourselves. 

The fact that if a friend approached me and told me about something going on in her life I would offer encouragement and/or empathy that I often wouldn’t give myself in the same situation. It makes me wonder why we seem so conditioned to be hard on ourselves.

We criticize absolutely everything about ourselves! The way we look, the colour of our hair, the colour of our eyes, the size of our feet. It goes on and on. We criticize how we do almost everything. I didn’t really think that I criticized myself that much (compared to other people) until I heard myself describing how I hike to a friend who was wanting to join me. I pretty much downplayed, downsized and deprecated every amazing ability I have while I hike. This really hit home for me as I have never felt more strong, confident, resilient and beautiful than when I was out on a long trail days from a shower, a mirror or society. On a trail I feel like I can conquer the world!

In my effort to bring my trail life into my everyday life I have decided to take care of myself the way I would while hiking. While hiking a hiker has to listen to their body and heed the small warning signs of hunger, fatigue, sun stroke, hypothermia and other injuries. We don’t beat ourselves up on the trail for taking breaks or calling it a day or even taking repeated days off in a row. We seem to forget how to do this the moment we get back into society and stop taking care of ourselves altogether. I have decided to listen to my body and take care of myself. And I have decided to accept complements by saying “thank you” rather than try to refute them or rationalize them in my mind. I will not downplay my abilities or skills and I will not talk to myself negatively- ever. Want to join me on this negative free adventure? Send me a message and tell me how it’s changed your life.

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