When we talk to ourselves, and we listen to the way we do that, all too often we are pretty mean to ourselves and the language is a bit, well, harsh.
From the moment we wake up we barat the fact we put the alarm on snooze.
The cereal going soft when the box wasn’t sealed will be our fault, even if we don’t eat said cereal.
The traffic lights changing to red just before we get to them, well that’s our fault and not down to the electronics.
Puddles in the playground, yup we have got those covered in or names.
Zoom not connecting for our 10am call, us again.
Spilling coffee, usually cold because we haven’t had a chance to drink it when it was hot, is down to our poor judgement not the dogs going mad when the postman knocks at the door.
A client not getting in The Times due to Trump being diagnosed with COVID will fall at our feet, not with the President of the USA.
The dog being sick on the floor is blamed on the owner, not the grass the feline ate in the middle of the night.
A contract not being signed at the last time could well be because we were silly enough not to chase it up sooner, but it could actually be because the business decided to use Facebook ads not PR this month.
You see where I am going with this?
Yes, there are things that we could do better, faster and with more enthusiasm, but if we were to talk to our best friend the way we spoke to ourselves I am pretty sure it would be time to change our name to Billy in no time at all.
This week I ask you to stop and think about the way you are talking to yourself and how that is benefitting you.
If your sister was to burn the dinner, would you tell her she was useless in the kitchen?
If your son lost a rugby match, would you turn around and tell him it was his own fault for not being fit enough?
Say your partner lost a major deal, would you resign them to the scrap heap?
Your dad breaks his glasses, is that a reason to laugh in his face and call him a loser?
You friend is dumped by a new boyfriend, do you mop up her tears and offer a glass of wine, or do you tell her maybe it was that extra few pound on her hips that
No, none of these are OK and it’s making me wince slightly even writing this.
We are kind to others and yet when it comes to ourselves, we can be pretty damn mean.
I often ask my coaching clients, especially the ones who find it hard to see their worth and see the good in themselves, how it would feel if they started to be their own best friend?
And, if they were to do this, what difference it would make to them?
I see the expressions on their faces change, sometimes there are tears in the eyes and all too often they tell me it would make a big difference.
So, how would it change your life?
Could you start to check in and be kind to yourself?
Look at yourself with kindness rather than criticism?
To see all the things you are great at rather than picking on the one or two things that aren’t your strong points?
To use words like kind, clever, smart, successful and resourceful, rather than some of the nasty terms that pop up all too often when you think you are less than perfect?
It could take time, remember new habits take at least 21 days, or it could be closer to 90, but if you don’t start to make changes they will never happen.
Yes, missing the train is annoying, but does it really make you an idiot, or does it give you time to grab a cuppa and read a magazine before the next one?
We are living in a pandemic, so not getting that double page spread doesn’t mean you are crap at your job, but that you know the editor well enough to see if it could be used another time?
The heating goes wrong, and this doesn’t mean you are always unlucky, but could mean you can treat yourself to some cosy new PJs?
Think about it, give it a go and you might find out that you are a pretty awesome human being and a really good friend?