Do you hear yourself saying things like…
“I’m not good enough
I’m always doing the wrong thing
I’m not worthy of success
I can’t lose weight…”
…and the list goes on.
Without realising it, you are creating your own reality. What we focus on is what we get but you can change what you say to yourself and, by doing so, change your life. The language that we use truly does create our reality.
It can feel hard sometimes to turn down the volume of our inner critic, the part of ourselves who watches and judges our every move. That nagging voice that is full of self-criticism, comparisons to others and that tells us we’re not enough.
With all of the changes and uncertainty of the last couple of years that has unquestionably impacted all of our lives, I meet a lot of my people who are living with anxiety, self-doubt and the inner critic roaring at an all-time high.
So, it’s time to change that! Wouldn’t you rather live with your loudest cheerleader and best-friend…rather than with your worst enemy?
Learning to love yourself comes with showing yourself kindness and compassion, having the same patience and love we can have for others, but not always for ourselves.
When you start to talk to yourself as if you are talking to someone you love your response to anxiety and stress changes. Instead of fighting with yourself and questioning how you should feel or what you should be doing, pause and allow yourself to feel everything you’re feeling. By taking the time to respond rather than react, we can start to give ourselves the calmness, clarity and patience to really listen to and trust ourselves and our actions and decisions. We give ourselves permission to acknowledge how we’re feeling and accept that it’s ok, that we’re doing the best we can.
Self-compassion is about relating to ourselves kindly and understanding that we’re human, that we’re going to make mistakes, that imperfection is perfection. So, talk it out, express your fears, talk about anxiety, share your self-doubt. Even a little bit of patience, kindness and compassion for ourselves can hugely impact the state we exist in, our relationships with others and our lives in general.
How to quieten your inner critic and become your own cheerleader.
1. Be Still. Taking time each day to slow down and be still allows us to connect more fully with and access the parts of ourselves that need love and healing. Try mediation (I highly recommend a free app ‘Insight Timer’ which has a global community of 23+ million!) or simply giving yourself permission to stop, sit and close your eyes…even for 5 minutes
2. Journaling. Writing is a way to connect with the deeper aspects of ourselves. It’s a way to begin to work with the beliefs and feelings that keep us from loving ourselves more fully. Try creating a list of your positive qualities or nice things that others say about you.
3. Recognise Critical Self-Messages. Begin to notice the negative chatter and critical voice in your head. When we choose to listen we can recognise it’s these voices that keep us from loving and accepting ourselves. We can then begin to change our habits, bring in positive self-talk and become our own friend instead of enemy.
4. Learn to Feel More Fully and Express Emotions Constructively. Many of us learned to suppress our feelings from a young age. Learning to experience and express our feelings is one of the most loving acts we can do for ourselves. This can initially be uncomfortable but by giving yourself the time and space to begin to experience your feelings you will build trust, understanding and compassion for yourself.
5. Affirmations. “Fake it till you make it”. This is true with loving ourselves as well. We may not feel it right away but by beginning to express love and compassion for ourselves openly we can create real change. Affirmations help to bring in the feelings we wish to cultivate for both ourselves and others.
How to use affirmations:
- Write affirmations and stick them in various places so you will see them throughout your day. Try sticking them on your mirror or making them your screensaver.
- Mirror Work – stand in front of the mirror and repeat affirmations. Tell yourself “You can do anything you set your mind to. I love and approve of myself. I love myself completely as I am. I am beautiful and lovable however I am feeling.” Try it! It can feel uncomfortable at first but stick with it, it can and does have a huge impact on increasing our self-love and self-worth.
6. Consistency. Building any relationship takes time and it requires consistency to feel safe and loved. In cultivating a more loving relationship with yourself it’s important to be consistent. Make time everyday, even if it’s only a few minutes, to slow down and connect with yourself. Showing up for yourself in a regular way is a very loving thing to do for yourself.
And remember – “Talk to yourself like someone you love”. –Brene Brown