Speak kindly to yourself.

Have you ever stopped to pay attention to the way you talk about yourself? Do you notice most of your inner conversations from you to you are putting yourself down more than lifting yourself up? Have you ever considered being more kind in the ways you speak to yourself?

If you have found that you are often speaking rather negatively about yourself or to yourself, now is not only the time to become more aware but to also start speaking to yourself more kindly. I hope as you come to this post you have also been adding something that brings you joy to your day to each of your days, it can be as small as giving your partner a longer kiss in the morning, really savoring that first cup of coffee in the morning, or taking in the sunset as you walk your neighborhood but adding moments of joy to your day, especially moments you are really paying attention is so beneficial to your overall well-being and sense of contentment.

The weirdest thing happened when I started to pay attention to how I was talking to myself and starting to change it – I felt awkward. I felt like I was being weird for BEING NICE TO MYSELF. I felt so ridiculously uncomfortable and like I was being overly vain and I didn’t think I spoke to myself all that negatively before but man oh man, when I started to really listen, it started to come out.

Here are some examples that I noticed I kept saying to myself:
• My belly is too big and looks so squishy.
• And soon after poking said belly, I would follow with OMG IT EVEN FEELS SQUISHY.
• My thighs are too big.
• Why are the circles under my eyes so dark?
• Do I have weird looking feet….yup, they’re weird.
• I don’t have anything interesting to say.
• I am not sure so and so person actually enjoys my company.

Seriously, WTF was I doing? Because now in hindsight I can tell you:

• My belly looks and feels beautiful, every curve on my body is beautiful.
• My thighs fit my body perfectly and I really love the tattoo I have on my right side.
• The circles under my eyes aren’t even dark, it is my freaking skin and I happen to have a darker complexion.
• Ok, there is nothing wrong with my feet.
• I have a lot of interesting things to say and while I am not for everyone, the people who love me love me a lot.
• Every person that I actually care if they enjoy my company clearly enjoys my company. A lot of people in my life are genuinely interested in what I have to say and enjoy spending time with me.
• And when it comes to it, I love myself. As cheesy as it may sound to read and certainly as cheesy as it feels to write and say to myself, I actually do truly love myself. I have a lot of really beautiful qualities and one of my favorites is my desire to remain curious about myself, the world, the people I care deeply for, and to share what has helped me feel better about myself and life.

The first step to any change is becoming aware. I was not aware of how often I was talking down to myself and once I decided to make an effort to pay closer attention to what narrative I was spewing, I found that I was actually putting myself down more than lifting myself up. I also sought external confirmation of any opposition to this narrative I could get my hands on and that is for another post. As frustrating as it can be to hear, all the change starts within yourself. You first must make a choice you want to improve the way you live and then you must start changing your daily habits in alignment with the changes you want.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If your brain is anything like my brain, oh man, is it gonna fight you on this one. I have learned that our brains can literally be rewired, as we learn a new skill, the brain starts to make new connections between our neurons – this is called neuroplasticity. And guess what, the more you work on a new skill, the stronger those connections become.

Now, instead of getting upset at myself when I struggled or said something not overly kind to myself, I got a bit curious. There has to be a part of me that feels it is protecting a piece of me by keeping me humble…yes, I have learned I protect myself by trying to humble myself. Which, in itself sounds completely not humble but I digress. I read an amazing book by Sara Waters, More YourSELF, which really goes in-depth about mindful introspection and how to honor these parts of you. Sara is a phenomenal person, I can’t begin to say enough great things about her as a human being, so please check out her book if you want to learn how to become much more curious about everything – but most importantly, yourself!

Back to neuroplasticity, it means you can literally train your brain – but, don’t think for a minute this means you can only train for it the positive, you can also just as quickly and as easily train your brain to be a big ole downer, to look for all things negative, and get stuck in a habit loop of being mean to yourself. Our brains are remarkable and you can still change this cycle you are stuck in with simple habit changes. We can actually rewire our brains in the literal sense of freaking rewiring your damn brain. This means by making small daily changes and by creating new connections in your noggin you are literally rewiring the way you think.

In a nutshell, neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural pathways throughout life and in response to experiences. While the brain usually does this itself in response to injury or disease, when humans focus their attention enough, they can slowly rewire these pathways themselves. Source. I didn’t even make it up.

Next week I plan to get more into habit changes and habit loops, but for now, I want to leave you with a challenge – spend the next few days becoming more aware of how you speak to yourself. If and when you catch yourself being not quite so nice, ask yourself why. Why do you feel the need to say that? If your best friend said those words to you, would you be upset? Would you say that to someone else you deeply care about? You don’t have to change what you say, just become curious about why you would say it.

Now for the corny part, but you should be alone so who cares, stand in front of the damn mirror every morning and say nice things about yourself. As we venture into the oh so personal parts, I usually do this naked, I have always struggled with wanting my body to look perfect and not being nice about when its not so I say nice things about myself in da nude. And guess what, it feels amazing. Here are some phrases to get you started but I encourage you to work on your own:

• I am smart.
• I am deeply loved.
• I love myself.
• I am beautiful.
• I am a really amazing person/mother/father/son/daughter/spouse/friend.
• I enjoy my own company.
• I am a really great friend.

The list can go on and on, now is not the time to be concerned with humble.
I am signing off today with a quote I read in ‘The 5am Club’,
“You will never rise higher than your personal story.”
So, make it a damn good one.

4 thoughts on “Speak kindly to yourself.

  1. Briana Larson

    I love this! I do this and sometimes don’t even realize I’m doing it.
    As I’ve been getting better about how I talk to myself, I noticed how I even think about others, since normally judging others is just a projection of your own insecurities.
    I notice much better things now like how pretty people’s eyes are, their adorable laugh. That’s ever since I started letting myself love me first ❤️

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