Wednesday, April 22, 2015

No more put-downs

Do you ever put yourself down? Berate yourself for "messing up" or forgetting or not being who you think you should be? And hold back even more because you fear messing up again?

Sadly, we women have done (and still do) way too much of that to ourselves. We're generally harder on ourselves than anyone else ever would be. As author and educator Parker Palmer has said, "No punishment anyone might inflict on us could possibly be worse than the punishment we inflict on ourselves by conspiring in our own diminishment."

Would you like to stop the negative messages? Would you like to quit punishing yourself and/or holding yourself back?

First, start by noticing whenever you catch yourself doing it. Awareness is the first step to making a change. After my divorce, when I was in a displaced homemaker's program, this was one of the issues we each confronted. What worked for me was to imagine a stop sign going up in my head each time I gave myself a negative or limiting message. You will find something that works for you—something that calls your attention to what you're doing.

Second, you can then make a different choice. Realize that you can slowly, over time, give yourself an affirmation in place of that negative message. You can choose to try something new rather than follow the limiting and diminished pathway.

It's all about choices, really. But first comes awareness. Bottom line: It's about loving yourself enough to stop putting yourself down. You wouldn't treat your best friend like that. Don't treat yourself that way either. Self-love and self-compassion—you deserve those, too. Gift yourself with positive and loving self-talk today.

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