Being a grown up is hard. Being human is hard. And it’s so easy for us to slip in the habit of criticizing ourselves when life gets complicated or we find ourselves feeling disappointed, sad, or frustrated.
Everyone else seems to have their shit together…why am I always playing catch up?
Why can’t I set a goal and see it through?
What’s wrong with me?
Friends, let me tell you…learning to speak to yourself in a loving way doesn’t always come naturally. In fact, it can be downright hard at times. But how you treat yourself is going to influence how you allow others to treat you…after all, if you are consumed with minimizing your value, you’ll be hard pressed to stand up against others who try to do so.
It’s important to note—I’m not saying you must push aside feelings of sadness or sorrow and adopt a fake-it-till-you-make-it attitude while reciting a positive mantra. Part of loving yourself means acknowledging what you’re feeling and still loving yourself at the same time.
Here are 4 tips that can help you learn to change your internal narrative and speak lovingly to yourself.
Hold Space for Hard Feelings
Don’t deny hard feelings…hold space for them. Honor yourself by acknowledging what you’re feeling and giving yourself permission to feel what you feel.
Treat Yourself as a Friend
Imagine the way you talk to the person or people who mean the most to you…those people you absolutely adore and love being around. Practice talking to yourself with the same love and support you offer to others. Odds are you would never say things like, “What an idiot” or “That was a foolish move” to those people. Why in the world would you say such things to yourself?
Practice Supportive Touch
If you’ve ever participated in a yoga or meditation session where you pressed your hand to your belly or placed it over your heart, you’ve engaged in supportive touch.
Touch is a powerful tool for soothing and supporting others and works equally well for ourselves. Placing your hand over your heart while closing your eyes and taking deep breaths can help you feel centered and connected to the inner you.
Write Yourself a Letter
Instead of journaling, try writing your feelings out in a letter to yourself. Acknowledge what you’re feeling…I know you feel like a failure…
Offer yourself support…But I want you to know it took courage to try…
Tell yourself what you love about you…I love that you are brave and willing to take risks.
Though it may seem silly at first, you’ll be surprised at just how effective this technique can be in making the inner you feel seen and appreciated.
It is so important to practice and perfect offering yourself loving kindness…after all, you are the most permanent thing in your life, so it only makes sense to honor and prioritize that relationship.
May you choose you and your wellness…today, tomorrow, and always.