“Talk to yourself
like you would to someone you love.”
– Karolina Kurkova
This has always been hard for me, positive self talk. As a friend of mine, if you came to me and told me how you failed at something, I would encourage you in every way I knew how, tell you to stop beating yourself up, that you are a much better person than you were giving yourself credit for, etc.
But if I had the same issue, I would never cut myself any type of slack. My mind attacked, I put myself down, which was all meant to motivate me to do better. And it did, in a way. Just as a dog may stop having accidents in the house so it doesn’t have their nose rubbed in it again. However it doesn’t feel good getting things done just to avoid a punishment.
However, a much healthier and shorter path to success exists with positive reinforcement. This includes positive self talk. A dog receiving a treat for going outside is much happier than the dog going outside to simply avoid a punishment. Just like I’m a much happier person achieving a goal that I encouraged myself to do, learned from any mistakes, errors or failures along the way versus getting it done to simply avoid feeling bad about myself.
Actually, it really wasn’t until I did an exercise of writing a letter to myself for a recent failure and then writing a letter to a friend imagining they had experienced the same failure. Wow! I was a jerk to myself. Here I learned the lesson of positive self talk. I needed to talk to myself the same way I would to a friend. Beating myself up resulted in things completed, but deteriorating my self-esteem, confidence and soul in the meantime.