Kindness Challenge Week 2
This week we were to “pay attention to the way you treat yourself and the things you say to yourself both spoken and unspoken. Notice what your default reaction is when you struggle, make a mistake, or fall short. Write down the words you say, the phrases that cross your mind, the way you react, and how you respond to yourself.” (Niki)
Well, this was an eye-opening week for me and I am going to be very open and transparent here and tell you like it is. Some of it is sad but it has a happy ending so read on to the end.
The word I say most often to myself is stupid. When I make a mistake I say stupid. When I forget or misplace something I say stupid. Really, stupid? What’s with that? The word makes me feel bad about myself even though I know it isn’t true. It makes me angry.
There is a phrase I use a lot, you will never…get over what happened, forget the embarrassment of, feel well, be rested, start or finish a project, learn something new, catch up with the blogs you follow…the list goes on. Of course, the negatives are self-defeating. Why do I think like this? Did I always have this mindset? Where did it come from? The phrase makes me angry with myself and depresses me.
“We all have a tape that plays in our heads, but at some point, the voice on that tape came from somewhere outside of us. I want to gently encourage you to identify the inner voice that challenges you the most. How far back does this tape go? Where did that voice originate from? Is that tape helpful? At some point, that voice stops coming from someone else and continues to speak as our own inner voice. How much of what you say today is attributed to that voice?” (Niki)
I know where the word and phrase come from…my childhood. Whenever I would want to do something new or have a plan or dream I would share I was told not to be stupid, you can’t, people will laugh at you, you don’t know how to, they won’t let you, you will never do that. I know that many ideas and dreams when young are part of exploring the world and your part in it and many will not happen but thinking and dreaming should be talked about and encouraged.
We are asked, “How would you treat a loved one in that situation?” (Niki) First, I would listen carefully. I would ask questions to see where these thoughts are coming from, why they are so strong and invasive. I would try to help them know the truth and encourage them to see the reality, not the lies. That’s what I am trying to do for myself.
How will I move on and be compassionate with myself? When stupid is my response to a thought or action I will tell myself the truth, I am smart and talented. When I tell myself you will never…I will ask myself, why not? Do you want this, who is stopping you, is what other people think so important that it negates what you think? I will tell myself you can if you want to and I will learn to be open with trusted friends and ask for help when I need it.
I can and I will!