I wonder how many of us have reached the end of January and are now beating ourselves up of how we haven't stuck to those New Year Resolutions we set 31 days ago?
The promises we tell ourselves and the goals we set are often about eating more healthily, exercising more often, drinking less, spending less money, changing our career or relationship or being kinder to our partner or children.
I wonder how many of us get to the end of January and tell ourselves because nothing has changed, nothing ever will? I will never change. I will always be stuck like this or in this situation or relationship. I might as well give up. I am no good. I am a failure. I am of no value to anyone. I hate myself. I hate my life. What is the point? A downward spiral of criticism and contempt towards ourselves.
The critical and and unkind things we tell ourselves can be just as painful as if we were being bullied or hurt by another. Be it a parent, a teacher, a bully or in any other challenging relationship. The tone of our words impact and affect us, not only emotionally but physically too. Stress chemicals and hormones are released into our bodies and brains that trigger a response as if we are under physical attack or in a dangerous situation. You may then respond with anger, either towards yourself or others, you may avoid people or situations or you may feel sad or low. These reactions all add to the spiral of feeling no good, anxious or sad.
We can learn to see ourselves or our actions not as flawed or failing but as something to develop us and grow from. By overcoming difficulty and challenge is how as children we learn and strengthen our resilience. It also develops a growth mindset.
That little word 'Yet' has incredible power. When you are learning how to do something new or how to change something in your life try putting that word on the end of a sentence.
"I haven't lost weight or stuck to my exercise plan... YET" but "I am learning to eat healthier a little more each day and listen to what my body needs to feel fulfilled and to move a little more each day."
"I haven't been kind to others... YET" but "I am learning to listen to others and am trying to understand how they feel and that they may not see the world the same as me."
"I do not understand my overwhelming thoughts, emotions or behaviour...YET" but I have looked at the Counselling Directory to find a therapist to help support me with this and question where the critical voices or thoughts have come from."
Good luck. I'll let you into a secret. I'm not there "YET" either.