The first step towards changing the way you treat yourself is to notice when you are being unkind or self-critical. It may be that your inner critic has been active for so long it does not register for you as being harsh, judgmental, or mean.
What are the go-to things you say to yourself when you don't succeed at something?
What do you say to yourself when you make a mistake or forget something?
Does that voice remind you of anyone in your past who was critical of you?
Reframing our critical inner voice takes awareness first and then compassion.
How would a loved one speak to you if you messed up or forgot something?
Reframing our critical inner voice is not just helpful for us but also to those around us including our children. Our children pick up these cues from us and use our critical voices as their own.
Have you ever listened to what your child says to themselves when they get something wrong?
The next time you hear yourself say something like 'gee your stupid, your so dumb, you failed' and we have all said these things....pause...think of the most loving & encouraging person you know and reframe it, imagining how they might say this to you.
You might even like to physically hold your own hand or touch your arm or face with compassion as if another were tenderly consoling you. Physical gestures of warmth tap into the caregiving system releasing oxytocin that will help change your biochemistry.
If at first you don't succeed, know you have not failed, it is simply your first attempt in learning a new way of being.
With practice you will only get better, and those warm feelings of self-care and love will eventually follow.
I love hearing your feedback and would love to hear if this has resonated with you. Drop me an email and let me know.
With much compassion,