It’s just semantics right? Except it’s not. Not at all. The way we speak, the content of what we say and most importantly the words we think and speak to and about ourselves is literally everything.
Thinking about thinking is such an oxymoron isn’t it? But becoming aware and catching those negative patterns and unhealthy habits is the first step. Because that’s what they are. Patterns and habits. And that’s good news, because patterns and habits can be broken and changed.
“How are you showing up for yourself?”
‘I’m stupid’ is very different to ‘I did something without thinking.’ ‘I’m ugly’ is not the same as ‘I’m not really feeling how I look today.’ ‘I’m starving’ does not equate to ‘I need to organise my snacks and meals better, I’m feeling peckish.’
I like the food example. You’ll never find me saying that I’m starving. In fact, if you were to ever say that around my children they would be quick to correct you. ‘You’re not starving, some children in Africa are starving.’ Unless you haven’t eaten in days and have no idea where your next meal is going to come from, then let’s face it, none of us are actually starving. But it’s just a figure of speech right, we don’t actually mean we are starving! Obvs. That’s not the point though; when we tell ourselves that we are starving we were automatically creating that mentality. I know which mentality I would rather create for myself. I need to organise my snacks over I am depleted, malnourished, empty. It’s a no brainer isn’t it?
Being able to listen to our inner voice takes practice. Sounds silly doesn’t it but it has to be intentional otherwise our thoughts can run away from us quite literally! It’s estimated that we think between 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day. Now who has time to police all that cognitive noise?! But what we do have time for is to practice speaking to ourselves kindly. Practice picking up on the negative speech and flipping it to something that we are happy to own, to help us be productive rather than to bring us down.
A quick, useful hack is to differentiate who we are to how we feel. Feelings are fleeting, they come, they go. Feelings are not good or bad. Nor are they wrong or right. They just are. And acknowledging how we feel is powerful. Understanding that how we feel is not the same as who we are is also powerful. I feel angry is not the same as I am an angry person. Separating what we do from who we are is also useful. ‘I told a lie’ is not the same as ‘I am a liar’. I personally have found that since I’ve been able to acknowledge my feelings without judgment, and allowed my feelings to be what they are without making it a permanent fixture of who I am, since learning that my feelings do not define me, I’ve started living far more powerfully.
It also continues to help me parent. This has really been the big one for me because being a good mother is the most important part of my life. If I’m winning at parenting I feel like I’m winning in life. And when the parenting goes wrong as it inevitably does, I feel awful. I make mistakes of course. Daily. And I’m sure I always will but stepping out of my ego and owning my mistakes means they can’t be used against me. I’m not aiming for perfection. I’m just trying to show up and be brave. Changing the way I speak to myself though has changed the way I speak to my kids. In small ways that make a big difference. Which is great until the little smart arses use it back at me. ‘No mummy I am not annoying, I am being annoying. There’s a difference.’
“My voice is my password”
I think it’s really important to take the time to reflect on how we are actually showing up for ourselves. Are you feeding yourself with strength, positivity, and raising your vibration? Or are you beating up on yourself for not doing enough, not being enough? Do you believe in yourself and big up yourself like you do your friends, family and even acquaintances? Are you taking the time to fill your cup before trying to pour from an empty one? We can’t give what we don’t have. Ensuring that we are living well and in a good place is not selfish it is necessary. Everyone benefits. If you are not riding hard for yourself, now is as good as time as any to start. It’s never too late to believe in yourself because that is your super power. My voice is my password.