This is one I’m trying to focus on at the moment.
I have recently quit my job and left a very stressful situation behind. I have savings to keep me going, but I’ll have to watch my spending as I go forward.
If I hit a low moment, the following thoughts run through my head:
“What an idiot! I can’t believe you have no job. How are you going to cope? What if you can’t get another job? What are you going to do? No one else would get themselves into this situation. You really messed up.”
For a start, those thoughts don’t help me or make me feel better.
And secondly, if a friend was in the exact same situation, I would NEVER talk to her like that. Never! It’s mean, it’s unhelpful, and it’s the last thing she needs right now. What would I say to my friend in this situation?
“Hey – good for you for having the guts to leave a horrible situation! Lots of other people would have stayed and become more miserable. You’re taking charge of your own life. Of course you’ll find another job – you’re not stupid, and you have tons of experience. This might be a great time to try something new. And you have savings, so I think what you’re doing is a great idea – taking some time out to regroup, figure out what you want to do next, and spend some time enjoying life again.”
Kind of different, huh?!
So why don’t I speak to myself like that? The things I was telling my friend above were all genuine – friends can tell when you’re bullshitting.
It’s a good reminder for me. There’s no reason why we can’t be as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends. So next time you’re beating yourself up, ask how you would speak to a friend in the same situation. Would you be that rude to them?!
Negative self-talk does us no favours whatsoever!
Any thoughts? Let me know.