I feel like I’m always talking about a new concept or idea, some new way of living or thinking, but the truth is…I’m constantly growing and learning and paying attention to different things in my life.
One thing I’ve noticed is the way we speak to ourselves and about ourselves matters. In any kind of situation there is an internal voice firing off thoughts faster than can be controlled. Some people have been wired to speak to and about themselves negatively. For a long time I was one of those people. I think it was a combination of aging, becoming more comfortable with who I am, and being a parent that made me realize the words we speak to ourselves makes all the difference in the world.
One example, and a pretty common one, is the way we speak to ourselves when around people. I used to think negatively, I found it hard to simply say nice things about myself. Then I realized if I didn’t feel like I was worth talking kind about why would anyone else? I have a business that solely lives off my customers- if I didn’t have nice things to say about my product or I doubted every time someone said something was made well, why would anyone else feel differently? If I use harsh words or names with myself aren’t I basically giving permission for everyone else to do the same? I wouldn’t talk about or to the people I care about like that so why wasn’t my own name on that list? Just because I know everything that’s going on in my head it doesn’t give me an excuse to be cruel. It sets the bar for how I expect other people to treat me. If I don’t love me, why would they?
Another example is the motivation it brings with it. When I’m on the treadmill and ready to give up after mile 3 when I want to push for 5 or 6, what good would doubt do me? None. I already could name the people that doubt if I have the ability and heart for my current plans, do I really need to include myself as one of those people? Absolutely not. It might make me sound crazy, and luckily I’m usually in the gym alone, but I will say things out loud to myself if I need to. Things like, “you’ve come this far, why stop now?” Or, “this body made a whole human, you can finish another mile. You can do anything.” The thoughts in my head saying I got this, I’m worth it, I can do it, make all the difference in the world in my ability but also my attitude. I finish my runs with a smile on my face knowing I accomplished something that meant a lot to me. Something I never thought I could do. While I might not have someone else there cheering me on, I can be my own number one fan.
And the best example, the most important one I know, is the way we speak about ourselves sets the precedent on how our children speak to themselves. My son hears very often that he is so smart. He is, he’s incredible and impresses me every single day. But he also hears me say he gets his smarts from his mama. And because he hears this, he says it about himself. I say his dad is big and strong, so he says he wants to grow up to be big and strong like daddy. If I had a daughter I wouldn’t want her to hear words come out of my mouth about my body that I wouldn’t want her to say about her own self. I wouldn’t want her to feel like her self worth depended on her appearance or that she was incapable of doing something just because she’s female. Children pay attention to everything their parents do and it’s the parents job to set the example for how to treat themselves. It gives them a sense of pride, of comfort, and leads to them having less fear and more confidence. It helps break the cycle of negative self thoughts when it’s passed down to our children from ourselves.
I know to some it’s conceited. Sometimes it can come across that way. But it’s not done in vain. I don’t look in the mirror and think I’m gorgeous but I know when my lashes are lookin’ extra good I’ll say, “dang, who is she?” If I push myself at the gym further than I knew I was capable was, I’ll be the first to pat myself on the back. If I don’t have my own approval no one else’s matters. If I don’t have my own back first, how can I expect someone else to?
The words we speak to and about ourselves makes all the difference in the world. Be so bold in how you love yourself that it teaches other people the proper way to love you.