I know from my own experience, and from the experiences of others, that shifting from a place of judgement and negative self-talk to a place of acceptance and positive self-talk can do wonders for how we move about in the world and how we relate to others. It can actually even lend itself to helping us find fulfillment in our daily lives. And that’s all well and good, but rarely do people talk about how we get there.
After a lifetime of self-deprecation and harsh judgement, how do we move to a place of feeling like the amazing people we are (shhh- you are too amazing). I will be the first to tell you it is easier said than done.
I think the first thing we can do is invite some curiosity into our lives. What if the next time you notice that you are being harsh with yourself, judging yourself, or “should-ing” yourself you simply note that you are doing that. That’s it. See if you can catch yourself in the act. Be curious about if, how, and when you do it. Don’t judge the judging. Just say to yourself, “Oh, I just did the thing. That’s information.”
Maybe after some time of simply noting it, you can begin to ask yourself questions like:
“How do I feel when I do the thing?”
“How do I know I feel that way?”
“Why did I just do the thing?”
Give yourself time to answer. Don’t just go with your knee-jerk response. Curiosity loves time.
After spending some time sitting with curiosity, note the answer. Then say to yourself, “that’s information.”
If you keep up with that, without should-ing yourself or judging yourself you are going to gently pull back the layers and come to a greater understanding of yourself. With that understanding comes compassion. With compassion for oneself, change and acceptance is easier. If we are more compassionate and accepting of ourselves moving toward positive self talk becomes a bit easier. The jump is smaller. I am all about gentle progression.
I invite you to try it out. Let me know how cultivating curiosity goes for you.