If you’re a friend of mine, or you’ve been in one of my audiences, you may have heard me mention that I am a critic . . . of people, things, situations, and myself. I justify my critical nature by saying that I’m just making a statement of fact and in general, when the criticism is of someone else, I keep my thoughts to myself, or they remain in the confines of my car, unless:
a. The feedback is necessary and would make the other person’s life better
b. I can phrase the feedback in a way that is specific and the least hurtful
However, when it comes to criticizing myself, all the excellent communication skills I teach and encourage others to use get tossed aside. I call myself stupid or an idiot. I say mean things in my head about my weight, how I look, and my ability to achieve my goals. And I don’t think I’m the only one who does this.
The funny thing is, if someone else said the things to me that I say to myself, I’d probably kick their butt, but I let myself get away with it.
Now you might say, “Amy, you’re a communication expert, you should KNOW how to use positive self talk and how important it is,” and if you did say that, you’d be right. However, that doesn’t mean that the FIRST thought that comes into my head when I make a mistake is going to be positive- it takes work to redirect a lifetime of negative communication to yourself.
If you’re like me and you are your own worst critic, let’s make 2018 the year we all are a little kinder to ourselves and speak to ourselves (and I don’t necessarily mean talk to yourself out loud in the grocery store) the way we would if we were providing the same feedback to a friend or loved one.
Wouldn’t it be better to say,
“I have some concerns about starting this new business when I don’t have a lot of experience,” than being a critic and saying, “I’m an idiot and I only finished two years of college, there’s no way I’m going to get this business off the ground.”
“I definitely have some pounds to lose, but I’m going to work on it a little every day,” than being a critic and saying, “I’m a fat pig and I’ll never lose weight.”
“I may not have all the qualifications for this position, but the ones I have are strong,” than being a critic and saying, “I’m a loser. I only have some of these qualifications. I’ll never get this job.”
Let’s make 2018 the year we’re not only kind to others, but kind to ourselves too!
For more information about having Amy speak to your team, organization, or association, visit her website contact page.