Bored of beating yourself up? 3 tips to get started

“Oh, I’m such a wally!”
“Ew, I look a bit rough this morning.”
“Grr, what an idiot, I’m such a nightmare!”
“Am I for real? How have I made the same mistake, again?! I should know better than this!”

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The berating, the frustration, the exasperation with yourself. Do any of these comments seem familiar you? Do you say or think such thoughts to yourself? If you do, that’s okay, we all do or have done at one point or another.
 
In the moment, in the split second of time that it takes for those thoughts and comments to pass through our minds, unconsciously and flippantly, we can think so little of it. In fact, much of the time, they can go completely unnoticed by us.
 
What if we take a moment to consider what the impact is, of having these repetitive thoughts. They are reinforcing some old programmes within us, they are playing the same old record, over and over again. A time will inevitably come when we begin to get bored of that record and not want to listen to it anymore. We want to play a new set of beliefs, perhaps something kinder to hear!
 
We recognise that if we re-read those comments and ask ourselves if we would ever say those things to a friend, the answer for all of us, would be a resounding no.
 
This isn’t an invitation to further feel bad about ourselves by the way, it is an invitation to lean in to self-compassion right now, before you continue reading further. Because what is it that feels so difficult or uncomfortable about practicing self-compassion and how do we begin with this practise?
 
So much of the time, a lack of self-compassion will go unnoticed. It can feel so natural to beat ourselves up with our thoughts that we actually feel safe with this familiar pattern of self-deprecation. Despite the fact that deep down, we know that speaking unkindly to ourselves only serves to keep us playing small in the world.

The power lies in starting to take notice and noticing what you notice. Our ability to begin observing our negative thoughts and self-talk for what they are – old records playing inharmonious music that you no longer wish to dance to. So how can we change that record?  

1. Increase your self-awareness

Bring your awareness to actively noticing these thoughts throughout your day or week; each time, taking a moment to pause with them. It can be helpful to label them or visualise them in some way; perhaps viewing them as a story book, something tangible you can take from a shelf, choose not to open and return to the shelf, alternatively, seeing a negative thought as a rabbit hole, one that the rabbit is welcome to go down, but that you’re choosing not to follow it in today.

It can also be a conversation, saying to yourself “that’s an interesting thought but I know that I am not my thoughts” – the mere fact that you can have this conversation with yourself is proof that you are indeed, not your thoughts. Thoughts are all different parts of ego showing you a subconscious programme derived from the past. They are not who you are now.

2. Ask yourself, what would I say to a friend?

When you start to notice and raise awareness of your thoughts, over time it will become second nature, just to notice. Taking some deep breathes, connecting with the now, being in the moment and taking it further to ask yourself, ‘if my friend said the same about themselves, what would I say to them? In what tone would I say it? What words would I use?’ – would life feel easier if you could redirect the kindness you afford to others towards yourself?

3. Remember self-compassion is not selfish

Be safe in the knowledge that it is not selfish to have self-compassion. We have a choice to play the old record which no longer serves us, or to rewrite our thoughts to something more neutral or to something kinder. To something that actually serves us… because rationally, what would hold us back from choosing to do that?
 
Dr Kristin Neff has a website dedicated to self-compassion resources and practices which if this article triggered something in you, would be an amazing place to explore.
 
Practicing self-compassion is a game changer because it begins to allow you the space and energy for the things you really want to be, do and have, away from carrying around the old broken records. Working with a wellbeing coach can provide a safe, supportive, non-judgemental space to explore this further and how it shows up in all areas of your life, be that business, career, relationships, mental health etc.

A coach can hold space for you to support you with mindfulness, self-compassion, mindset, self-awareness; to support you from changing negative energy in to a more neutral or positive energy. Allowing you to move from A to B in whichever way you want to.  

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Peterborough, Cambs, PE6
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Written by Emma Humphrey, Coaching (Dip. Personal Performance Coaching)
Peterborough, Cambs, PE6

Emma holds a distinction level diploma in personal performance coaching (via the Coaching Academy). Her mission is to support people through coaching to be well, feel well and live well through making changes in life, career, mind, and body.

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