Friend or foe?

What is it about us as humans that makes us so self-deprecating and negative? We hear someone give us a compliment and we’re quick to shrug it off. If someone tells you your outfit is fantastic, your stock response is something along the lines of, “Oh, this old thing? No, I feel really frumpy today”. Or something along those lines. I know because I do it too.


Why don’t we just absorb the compliment, thank the person who gave it to us and move on with our ego feeling a little bit bigger? 

Here’s my theory why:

Because we are our own enemies, rather than our own allies.

The negative way we self-talk makes it almost impossible for a positive comment or compliment to penetrate the surface. 

I’ve coached many clients whose negative beliefs about themselves hold them back. They talk so negatively about themselves - and sadly with such ease - never stopping to give themselves a pat on the back or acknowledge anything positive.

When they do this I ask them, “Are you being your enemy or your ally right now?”

Would they say these negative things to a friend if they came to them with a problem? Of course not. If a friend came to you telling you they wanted to lose weight, would you tut and tell them that they’ve not got the willpower to do it? Of course not! 

You’d support and encourage them every step of the way.

So why don’t we do this for ourselves? If there’s one thing you can be certain of it’s that whilst people may come and go, you’ll be stuck with yourself forever. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. But the voice inside your head will always be there. It’s up to you to control what it says. Are you going to allow the voice in your head to bully you with deprecating comments and insults? Don’t you deserve better than that?

If that is a cycle that you currently feel stuck in, try to break the habit. Because that’s all it is - a habit and new, more positive habits can be formed. 

When you can feel that negative inner voice starting to clear it’s throat, cut it off before it starts talking by asking yourself what advice a friend would give you. If you went to a trusted friend with an issue, what words would they use to help you? How would they support you and encourage you? Start using the positive words your friends would use to become your new inner voice.

The more you do it the easier it becomes. There may be days where that negative inner voice tries to creep back out but remember to ask yourself, “Is this voice my friend or my foe?”

If it’s the latter then shut them up and move on! 

Self-belief, confidence and positivity all start with you. Once you’ve got those as your foundations then the only way is up. 

Easy to read and agree with but less easy to implement? Totally relatable!For more support with creating your positive mindset, get in touch.

You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.

- Louise Hay

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Cromer NR27 & Northampton NN1
Written by Lydia Wild, BA (Hons) DipCoaching
Cromer NR27 & Northampton NN1

Lydia Wild is a Life Coach based in Northampton and Market Harborough.

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