Need To Tune Up Your Inner Talk?
“There is no value judgement more important to man than the estimate he passes on himself. The more you like yourself the higher your self esteem will be.” – Nathaniel Branden
Pema Chodron writes that gentleness with oneself is a root of confidence. She calls it an “unconditional friendliness with yourself”. It’s not difficult to practice it, if we like everything about ourselves. What is difficult: to stay present and open with oneself when we don’t like what we see.
How can you practice an “unconditional friendliness” with yourself?
Pay attention to your inner dialog; what words do you use to talk to yourself? Is it “oh, you did it again / here we go again / I can’t do anything right”, etc? You really want the words and thoughts to be kind and supportive as much as possible. Pay particular attention to what you say to yourself when you feel down or when you are not making desired progress in some area of life. At the first sign of any negative self-talk, stop! Fire your inner critic (sometimes we need to do it daily) Invite in the most patient, loving, forgiving side of you and even give yourself a pep-talk. The great thing about the practice is that nobody, except you, needs to know about it. It all happens in your mind. But as a result you will have a deeper understanding for other people as well -Pema says.
What negative messages do you hear most from your inner critic? What would you love to hear instead? Can you share how you changed your inner dialogue and how it affected your relationships?