The lies we tell ourselves

In my recent introspection and intention for more self care I’ve been thinking a little (sometimes a lot) about the way I speak to myself in my head. The way we all speak to ourselves in our heads. Our internal monologue which is often negative. I know mine contains quite a bit of swearing and FUCKS SAKE sometimes at my kids and husband, and more often than not, at myself. That self sabotage and negative talk telling us to give up, or that we are shit at this or that, not deserving of this or that, see? When something doesn’t go to plan…I’m not sure where it comes from but it’s the soundtrack to so many of our days, I know I am not alone in this.

I’ve written a little about it before in these two posts, so you can see it’s something I have been thinking about for some time. It’s something I struggle with, and something that I am constantly trying to work on.

That Voice
How you talk to yourself matters

On the weekend I had a reader, lovely Selina, send me a link to a video that I watched and totally struck a chord with me. I wanted to share it with you too, apologies if you have seen it, because I know it will resonate with so many of YOU too. This chick is not usually my thing, hence why I hadn’t seen it, but I loved this exercise so much.

Now the first thing I did after I watched this was go looking for an old photo of me that I needed to get into the kitchen, somewhere I would see it every day and look at this person that I seem to so easily criticise and judge and speak down to rather than encourage and love and be kind to.

I found it, dusted it off and placed it front and centre on a sideboard in our kitchen where I stand and answer questions from every member of the family, every day while doing this or that.

Beth, circa 1980 I think, maybe? At preschool in all its glory which has been mounted onto some chipboard and carried with me from house to house through the years. The same person as the one I belittle most days.

It’s basically Maggie right? Actually when I took it inside and asked Maggie who it was, she said it was her.

I would NEVER say any of those things to one of my girls, a friend, to ANYONE that I loved, even a stranger I met on the street. And yet every day I find myself saying I am not worthy of this or that, this is failing because of course it is! I tell this person that she’s not good enough at so many things.

With her little case and neat and tidy hair ready for business!

What a cruel thing to do.

I have put that black and white picture in the kitchen, right where I see it every day, several times a day and where I can reminded to be kinder to myself. To stop and think about the words I say to myself so easily and try to encourage myself.

Every day as women, and Mums we do so much for so many people, all the while telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough. I’m not sure where it comes from, where it begins or how I can stop my own girls from doing it. All I know is that I am really going to try harder at this stuff. Look at that little girl in that big chair and remind myself that I am actually doing OK. We all are. Every day, trying our best, making mistakes along the way for sure, but always coming from a place of love for so many others in our lives and rarely for ourselves.

I have a feeling that little face looking back at me might be a way to change some old habits.

I’d love for you to do this too, find a picture and put it somewhere you can see it every day and think of something encouraging you could say to it.
And if you’d like to share a photo on Facebook and a message you’d tell yourself, I’d love to see it too.
Let’s see if we can turn that talk on its head.

Comments

  1. Elise Schaefer says:

    Great post I think all women can relate to. Everyday I tell myself I ate too much again…
    Didn’t accomplish all the things I think I should of done! Your right women spend a lot of time and energy on other people, even if it’s only thoughts. I should of done this…
    I should of done that…
    Thanks Beth ❤

  2. That looks like a very powerful exercise.
    Cheers kate

  3. Josephine says:

    Wow… going to do this as soon as I get home today. Brilliant idea. Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday 🙂

  4. Beck Berger says:

    This is brilliant. Something we all should all be doing. I’m going to join in with you and find a photo of little me and plonk it right out in a spot not to be missed

  5. What a brilliant post Beth. Just brilliant. Thank you for going beyond the ‘usual’ stuff here.

    This is what I think the truest power of blogging is/can be – venturing beyond the beautiful, resourceful stuff that is done so well by so many, to really focus on who we are and our growth. Women need cheerleaders. All women.

    Guess who is always around us? 24/7? From cradle to grave? WE ARE.

    We must, must, must become our own cheerleaders, our own door bitches to the negative shit that goes around in too many women’s heads; and is inevitably passed from generation to generation, because kids see past what mum says, to her actions and beliefs. Kids remember all the diets mum went on, all the asides about bodies and weight and self-worth. And they think that’s just part of being a girl/woman.

    The only hope we have of changing anyone else has to come from our changed inner lives And it is possible.

    I truly believe that and am living that in lots of areas myself. I am at peace with myself.

    Thank you Beth – I have so much respect for you sharing this season with us, and the photo idea is absolutely brilliant. Little Beth deserves nothing but love and encouragement. Just like grown-up Beth does.

  6. Oh my goodness this could not have been more timely. Thank you for sharing. That video broke my heart yet gave me hope too x

  7. Catherine Grainger says:

    Today I cried. When I read this. Let’s all be kind c

  8. It may just be the pregnant hormones, I’m sitting here eating my breakfast in tears. This is so bloody true! Why all the negative self talk? We’re all bloody fabulous, and we need to remember that.

  9. Oh my goodness. I just got teary watching that. It really punches you in the heart. I beat myself up all the time. Especially about my parenting or about how everything my (6 year old) son struggles with must be my fault somehow. I put it all on my shoulders which isn’t fair on me or him. If I were to look at a picture of me as a child with all my innocence and insecurities – all vulnerable – I would never say that stuff.
    Already, I have been looking at my latest mini me (she really does look like me and it’s slightly confronting) at 5 months old and re-thinking so much. I see her inheriting the hair line I despise so much. I look into the future and see her having a few of the characteristics I struggled with through puberty (and beyond). I don’t want to say mean things to myself about those things or blame myself for her inheriting anything. I want her to love herself more and be kinder to herself than I have been. I suppose that’s the same principle, really.

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