During lockdown, the negative voices in your head can get even louder. Here’s some solutions…
Even our worst enemy can’t tear us down the way we tear ourselves down. We are indeed our own worst enemy.
Fact: If we do a presentation for ten people and nine love it, but one was critical. What do we focus on? Yeah, that one person.
Our brains have been trained to focus on the negative.
So what can you do?
Twitter user @nueports shared their story and how he turned things around. I gave it my spin…
The world is a hard enough place to deal with all the external factors we deal with every day — stress, work, bills, traffic, family, lockdown, etc.
Then you add your internal struggles on top of that and Bam! Even the strongest of us can spiral downward into depression.
Taking the same energy you use to hate yourself, and turn it into confidence is a great way to recycle.
Want a step-by-step?
I got you…
1. Become aware of how and when you find yourself tearing yourself down.
2. When you catch yourself flashing back to a memory such as you stuttering in high school math class and the self-talk starts, “You made a fool of yourself then, and you will again,” offer a counter instead.
One option is to talk to yourself as you would a child. Gently and patiently. When a child screws up, you don’t rehash all the stupid things they ever did.
So why do you do that to yourself?
Another example is a man had a parrot who suffered from anxiety. Each time the parrot had an episode, the man would, in a calm and soothing voice say, “Hey” until the parrot calmed down.
One day the man came home, overly stressed from his job and traffic and went into a tirade as he was so fed up.
And then he heard from the parrot’s cage, “Hey…hey…hey,” softly and gently over and over.
The man calmed down.
The parrot learned that when someone they cared about was having difficulty, a soothing, calm voice helped.
This parrot is better at conflict de-escalation than most humans.
Do that for yourself.
3. Celebrate accomplishments. Even the small ones. Why not because right now you are attacking yourself for every little mistake, so reward yourself.
4. Make a list of what you excel at doing and what you like about yourself. Even if it is only two things, write them down. The list will grow over time.
5. When (not if) you screw up 1-4, don’t beat yourself up and think it’s over. We all screw up. It’s not your whole life. It’s only one day. Take some time and learn to breathe. Don’t give up; this process takes awhile.
When I screw up, and my inner voice lays into me how much I suck, I remember step two and I talk to myself as I would to a child.
We don’t talk to ourselves like that anymore. Now, what is something constructive that can help solve this problem?”
This process doesn’t always work, but it works more often than it doesn’t.
If you find yourself in a lot of negative self-talk, consider seeing a therapist and seeing your doctor to check if you have depression.
There’s nothing wrong in admitting that you need help.
I’ve done both, and I’m a better person because of it.
We can’t do it all by ourselves.