Updated: Mar 12, 2022
This post comes courtesy of Mom the Manager, Michelle McVittie, and it originally appeared here. Reprinted with permission
The jerk in your head may be stronger than you realize. It may have been strong since childhood or has gotten worse since you didn’t get the promotion. We all have the unhelpful thoughts, it’s what you do with them that matters.
Examples Unhelpful Thoughts
I can’t do this
I’m a horrible mother
My body is disgusting
I’m just not good enough
You could probably add and add and add to the list. These thoughts are not helpful. They don’t motivate us to do better. However many of us get used to them and start believing them.
Be a Good Role Model
Little ears are always listening. Be nice to yourself. If I’m fixated on my weight, my looks, my lack of abilities in life, so will my children. What is the message you send to your children if your biggest focus is the twenty pounds you haven’t lost? Or that you wished you had gone to school for the Arts instead of being stuck working in your current job. Your child will learn that that appearances matter more than your intelligence, or your personality. They will look at themselves with different eyes trying to live up to your expectations. If you don’t go after what you truly love and enjoy, why would your child be motivated to do things differently? Many children and teens will start calling you out on your behavior. Or worse, sit in silence and resent that your expectations are not what you practice at all. “Do as a say, Not as I do” Will not go far with many children.
Your Thoughts Come out in Your Actions AND Your Words
You can keep your thoughts to yourself, but sometimes your actions speak louder than your words. Your anxiety or self doubts can keep you from trying something new, going swimming, asking for a raise at work or even taking the elevator. Eventually your children will catch on. Eventually your children will see that this is how you cope with your struggles. Teach them the healthy way, the helpful way. It’s not the easy way, it’s can be quite hard. But when you start making changes, setting goals and stepping outside of you comfort zone you are showing your children that it can be done. Falling down is OK, it’s getting back up that is most important.
Make a Change
Practice makes perfect. Be aware of your thoughts, come up with things to say back to the jerk in your head.
You’re going to screw that up vs I’m just going to try
Something horrible will happen vs I’ve done this before, I can do it again
Put positive affirmations around your home, on your screen savers. Practice taking a compliment and give them out more. Notice the effort in yourself. Validate your efforts and be nice to yourself. You are only human. Your hard work will pay off. It will make you feel brighter and more confident. Write in a gratitude journal. Focus on what is going well, instead of what your not happy with. Focus on what you have, instead of you don’t have.
It’s starts today, right now. Say 3 things you love about yourself! If that was hard, you need more practice. You got this. It’s time you start believing in your abilities and how great you really are.