You know a bit of what I’m like by now – I’m quite transparent and not averse to sharing some of my vulnerabilities with you.
This weekend was one of those times when I was tempted to retreat rather than face my fears. You see, I’ve always had an inkling to go to the races but it looked like it was never going to happen. Earlier in the year I signed up to a national Social Group with the intention of meeting new and interesting people but other than a Meditation day it was looking like a bit of a wash out. Then ta dah!! it appeared … A weekend in Windsor with a visit to Ascot. How could I resist? There it was done … all booked and sorted. Great.
You’ve probably gathered that publicly nothing much phases me but guess what … privately when it comes to throwing myself into a group of twenty stranger for no other reason than I want to enjoy a particular experience I’m incline to get the collie wobbles.
Who are these people anyway?
What if they don’t like me … We don’t get on …
They all do this kind of thing all the time etc, etc, etc…
I could just as easily talk myself out of it as well as you or any other person.
What I say to myself and HOW I say it is SO important in situations like this.
I concentrated on the possibility of a really positive outcome, looking for all the pluses and also gave myself permission to make a quick exit if necessary – very important!
And you guessed it … I think the photo says it all pretty much. Champagne celebrations, albeit in plastic cups, and a fun time was had by all.
You do have a choice
I’m no different to anyone else – there are times in life when I have to make a choice – stay all snuggled up where I am or take a leap into the unknown. Sometimes it works, other times it’s not as good as I hoped for but until you give it a go who can tell?
Are you wondering how you might move from where you are to where you’d like to be? Are you scared of trying something new? Are you stuck in a rut? Do you listen to your critical voice? Try taking a look at how you are thinking, the words you say to yourself and the way you say them.
Try this for size
Here’s an exercise designed to shift your perception of how you speak to yourself. Most of us know this language as we use it with other people but sadly we speak to ourselves quite differently. We seem to think that listening to that critical voice inside is motivating and if we don’t, we are somehow letting ourselves off the hook.
Contrary to this belief, we can actually address something we’ve not handled well much more effectively using supportive rather than critical language and release the internal struggle.
Think of your critical voice shaking an index finger under your nose saying, “Oh you’re so rubbish you couldn’t even get that right …” and the you who is trying so hard screwing up your face and sticking your fingers in your ears. Once the criticism stops the energy bound up in the internal struggle is released and you are able to move forward.
As you go through each day, please notice when you speak to yourself in a critical way. You may be very aware that you speak to yourself this way. If you sense that you speak unkindly but don’t notice it in the moment, simply tune into your thoughts and soon you’ll be able to hear that voice.
At least twice each day do the following when you notice the critical voice:
· Take a deep breath, exhaling slowly
· Move your attention to your heart
· From this place of compassion ask yourself what would I say to someone else who was in the exact situation that caused you to criticize yourself.
· Take the time you need to really form in your mind what you’d say to another person.
· Then with compassion, say those words to yourself.
· Take 2 or 3 minutes to absorb the words of comfort and support that you’ve given to yourself.
· If you notice your critical voice interrupting, take another deep breath and go back to the words of support.
Contemplate these questions at the end of your day in your Journal if you like
· What are you learning about the way you speak to yourself?
· How did the experience of speaking lovingly feel for you?
· In what ways did you notice a difference in how you moved into your day after having done this?