STOP Being So Hard On Yourself!
How often are you your own worst enemy? How many times do you talk yourself down whenever you’re learning new things or made a mistake? You tell yourself you’re not smart enough, you don’t have what it takes, you’re too shy, slow, clumsy, fat, scared or a host of other words. You give up on a situation or yourself before you actually stop for a second to ask yourself if you actually could accomplish it. That seems to be very common with many people, but especially ADDers. It’s easier to admit defeat before you even think to give something new a try. Why?
I think that sometimes we forget just how human we really are. When we’re tired or stressed, we tend to beat ourselves down more often. We react emotionally before we take time to think about how to respond to situations. It’s important to remember that we are only human and that we all will make mistakes. That’s how we learn and experience life! Every day we are given an opportunity to learn more, appreciate more, improve more, and sculpt out the type of person we want to be.
In order to do that, however, you have to stop yourself for a moment and think clearly. Your first reaction is to respond to something emotionally. Take just 3 seconds to breathe and let that first impulse to react emotionally, move to the brain so you can think and then react logically! Just 3 seconds is all it takes to set the stage for more logical thinking and so you can be in charge of your response.
When you catch yourself with negative thoughts running through your head, right then is the time to verbally say, “STOP” outloud and create that emotional-to-logical shift. Ask yourself what good things can come from the situation–think ahead! This may be difficult at first, but continue to practice asking questions such as this while thinking ahead at what could be.
Try some of these responses:
– I have gained an appreciation for the thing or someone else.
– I have learned something interesting about myself.
– Next time I encounter the situation or person, I know how I’ll respond.
– Next time I’ll be more prepared with….
– I’ve grown more due to the situation than I would have if I hadn’t gone through it.
– I understand that “experience is growth”.
Thinking future responses gives you an opportunity to ask what you’ll do in a similar situation if that situation should arise again. It’s called problem solving. This gives you an opportunity to take what you learned, assess it, and provide a positive solution the next time you encounter it.
All of us hold ourselves to a much higher standard than we should. We don’t expect certain things from other people, yet we do expect certain things from ourselves. Think about that and see if it’s true with you. If so, adjust your expectation of yourself.
Catch yourself when you hear those negative conversations going on in your head. Make a conscious choice to STOP them and verbally say it. Change your focus on something positive or use the examples above to learn better ways to grow from the experience you had. We are all human and we will always make mistakes. That’s how we learn and that’s how we problem solve our way to more positive experiences in the future. Challenge yourself often and look ahead at the good things that can come from our not-so-great situations that we get ourselves into sometimes.