One of the best ways to get better at being kinder to yourself is by practicing Speaking Kindly. Maybe you are saying to yourself, “Karyn, that’s crazy! People don’t ‘speak to themselves’!” But we do, every single day…and probably every single minute, there is a tape-loop of “self-talk” going around in our head. And often what it’s saying about us is not kind. It’s all the unkind things that others have said about us, or labeled us as: stubborn, lazy, incompetent, useless…to name a few.
To practice self-kindness, take a few minutes today and pay attention to what words your self-talk is using to describe you. Choose a time of stress, or when something doesn’t go right. Then listen and write down all the words you hear. If you hear one with negative connotations like “stubborn”, write down a word with positive connotations beside it…like perseverant. Then make a conscious decision to replace the negative word with the positive one in your self-talk! You can also choose to eliminate the negative word altogether!
There’s an anonymous saying that says “If speaking kindly can help plants grow, imagine what it can do for people!” Well, just imagine what it can do to help you learn, grow and thrive! Speak Kindly to yourself! It’s just as important as speaking kindly to others!
(To learn more about Speaking Kindly, please read Chapter 5 of The Kind Leader!)