How often do you stop and take time to really observe the way you talk to yourself? What kinds of things are you saying to yourself? Developing the best relationship with myself possible has been a laser beam focus of mine for awhile now. A crucial component to developing that relationship has been self talk. Being aware of the way I talk to myself has been a game changer for me. When you stop and take some time to think about the relationships you have in your life, the most important one you will ever have is with yourself, and I truly believe that. It all starts with you and stems outward like branches on a tree from there, weaving its way into the rest of your life.
Let me explain why I think your relationship with yourself is the most important one you will ever have. You are the one person who you are riding your entire life out with. That’s it. Let that sink in. The one thing you can count on is that you will be with you forever. Life changes, people pass away, they grow apart. These things are out of our control. We only have control over our side of our relationships with other people, so that means the only relationship you will ever have full control over forever is the one with YOU! This is exciting news! Think about how empowering that concept feels.
Now you’re probably like, okay that’s cool and all, but how do I build a relationship with myself? You guys…this is the FUN part!! You get to become as creative as you want in how you would like to develop that relationship. For starters, practice spending time alone. If this concept scares you, then that is a clear sign that it’s the perfect place to start! Start small, and work your way up into more and more alone time. How are you going to build a badass relationship with yourself if you’re not talking time to hang out with you? It might feel lonely at first, but the more comfortable you get with your own company the more the loneliness will fade away. Have fun and get creative with what you do during your alone time. I am a person who requires a lot of alone time. I need to hang out with myself regularly to stay balanced and grounded, and man do I look forward to it every. single. time. What’s not to look forward to?! You get to hang out with yourself. The most fun, hilarious, interesting, easy going person who always let’s you choose the activities and the music for the day! Next time you have a self hangout planned, hype yourself up for it in a major way, be ridiculous, cheesy, I don’t care, just go for it, and I swear at the very least it will put a smile on your face. Look at you, already making yourself smile!
Before I digress too far, let me circle back to my original subject, Self Talk. I heard this really good analogy once that literally opened my eyes to just how much I was abandoning, and ignoring myself. Scenario number one: Pretend one of your friends just went through a breakup, they call you because they need some support and you tell them to come over. Once they are over they start telling you how they are feeling and going into details about it all. You give them your full and undivided attention, validate their feelings, and pour out loving compassion towards them and what they are going through. Lets look at scenario number two now. Everything is the same except for this time when your friend comes over and is expressing their feelings you pick up your phone and start scrolling on social media, only half listening. Or you say hold on, I’m going to need to get myself some more wine for me to be able to keep listening to all this. The last scenario is a very dismissive approach and would probably make your friend feel even worse, unheard, and invalidated. So now lets turn this around on ourselves. Why when we are going through something difficult we often treat ourselves like the friend in the second scenario. We distract ourselves with social media, so we don’t have to think about or deal with it. We treat ourselves poorly and only half acknowledge how we are feeling while doing other things at the same time. We usually judge ourselves for what we are going through, how long it is taking us to deal with it, (the list goes on), and we show little to no compassion towards ourselves. Next time you are going through something difficult actively try to be the friend in the first scenario for yourself. Sit with yourself and say I am here to listen. Truly being there for yourself and helping yourself through something without judgment for however long it takes, showing up day after day, listening, and compassionately responding is truly the most empowering feeling ever, and self care at its core.
Self compassion is the key to loving self talk. This might look different for everyone, and you have to find what works for you. It might sound cheesy, but if I experienced a particularly difficult day or I’m going through a hard time, I will pick up my phone that night while I’m lying in bed and write a goodnight text to myself in my notes. Here’s an example of one I wrote to myself awhile back with some edits done to it of course:
“Hey love! Me again, I know you’ve had a hard day. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s not easy dealing with (insert here what you’ve been dealing with). Don’t forget to take some time out and think about yourself to focus on your healing. You’ve come along ways and I am proud of you. There is still more healing to be done though. Keep focusing on you and the things you want to accomplish. You’ve got this girl! I promise I will give you whatever you need, all you have to do is ask for it. Don’t be afraid to let me know. I will do anything for you. I love you so much. Enjoy your day tomorrow with the full moon and try to minimize your social media use for tomorrow. And make sure to write down everything you would like to release with this full moon! I love you, goodnight! I hope you wake up feeling rejuvenated!”
If you read this was was like what!? She actually says those things to herself?? Yep, I do. Why is it so taboo to talk to yourself the way you would talk to others, or even say things to yourself that you would want others to say to you? I’ve got a relationship to build with myself and I am the only one who can do it. I will also periodically write myself messages even when I’m experiencing really good days! There is no wrong day to write yourself a love note, or to practice compassionate self talk. You have full permission to be so genuinely kind, loving, and nice to yourself every day. So here’s an example of what I wrote myself on a good day:
“Goodnight you lovely soul!!! You’re doing an amazing job and I am so very proud of you! Remember don’t get too caught up on anything and just stay the course! Keep doing you baby girl because you are starting to shine so bright and happiness is slowly sinking into every cell of your body. Keep focusing on you like you have been! If you feel something though, don’t be afraid to feel it, express it, release it, and let it go! This is a journey filled with peaks and valleys. Everyday is sure to be different. Make sure to keep appreciating every. single. day. They are such a blessing and a gift best used intentionally! I love you. You have really got something special girl. Keep discovering yourself and don’t let anything hold you back! Have a restful, rejuvenating sleep!”
If you read that one and was like, “who does this girl think she is?” I’m just a person who is choosing to love myself through my actions and words to the best of my abilities. I remember a time when I was not very loving. I was 21, and something traumatic had just happened. I was SO hard on myself about it. I didn’t know who to talk to so I finally sought out a therapist. I only visited her a handful of times and the poor lady basically just sat with me while I cried the whole visit. In between sobs I did muster out harsh sentences about myself. I’ll never forget how she made me realize just how hard I was being on myself because I honestly didn’t see it. She said, “You need to stop being so hard on yourself.” I replied, “Yes, but how?” She said, “Imagine your eight year old self, you’re on the monkey bars then fall off and hurt yourself.” The little girl says, “‘I’m so stupid and embarrassed, I shouldn’t have fallen.'” “What would you say to her?” “It’s not your fault, I whispered.” That was the first time my eyes were really opened to my own self talk and how I wasn’t talking to myself the way I would talk to anyone else. Especially the person I am in the most important relationship of my life with.
Things did not change overnight. I was still hard on myself for years. It’s a practice and a slow evolution and I plan to keep evolving the rest of my life. I hope this inspires you to be aware of your own self talk. It can literally make or break you. I also hope you aren’t afraid to admit truths even when they’re uncomfortable, and to accept accountability with compassion and without excuses. Don’t wait around for other people to validate you and say the things you need to hear because that might never happen. Take your control back and empower yourself by validating yourself and telling yourself everything you’ve ever needed to hear.
The last thing I would like to point out is that I am in no way trying to say in this post that you don’t need anyone else. You absolutely need other people. It’s been proven and human connection is one of the most powerful and important things in this world. The quality of our relationships is one of the most influential factors on our health. All I am saying is that if that’s the case, you should definitely check your relationship with yourself. The person you, by far, spend the most time with.