Things to Consider; Post 2

Yesterday’s post looked at the importance of the pause. In our series on things to consider for the new year, today we will explore the idea of letting go of good versus bad language. Humans have a natural tendency to be too hard on ourselves; as a result, we will often categorize things as good or bad. By placing choices in categories, we automatically invite judgement to do its damage. Being able to accept when we make mistakes and move towards repair without automatic good or bad language, can allow us to move towards growth instead of reinforcing critical self talk. Here are some examples with possible alternatives:

“That was a bad food choice.”                          “Eating that didn’t serve me well.”

“Sending that text was stupid.”        “I can see now that sending that text was a mistake and I will need to apologize.”

“I can’t believe I did that.”                                         “Why am I feeling this way?” 

“I give up. I will never be able to do this.”                    “What am I missing?”

The language we use is important. The word ‘should’ falls into this category, as does anything that is said that has a rigid or inflexible quality. We are much better served to catch ourselves when it comes to self-blame; not in order to excuse our behaviours or choices, but rather to understand them and to choose an alternative that is more reflective and compassionate. As David James Lees says, “Be mindful of your self-talk. It’s a conversation with the universe.” 

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