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Be your own biggest fan, not biggest critic.

Elan and Eric are working toward writing a daily email containing short insightful tips and ideas around living a healthy lifestyle. Subscribe here.

Most of us are our own biggest critics.

We beat ourselves up every time we make a mistake, and we layer on the guilt or self-loathing whenever we make the wrong choice.

This can actually get really ugly at times, right?

  • We call ourselves horrendous names.
     
  • We tell ourselves that we’ll never reach our goals.
     
  • We even decide that we just don’t deserve to be happy or successful.

All because we’re not perfect. We’re human.

I’d like you to think about saying it to someone else:

  • Imagine your best friend, or daughter, or brother, or mother was struggling with some of the things that you’re struggling with…
     
  • Imagine they came to you and said that they were such a screw-up and feel so stupid…
     
  • Imagine they wanted to punish themselves…
     
  • Imagine they think they should just give up and stop trying…

What would you do?

Would you agree with them? Would you help them beat themselves up? Would you get creative with the ugly name-calling? Would you encourage them to just give up?

I’m guessing that you wouldn’t do that at all.

In fact, you’d do the opposite, right?

You’d disagree with them, you’d support them, you’d tell them it will be OK, you’d encourage them to try again, you’d lend them a helping hand.

So why do we treat ourselves differently?!

If we would NEVER EVER say these kinds of horrible things to the people that we love and care about, why do we say them to ourselves?

Negative self-talk doesn’t work!

Beating yourself up and talking negatively about yourself FEELS productive and like it will make you do better next time.

But in fact, the opposite is true. Negative self-talk creates even MORE stress and even poorer performance. It stops you from learning. It stops you from being creative. It stops you from problem-solving. It stops you from doing better.

Negative self-talk doesn’t make you better. It makes you worse. It breaks you down and makes you weaker.

It’s NOT a great strategy for success.

So here’s a crazy idea: What if you tried to do the opposite instead?

Rather than beating yourself up and making yourself worse… Try giving yourself a helping hand.

Flip the script from talking so negatively about yourself to talking more positively.

Have some compassion and patience. Point out your past successes. Look for signs of progress no matter how small. Affirm to yourself that you can do better next time and that you can be successful.

Rather than being your own biggest critic, try being your own biggest fan.

If you aren’t sure of what to say, just imagine you were talking to a loved one who was struggling instead. What would you say to them? How would you make them feel?

Even if you can’t bring yourself to be overly positive, at the very least stop being such a jerk to yourself. No one likes a bully.

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