Photo: Obvious Big Fat Lie!
We all have conversations with ourselves in our head and depending on how we’re wired, some of us do it more than others. I talk to myself a lot! When I’m working alone and need to concentrate, I can’t even listen to music with lyrics because they interrupt my flow of thought (my conversations with myself). I can’t hear myself think if I’m hearing someone else say stuff too. I understand this really well so I have a range of beautiful music that helps me work and chat…to myself! It also means that when I really listen to someone, I can do only that – listen; not come up with what I’m going to say while they’re still speaking.
In case you think I’m losing it, let me point out the times you might talk to yourself too. The alarm goes off in the morning and if you’re not a morning person you may say something to yourself like “Oh no, it can’t be that time already” or “Just five more minutes” as you hit the Snooze button. Or maybe you’re in a car park looking for a space and you say things like: “I bet there won’t be any – just my luck there never is!” OR you’re standing in front of the fridge or kitchen press thinking “What will I cook for dinner?”
So you see, we all do it and some of us more than others. And mostly, we hardly realise we’re doing it…which is where the problem lies. Very often, we don’t notice we’re doing it; never mind notice what we’re actually saying! So the first step is to notice you’re doing it! The second is to notice what you say.
Do you murmur whispers of encouragement as you move through your day? Do you congratulate yourself when you’ve achieved something, however small? Do you tell yourself how great a job you’re doing; even if that’s managing to get up and turn up because some days that’s a big deal?
Photo: These feel encouraging…
Or do your conversations take a meaner turn? Do they cast shadows of negativity on your days? Do you give yourself a hard time with comments like: “I’m useless – I’ll never get it right” or maybe “I’ll never lose weight – I’m a big fat slob” or “I couldn’t say No to her; I’d be afraid I’d let her down” or “Maybe that comment was about me and they don’t really want me in their book club (mother and toddler group, walking gang)”. You get the picture?
Photo: BIG FAT LIES cast shadows
I call these conversations our BIG FAT LIES (BFLs) with ourselves. Of course, at the time, they seem like they’re true, that they’re real and we tend to believe them, making us feel bad; about ourselves and our connections with self and others.
We wouldn’t dream of saying these things to our daughters, our sons, our partners, our best friends and yet we think it’s somehow okay to say them to ourselves. So take a moment now and think of something negative that you hear yourself say to yourself on a regular basis. Write it down now on a piece of paper. Read it out loud. Then imagine saying it to someone you care about…
Photo: It can only go downhill if you listen to the BFLs
Would you ever say those words to another human being? I don’t think so. Please stop saying them to yourself. You don’t deserve it. You’re more valuable than that.
Pay attention to your inner dialogue. When you notice the BFLs, set off your own warning bells and interrupt them. They’re not your friend. Do not share your head (or your life) with them.
Photo: Warning bells (sort of!)
Instead, remind yourself that even if it feels as though they’re true in that moment; they’re not. You’re an amazing human being, who deserves kindness and compassion, especially when you’re struggling. Surround yourself with people who believe this, by books that remind you of this and by simple things that help you begin to believe in yourself.
If you don’t believe me, consider this:
“You are enough. Not because of what you did or said or thought or bought or became or created something special but because you always were” Anon