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Tips for Talking to Yourself


The thing about talking to yourself is that most of us do it.

Some of us do it more regularly than others. And we shall remain nameless.

But here’s what I want to know:

Do you talk to yourself when you most need it? And do you know what to say?

Do you talk to yourself in a way that’s helpful?

Here is a short list of the things I tend to tell myself the most – because they’re helpful.

How I Talk to Myself

[1] “Good for You!”

I tend to say “Good for You!” a lot.

That’s right. The kind of ‘good for you’ that works with small children and dogs.

I like giving myself kudos for small achievements, especially achievements that are small now but used to be more challenging.

If I exercise even when I don’t feel like it or take the time to make something healthy instead of gobbling up something fast but less healthy, I get a “Good for You!”

If I clean when I don’t feel cleaning or if I clean at all, I get a “Good for You!”

And I usually laugh after I give myself a GFY. Because it sounds ridiculous.

But who cares. :-)

[2] “It’s okay.”

I say this a lot. I say it in a slow, soothing voice. I repeat it a lot sometimes.

This may seem kind of obvious or silly, but hearing someone say “it’s okay” makes me feel better.

And it’s okay if it’s me who says it.

[3] “Bird by Bird”

Some of you writers out there might recognize the “Bird by Bird” reference. It’s a book you can find HERE – written by one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott.  Ms. Lamott tells tales and provides advice on how to approach life in a more helpful way.

Here’s the meaning of the reference taken straight from the book – but I highly recommend the rest of the book. Even if you’re not a writer.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

I’ll assume you get the meaning on this one.

[4] Do Your Homework

I tell this to myself too often to admit to. For me, it’s a reminder to just get the basics done.

Some days, when I’m feeling like I should have done more or been more, I remind myself to just get the basics done.

For me, it’s helpful to remember that if you can put together a bunch of days where you get the basics done, you can still get an A.

PLUS, if you get the basics done, you’ll be able to go out and play – or seize an opportunity – when the opportunity comes along.

[5] Be Quiet

I remind myself frequently to just be quiet. Being quiet is helpful.

And on tough days, being quiet helps me to stay out of trouble.

Being quiet is actually very easy and highly enjoyable.

If you can talk yourself into it.

xoxo, d

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