I hate making mistakes. After struggling with depression for so long it’s really easy for my inner dialogue to default to negative. Beating myself up is second nature so when I make a mistake it’s the perfect opportunity for my brain to flood with negative thoughts. I am still working on forgiving myself for mistakes and giving myself grace but I’ve gotten a lot better. I realize to grow into the person I want and to build the life that I want I have to take risks. When we take risks there are lots of opportunities to do the wrong thing and make mistakes. I try to use these times to practice giving myself grace, forgive myself and move on. I used to think that being hard on myself served me somehow. That the endless guilt trips and negativity would help me get more done. Now I know that is not true and it actually slows down my progress and keeps me from moving forward. I recorded a whole podcast episode about this episode you can check out here.
Silence Your Inner Mean Girl
I have a voice in my head that is a total jerk. She tells me I’m not good enough, that everything I say is stupid and no one cares what I have to say. Honestly, one of the best things that came out of starting this blog is that I’ve had to learn to silence my inner mean girl. If I let that voice into my head I would have never started my blog and I would have missed out on so many life experiences. To silence my inner mean girl I get clear on what that voice is costing me. Ask yourself how that voice will impact your life. Will it keep you from starting the business you’ve been dreaming of? From dating the kind of people you want? From traveling? From moving to the city you’ve always wanted to live in? I realized if I listened to that voice I would never escape depression and anxiety. That voice still pops up every time I try something new or share something vulnerable on the internet it tries to tell me what I’m doing is stupid and no one cares. I’ve learned to block it out and shift it. I do a lot of journaling to get clear on what my truth is. The truth is I have a message to share. The truth is there are people who like my blog. The truth is it’s safe for me to share my truths in a public space. When that voice pops up ask yourself “is this a fact?”. If it’s not ask “is this belief serving me?” and if it’s not, choose a new belief. Ask yourself “what feels more true?” choose a new belief that makes you feel lighter and hopeful. If you want to hear more about how I shift my beliefs I have a whole podcast episode I made about this process here. Once I started shifting my beliefs and silencing my inner mean girl I was able to start creating the life that I wanted to live. If I had allowed that voice and negative thoughts to continue I never would have been motivated to try and change my situation. It took a lot of hard work to change my inner dialogue but it was so worth it and it’s paid off in huge ways. I believe changing this inner dialogue is one of the most important things I’ve learned on my mental health journey.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
I tend to be really hard on myself and focus on everything I need to do an never give myself any credit for what I have achieved. I know from personal experience that this is a great formula for burn out. When I don’t celebrate my accomplishments I feel like I’m on a treadmill and I’m not getting anywhere. It’s so important to stop and give yourself credit for the things that you achieve. I have noticed in the mental health facebook group that women tend to be really hard on themselves and not give themselves credit for the things they have done on their mental health journey. Healing takes time and managing depression and anxiety can be difficult. It’s important to stop and remind yourself that you are doing a good job and you are making progress. Find ways you can celebrate yourself when you achieve something. Make a list of ways you can celebrate your accomplishments and give yourself credit when you achieve something.
Make a Did Do List
At the end of the day, I like to make a list of the things I got done. I found that at the end of the day I was feeling really defeated because I hardly ever get everything done on my to-do list. Writing out a list of what I actually got done helps me focus on what was productive and positive about my day. Doing this practice makes me feel accomplished at the end of the day instead of feeling defeated and overwhelmed. This has been a huge shift for me and it’s a practice I recommend if you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you’re never getting enough done. When I don’t make a did do list I tend to focus on everything that didn’t get done and beat myself up. There’s always going to be more to do, that’s just life. Beating yourself up about not getting everything done is only going to kill your motivation and is guaranteed to make you get LESS done in the future. Once I started focusing on building my motivation and not doing things that would diminish it I was able to get a lot more done. All my negative self-talk made me feel depressed and unmotivated. Why would I feel inspired to try and get stuff done if I’m just going to feel like crap at the end of the day? My inner dialogue was so bad that I didn’t even want to try anymore. Once I shifted my focus from what I didn’t get done to what I did to it was a lot easier to manage my inner dialogue and slowly over time my motivation and inspiration came back.
I use a lot of affirmations to help me drown out the negative dialogue in my head. After being depressed for so long I had to reprogram my brain to be more positive. Affirmations were one of the ways I did that and I still use them every day. They help me from being too hard on myself and remind myself of the dialogue I actually want to have in my head. I try to be really mindful of my inner dialogue because if I don’t pay attention my thoughts become negative. When I notice I’m being hard on myself and I need to give myself grace I close my eyes, put my hand over my heart, take a few deep breaths and then think my affirmations in my head. This interrupts the negative thoughts before they can build a lot of momentum. I find that the sooner I give myself grace for making a mistake and redirect my thoughts the easier it is to change my focus. Here are some you can use if you’re beating yourself up and need to give yourself grace.
- My heart is good and pure
- Failure and hard times always serve me
- Everything is working out as it should
- Things always work out for my highest good
- I always keep going, I never quit
- I am good just as I am
- I deserve love and appreciation
- It is safe for me to try new things and fail
- it is safe for me to show up in the world as my true self
- Hard times always pass
Channel The Higher Level Version of You
Whenever I want to see a situation differently I ask myself how the next level version of me would view this situation. The higher version of me is kind to herself and doesn’t let small failures stand in her way. Often when I’m stuck or struggling to see a situation I will ask myself what would the next level version of myself do? It helps me see the situation differently. If I had already healed the issues that are coming up from this situation what would I tell myself? One of my core beliefs is that everything happens for my highest good. That means when I make a mistake or something bad happens I try to find the ways that the situation is serving me. This practice has helped me stay positive through some really tough situations. One of the amazing things about being a human being is that we are cognitively aware and get to choose our thoughts and beliefs. This is an amazing ability that I think a lot of people don’t take full advantage of. I don’t believe that life is fair or that you can control what happens to you but I do believe you can control your thoughts, beliefs and feelings about the situation. Practicing channeling the higher version of myself helps me find the good in difficult situations.
I hope this article inspires you to stop being so hard on yourself. We rarely give ourselves enough credit for our achievements. If you are being hard on yourself I hope you will choose to give yourself grace today. Being hard on yourself is going to kill your motivation and make you want to give up. Working on my inner dialogue and becoming more positive has let me take more risks, work on bigger projects and build a life that I am actually proud of.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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