Please Kick This Habit

Have you ever done something or said something that you wish you could undo? Yes?

Congratulations, you’re human.

People are pretty amazing at a few things:

-Creating and using tools

-Landing spaceships on comets

-Being complete and utter jerks to themselves

Let’s say you miss your exit and then call yourself a “dumbass.”

Or you forget your notes for a presentation and mumble “I hate myself” under your breath.

Or you look at your race results and think, “I’m slow, I’m stupid, I should’ve dug deeper, I should have pushed harder, I could have gone faster.”

Now tell me: How does that work out for you? Does all that name-calling make you feel better? Does it change your race results or help you pull off a brilliant presentation or magically get you to your destination on time?

Or does it leave you feeling like a complete turd?

I thought so. Actually, I knew so. I’ve been there.

I did a triathlon this summer. It wasn’t an A race or even a B race. It was just an opportunity to have fun and push myself. But I got injured a few days before the race and running hurt a lot. I still wanted to race and my only goal was to have a pain-free run. And I did. My run didn’t feel fabulous, but it didn’t hurt and that made me so happy—until I looked at the results.

That’s when I started beating myself up. I had met my goals—to have fun and have a pain-free run—but I wasn’t happy. I wished I’d gone faster. I wished I’d pushed harder. I was an absolute ass to myself.

But you know what? I was beating myself up over something that had already happened. I couldn’t change the numbers. All I was doing was making myself feel really crappy about something I’d previously been happy about. And so I stopped. I stopped berating myself for doing exactly what I had set out to do.

Now let’s talk about you and those mean things you say to yourself. Would you say those things to your best friend? Or your spouse? Or your child? Or your parents? Or your dog?

I didn’t think so.

Why not?

Why wouldn’t you tell your daughter that she’s stupid? Because you love her—unconditionally? Why wouldn’t you tell your best friend that she totally bombed that presentation? Because you respect her and want to build her up instead of breaking her down?

It’s time to start loving yourself with that same unconditional, wholehearted thoughtfulness.

It’s time to stop being an ass to yourself. Please.