What happens to us when we criticize ourselves by calling ourselves names like “dummy, failure, or screw up”?
Sometimes, as result of us calling ourselves names we start believing our own words and we take on the role of those names. We become a dummy, a failure or a screw up. We begin to think like we really are no good and never will be. We even may start acting in ways that affirm those descriptions because we feel we have a license to act that way. Or worse, we may even give up trying because we “know” we will fail again.
But what if we begin to use different words to describe the same thoughts? It won’t change the results, but it will change they way we describe our identity. And it will change the way we see our actions and ourselves. Just by changing the words that describe the same event we can feel better about ourselves.
For example, instead of calling yourself a dummy, a failure or a screw up, try saying, “Wow, that didn’t work out the way I planned it. Now I’ve failed three times in a row. Let me try it a little differently this time. Maybe if I ask someone for a suggestion it might help me succeed.” Practice makes progress. Progress is growth. Growth is good.
What can you do to change your thinking today?
It begins with a mindful pause.