Two Words That Are Holding You Back from Loving Yourself
I have a confession to make…I have a terrible habit…and it’s a bad one. Every morning I set my alarm for 6am and every morning I hit that snooze button. Not once. Not twice. Like a good 5 or 6 times!
I know it’s terrible. The night before I would set the alarm with every single intention to wake up early, work out, get some work done, meditate, read…I had a whole morning planned. The night before…I’m stoked and ready for the next day. How I would feel in the morning…that’s a whole other story.
Today, I still set my alarm for 6am and I do hit the snooze, at times, but I’ve been working really hard to get up when the alarm goes off and start my day.
The snooze alarm represents me not at my “best” self. It’s a bad, nasty habit and the more I learned about how much damage this “little” habit does it got me motivated to do something about it.
The days I’m able to honor my commitment to wake up at 6am…I’m tired…but I feel good. It sets a positive tone for my day. This got me thinking about this month’s theme: Love.
This week’s topic: How do I love myself when I’m not being my best self
Trust me…the days I wake up at 7am or 7:30am after hitting the snooze a million times…I feel horrible and I find myself really beating myself up! So mad at myself for “falling back into old patterns.”
But getting mad at myself isn’t helping me. It isn’t motivating me to stop hitting the snooze alarm…it’s making me feel like I don’t have the ability to change which is so ridiculous because I help people grow and change for a living!
I know…I know…I’m the one telling you to stop beating yourself up all the time and to be more compassionate with yourself.
So why aren’t I taking my own advice?
I had to think about that for a while…why am I so hard on myself about this one thing…then it hit me. I was doing something we ALL do and don’t even realize it…I was using can’t and not don’t.
Action Step: Stop using “can’t” and start using “don’t”
I was telling myself, “Tess you can’t be a morning person because you hit the snooze alarm.” and “You can’t start a regular workout routine because you can’t get up in time.” Really harsh stuff…we all have that mean, inner voice…I’m no exception.
Language matters. It matters when we’re trying to get our point across, it matters when we’re speaking, it matters when we’re trying to help a friend and it matters when you want to tell someone they really matter to you. It all matters.
Yet the language we use towards ourselves is so critical and while we’ll spend hours practicing how to tell a friend she needs help, we spend no time and little awareness on how we’re speaking to ourselves when we’re struggling.
Switching “can’t” and “don’t” is a very powerful tool. Can’t implies we really want something but “can’t” have it which always makes us want it more. The chocolate cake you “can’t” have is always the most alluring cake in the world.
Can’t also implies we’re simply not capable of doing something which isn’t true because behavior is learned over time and you can always change your behavior.
Don’t is a different story. Don’t means we’ve thought about it and made a decision we’re happy with and we stand behind. “I don’t have chocolate cake” or “I don’t hit the snooze alarm” are so much more powerful and it doesn’t cut you down in the process.
The next time you find yourself “can’t-ing” yourself to death, just use “don’t” and see how it changes your attitude towards the idea of change.