I’ve been reflecting quite a bit lately on the damage we do to ourselves when we self-criticize. Through Colibri, I get to meet so many women with amazing accomplishments who show such strength and character but who also often don’t see it because they are so busy focusing on the negative and not celebrating the beautiful, strong women they are.
Most of us do too good of a job being critical of ourselves. Often, we are much harder on ourselves that anyone else is. This can be a very detrimental habit, especially when going through a divorce. Don’t add to the noise in your life or the emotional ups and downs with your own self-talk. Every one of you is an amazing woman with your own strengths and superpowers. Celebrate those – don’t focus so much on your flaws.
To help you avoid the common pitfalls that lead to that destructive self-talk, we pulled together a few tricks to help you spend more time on the positive in you (because trust me, there is a lot of it!).
- Focus your energy on the people and things you really want in your life (and that want you in their life!)
I was having a conversation with a woman named Danielle who has her own business and was spending a lot of her time and emotional energy frustrated with a specific client. Danielle was beating herself up because she couldn’t just ‘fire’ the woman. It was a small piece of her overall business so she wasn’t too concerned about the income but the client was having challenges in her own life and Danielle didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Eventually, she ‘fired’ her client which resulted in a better situation for both the client and Danielle. The client gets support when she needs it in the areas that have the biggest impact oh her life. And, Danielle no longer has the daily frustration or that resulted from this difficult client.
Reflect on the people and things in your life and see how they add value. Only focus your energy on those that add value and, if you can, eliminate the others from your life. Don’t let the things you can’t control become an energy suck!
- Make a manageable to do list and stay on top of your tasks.
We all can be slaves to our to do lists and, when they are unwieldy, the list can often make us feel bad about ourselves. I am guilty of this one as I have a to do list that goes on forever and often berate myself that it never gets any shorter. While I know it’s challenging to completely get rid of your to do list, have one version that is your ‘complete’ list that is tucked away and another daily list that has a realistic list of the items you can get done on that day. Pull the daily list from your complete list but know that your ‘complete’ list will likely continue to grow because you are so important in everyone’s lives that nothing gets done without you (see what I did there?) and that’s ok. But, when you accomplish your shorter list at the end of the day, you’ll feel fantastic about getting everything done!
The little things (and Jedi Mind Tricks) really matter when it comes to your self worth! Set yourself up for success every day to avoid negative self-talk.
- Take action.
One of our Colibri Women told us how she was the best planner in the world. She could get everything together, figure out next steps, lay out the entire process. Everything needed to get a project done. But, she never got around to actually doing any of the work because she was always building the plan and never took action on it. Talking a good game and planning for all potential outcomes is fine, but taking action on your talk is where the value really lies.
Baby steps are a great way to take action; it’s the forward movement that truly matters no matter how big. Trust us – all of those baby steps add up. Just start moving!
- Take care of your self.
We’ve have all heard it many, many times – always put on your oxygen mask before you put on your child’s. As women, we are really good at taking care of everyone else in our lives. Kid is sick; they’ll be at the doctor within a day. And, we would never miss their annual doctor appointments. But, when was the last time you were at the doctor? Especially during divorce, you need to take care of yourself physically and mentally. It’s arguably the most important thing you can do. Because if you’re not there to take care of everyone else, who will?
Fully loving yourself means prioritizing the health of your mind and our body. Put you at the top of your list!
- Make realistic commitments and follow through on them.
We all know that moment when someone asks you to do something and you really don’t have the time but you don’t want to disappoint/it sounds exciting/you don’t think you can say no…so you say yes. And then you are stuck feeling overcommitted and stressed because you can’t fully engage. If you feel like you have too much on your plate, it’s okay to say no. Be prepared with a speech so you never feel uncomfortable about saying o again – “I’d love to get involved but I’m really trying to create the time and space so I can …”
Pull off the Band-Aid quickly and just say no up front! It will serve you much better in the long run.
As women, self-love can be a challenge but setting yourself up for success can be half of the battle. Lean in to these tips and give yourself a pat on the back once and a while! As A.A. Milne said, “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Believe it!