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Get Your S**t Together
Ever said that to yourself?
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What does your inner voice sound like?
Do you speak to others in the same way you speak to yourself?
Namely, how do you speak to yourself? Is your inner voice mean? If so, what do you do about that?
My mantra is “Yes, you can. Yes, you will. Yes, you are.” I tell myself this when I’m doing hard things. When I need a boost. But note that I say it exactly like that—I don’t say, “Yes, I can…”
The “Universal You,” as the BigThink article describes it, is helpful in improving self-talk. It takes the focus off of your individual struggles, shortcomings, etc.. It allows you to remember that what you are doing is living, just like everyone around you. Using you, not I, allows for a little grace in a situation. Less pressure, perhaps.
Try it some time.
The bully in my brain had her last stand several years ago. This moment was pivotal for me, a singular instance where something changed radically in my POV. This is what happened:
My life had fallen apart. Friends had left, my marriage was over, and my heart was wounded. I was at Target on my lunch break, and I started crying as I realized I had no one’s stocking to stuff that year. But lunch was over, and I had to return to teach my students. They didn’t need to see their teacher unraveled and in her feels.
As I walked back, I wiped my eyes and struggled to dam the tide of tears. I said to myself, Get your s**t together. You can’t go in there upset.
Then I stopped walking.
My s**t wasn’t together. My life was in pieces. I was freaking sad. If I’d come upon a friend of mine in the same situation—if I’d come upon a total stranger in that situation—would I have told them to get their s**t together?
Hell no. Who speaks that way to people?
Why, then, would I speak to myself that way?
I realized I’d been bullying myself for a long time. That this was one in a long line of moments where I tried to power through with toughness. But being strong and being compassionate are not exclusive. And hateful speech such as that is useless and ineffective.
So, I changed the narrative. I stopped crying by telling myself that it was alright, that I could take time to cry later if needed—but I didn’t have to if I didn’t. And, once I’d finished the school day, I went home and took care of myself. Gently. Kindly. Just like I would a friend.
That was the last time I spoke so harshly to myself—or anyone. There is simply no power in mean speech. Anger as motivation doesn’t work, doesn’t get you what you want.
We live in a perfectionist society. Even being imperfect has become a race on social media. But the truth is, we’re all just human. Trying to find happiness, trying to do our best, trying.
Give yourself the grace to change how you speak to the work-in-progress that is YOU.
Is your inner voice mean?