Say Something Nice
“If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.” said every mom ever.
However, when the thing you need to say is to yourself things get a bit more complicated.
I was reminded of this last weekend while participating in my weekly cycling class. I have been taking this class every week for the past 3 months. The instructor is amazing! Inspiring, encouraging, fantastic music, and challenging us each week to work hard. This week-- out of nowhere-- she shouted “Say something nice to yourself.” So I tried:
“Cycle faster!!!” Nope.
”Push harder!!!” No again.
”You're not working hard enough!!!” Strike 3!
“What could I say to myself that is nice?” I wondered as I trudged through an imaginary climb. “Say something nice to yourself!” she shouted again. Okay, okay-- I'm trying!
I tapped into my mindfulness skills and stop trying to make the “nice” thought happen. After a few rounds of breath, kindness began to bubble up in my mind.
“You are strong.” Good.
”You are working hard.” Getting better.
”You are worth the work!” YES- You've got this!
My challenge for you is the same one that my cycle instructor laid at my feet. Say something nice to yourself today. I understand that this is a challenge. But I know you are up for the task!
Pause, take 3 long inhales and exhales, and just say one nice thing. Be patient with yourself as the nice thing may take a little while to show up. You may have to stumble through a few insults before you get there.
If this task is exceptionally hard for you, close your eyes and envision your ten-year-old self. You wouldn't intentionally say something anything mean or cruel to this child. Say the kind thing to them.
As with everything else, the more you practice this skill the better you will get at this. You are worth this practice!