Am I Self Critical or Constructive?
Understanding the Power of Positivity
Before I get into the whole ‘Am I self critical or constructive’ thing, let me start by telling you this: I have three distinct blog writing modes:
1) Super Snarky Soap Box Posts
2) Random Look At The Pretty Butterfly Posts
3) I Will Pahmp YOU Up! Motivational Posts
Thanks to watching Tony Robbins “I’m Not Your Guru” on Netflix last night, I am in hyper “Pahm YOU Up!” mode. If you saw me watching this guy, you’d have probably laughed. I literally cried the whole thing, it was SO DAMN MOTIVATING!!!! I’ve heard of Tony Robbins for years and years, but never thought I needed him. I figured, ‘meh, I’m happy, I don’t need a motivational speaker.’ Well, WRONG. I do. In fact, we ALL do. Every day, all day. Seriously.
The thing is, though, we need to be our own motivational speakers. Tony can give you the words, even I can give you the words, but you have to say them every single day to yourself, because you are the only one who can make yourself believe that the words are more than just consonants and vowels strung together. Anyone can tell you, ‘be kind to yourself‘, ‘take care of yourself’, ‘you are enough’ ‘you are worthy’. But if you haven’t told yourself that, then they really are just consonants and vowels strung together.
I am my own motivational speaker, I trust the Power of Positivity:
**I don’t ‘do’ advice. But IF you want to know what I do every day, this is the frame work I use:
Self reflection. Are the words I’m saying & thinking about myself constructive or critical?
I am proud of one and guilty of the other. I think I’m at a 60/40 split (constructive/critical) right now.
When I’m critical, I typically hear phrases in my head like:
‘Why am I such an idiot? ‘
Why did I say something so dumb?’
‘I sound stupid.’
‘I look hideous.’
‘I’ll never accomplish/finish/get this right…’
**Those are the obvious ones, Melly! Be aware of subtle self sabotage as well! Any combination of non-productive, non-constructive words and feelings have the potential to dominate my entire thinking process.
I once did a writing exercise in high school (Thanks to my beloved teacher, Mister. Read about him here) where we wrote whatever thoughts popped in our head for one full minute. Then we analyzed what we’d written. At first, it looked like gibberish, nonsensical words and unrelated phrases, lyrics to a song, so on. Mister sat down beside me and began circling words as I watched on, then pushed the paper back to me, tapping one of the circled words with his sort of gnarled finger. It was ‘should‘. He pointed to another, ‘would‘. a third: ‘can’t‘. Those three words dominated the page in their frequency. I was stunned, unaware of how self-doubtful I was. It’s a wonderful exercise in self discovery, I highly recommend it.
But it’s not just the words in my head. When speaking with others I tend to use body language like,
Crossing my arms in front of me.
Lose focus of, or not fully understand the conversation because I am so consumed with: thinking about my facial expressions, my appearance to the other person, being agreeable.
Many times I find that my words are often self depreciating. I take compliments awkwardly, I defer, even when I think I’m right, but I either believe that the person is probably smarter or more experienced/worldly than me, OR I want to avoid conflict/confrontation/explaining myself. In short, I take the ‘easy route’ in fear of being judged harshly/laughed at.
So, I am the author of three novels (one is yet to be released) and 9 children’s books. I blog, and I run a eCommerce store, and really, a shit-ton of other things, yet, when I am asked, ‘So, what do you do?’ I default to, ‘Oh, I’m just a Nanny.’ I am too embarrassed to say, ‘I’m a writer.’ Why? Because I don’t consider myself good enough. Worse, I think others will feel I’m not good enough. And when I do get up the nerve to say it? I self depreciate with, ‘Well, I mean, I’m a SELF PUBLISHED author, so, that’s not really a big deal.’
Ugh, awful! But it’s an honest illustration of how easily I diminish myself and my accomplishments in my own eyes & mind. Even though I do regular, consistent self work/self care, I STILL catch myself falling into those destructive habits. Why? Because this isn’t a learn it once and done thing, it is a lifelong project. (PS, I am indeed a Nanny, a damn good one- loving, attentive, dedicated & I love it.)
I work to change the narrative in my head.
Here’s what I do every single day:
When I catch myself being self critical, I take that virtual needle of the record, and shift my focus towards self constructive words.
I have a tendency to reflect harshly on anything I do or say in group settings (Apparently, I have ‘high functioning anxiety. That’s another post. Maybe.) I will dwell on the idea that I laughed too loudly at a joke, or over-talked, or made stupid faces while I talked (yes, I am that bad). So I literally say ‘STOP’ (in my mind, not aloud- that would be weird). Then I cut myself some slack, say ‘You were fine.’ You watched for visual clues from your friends/acquaintances, they were engaged.’ ‘Stop being so damn hard on yourself.’ And my favorite, ‘Let it go.‘
Self Actualization/Daily affirmations are a MUST DO.
I noticed that every highly successful person says, they believed in their capability. Donald Trump, whether you hate or love him, is an example of that, probably one of the best examples. President Trump has ALWAYS believed in his personal greatness. The average person finds that to be conceited, vulgar, obnoxious. However, there is no denying it. He is driven, determined, and CONFIDENT. No matter what failures he encountered, he persevered. He set a goal, made a plan, and charged forward. Does this mean we have to act exactly like Donald to succeed? God, no. Please don’t in fact. (LOL). But by all means, adopt that invincible mentality, the one that says, ‘Nothing can deter me from achieving my goals.’ If you are being a good human, if you are kind, honest, genuine, hard working, then you are filled with a greatness that just needs to be unleashed.
This is how I speak my greatness:
I am grateful for all that I have, all that I am.
I’m going to make it a great day.
I feel good, I am alert, and I am receptive to all good things.
I am highly blessed, greatly favored, and deeply loved.
I am peaceful.
I am enough.
I can achieve, do, and become whatever I want to achieve, do, become.
I am love.
Say anything that resonates with you. Whatever words sooth the conflict or doubt inside you, use those. Every day. From the moment my eyes open in the morning to the moment they close at night, I am grateful and receptive to all good things. I don’t have ‘bad days’, I have bad moments. They don’t define my day because I won’t allow them to. Things go wrong, I get into bad moods, everything is not ‘perfect’ all of the time, so I use the above affirmations to fortify and renew my spirit. I look for signs and messages from my guides (oh, yes, I AM one of those people) and I get them, all the time. How do I know? Because they come when I ask for them.
I was up before the sun the other day, heading into work. Now, I am NOT a morning person, nor am I a winter person (understatement). I was not happy about leaving the warm bed, then house to get into the cold truck and put on my cheerful face for two sweet little girls who deserve that from me. I was flat out miserable. Halfway there, I thought, ‘Okay, I know I’m being overly dramatic, but I can’t shake it. I need something to set my mind right.’ Then wow, there it was at I turned the corner: the most spectacular sunrise I have seen in ages. Seriously, it took my breath away. I smiled, genuinely smiled at that and thought, ‘thank you’. Did that sun rise just for me? Of course not! But I was given the gift of awareness and appreciation, and I accepted it. I had a great day.
Here’s the picture I had to stop and take with my cell phone, which does no justice to it’s beauty.
Lastly (for this post):
I fill my head-space with the positive.
By being aware of what my social media is filled with, and actively seeking uplifting & positive info to fill my feed. I even dedicated a post to exactly that, see it HERE. We are what we consume, so I feed my brain and my body as if it is precious, because it is. If this resonates with you, feel free to utilize anything from here for yourself. My purpose is to share my life and thoughts and be relatable in the hope that it helps someone in need. If that is YOU, thank you for letting me in to your life.
*About Melly: Melly, aka Melanie Cherniack is author to several children’s books, all intent on promoting empowerment, inspiration, and uplifting stories. She also has two published novels, with two more to be released soon. She is NOT a therapist, psychologist or any other ‘-ist’, but rather professes to be a regular, everyday woman sharing the lessons she’s learned in life, from failures to triumphs and everything in between. If you liked this post, please SHARE it!