The most powerful voice of all – and I mean the MOST powerful voice of all, is our own. You see, we can all tell ourselves the meanest and cruellest of things at times.

And we may go on, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year like a broken record stuck on repeat, labelling ourselves, as stupid, unlovable, damaged goods, a waste of space, useless, or pathetic.

We could say a million other things that are negative – the sad truth is – when we talk negatively to ourselves, we actually start to believe what we are saying is true.

We buy into our own negative stories, and why? Because we have no one to tell us differently. And because we think our thoughts are actual facts, we give them more weight.

If people give us compliments, we put it down to them being sarcastic or we label them as outright liars – or even wonder what they are after.

You see, we don’t see the world as it is; we see it as we are. So, I have a question for you about the horrific names you call yourself, the demeaning tone you use when you talk to yourself, the hatred you feel towards yourself, as your telling yourself your useless, you’re worthless, you’re unlovable, you’re an idiot, you’re a waste of space – or a multitude of other awful things you could possibly say to yourself.

Here is my question for you. Would you say this to a friend? Well, would you?

Like many of my coaching and counselling clients, my guess is you’re saying, “Well, hell no Steph of course I wouldn’t – I would never do that to a friend.”

Well, I’m so pleased to hear that, because that means you know how to be kind to your friends and that’s really nice. But what you don’t know is how to be kind to yourself, and that is really important.

So, what I want to ask you is why wouldn’t you talk to a friend like that? Please, please, please, just stop and consider that question for a few seconds. Really think about ALL the reasons you would never talk to a friend like that – and what would be even better still, if you manage to write those reasons down 😊

Maybe if we were in the same room now doing this exercise together, you would be saying something like this to me, “Steph, I wouldn’t dream of talking to a friend like that, if I did, they would never want to bother with me again.”

Or, “Steph, I could NEVER say things like that to my friend, I LOVE and respect my friends way too much to talk to them that way.”

Or “Steph, I only see my friends in a positive light, there is NOTHING bad I could ever say about them at all.”

And if these are similar to your answers – then you have what I call the “one rule syndrome”.

You have one rule for yourself and a totally different rule for everyone else.

So if this is you, here is what I would like you to do. I would really like you to start treating yourself like a friend. If you wouldn’t say those harsh things you say to yourself to a friend – then commit today to stop saying those things to yourself. And for every single one horrible, nasty, and mean thing you say yourself – I would love for you to start telling yourself 3 kind things.

Start being a friend to yourself, and instead of putting yourself down, begin to learn how to start praising yourself up. Instead of devaluing yourself, start to discover how you can begin to appreciate yourself. And instead of hating on yourself, start to allow yourself, and give yourself permission, to begin to like and love yourself.

You see, what we focus on gets bigger. And what we put our focus on, we feel. I can remember being stuck in this negative pattern of comparing myself unfavourably with everyone else and putting myself down constantly.

When we have a tendency to do this, the spiral is only going to go one way, and that’s downwards rising into depression. Because remember, what we focus on we feel.

So, give yourself a gift of kindness, commit today – to being a friend to yourself. And that means talking to yourself far more kindly and respectfully.

Reminding yourself of all the things about yourself that really like – like your great sense of humour, your kindness to others, your ability to see good in others, where others see none. It could be literally anything – the way you make your partner light up, or your ability to cook food that everyone loves.

You see, what I notice time and time again, is when my clients start working on their cruel and berating inner critic, they become amazed at how quickly they turn their lives around. Transforming their lives totally, from the inside out in such a relatively short amount of time.

So, a quick recap for you:

Number 1. Remember when you are next trash-talking yourself and you are putting yourself down severely – that we all have roughly on average over 66,000 thoughts a day, and they simply can’t ALL be true. And for every negative thing, you say to yourself, replace it with 3 positive statements. Because over time, the positive will begin to outweigh the negative.

Number 2. Always ask yourself the same question, “Would I say this to a friend?”, and if the answer is no – stop saying it to yourself. Because you need to embark upon a new journey of kindness towards yourself, and treating yourself like you would treat others. And don’t forget, you certainly weren’t born thinking like this. You learned to think like this at some point in your life, and because you learned to think this way, equally you can unlearn it 😊

And lastly, I just want to ensure you I believe in you, I believe you are enough, and I believe you deserve to feel happy.

Now go stand up, and step up for yourself – just like you probably would for your friend 😊 and maybe, if you are totally non-negotiable on staying stuck, and being cruel to yourself, put a post in the comment box to show you are totally 100 percent committing to talking to yourself and treating yourself more kindly, as from today.

Take action! Because if you do what you’ve always done, you will continue to get the same results.

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