International Coach Academy

What words do you use for yourself?

Communication is something we do all day. It starts in the morning when you wake up and goes on until you have brushed your teeth and switched off the light to enjoy a blissful nights rest. It is interesting to watch how you interact the whole day with yourself and others. What surprised me is the kind of words I use during the day. Have you ever taken the time to be your own observer? To do so in an unbiased way is challenging to say the least – I do know :(.

So I gave myself this task. It took me a couple of tries not to judge myself. It started out with simple things, for example. I walked out the door and was almost at the car, when I realized that I had forgotten my phone! So I had to go back inside to get my phone and while walking back I noticed the conversation I was having with myself. Why are you alway forgetting something, you must be a real idiot to forget such simple things. All this going on inside my head just because I forgot my phone, really, I had to stop and ask, is it necessary to be so harsh on myself? Another moment of self observation was while during homework with the kids. Coordinating homework for 3 kids is not my strong suit. Doing my own homework I always found hard – never understood the purpose of it! So I find it a hard task to get the children motivated.  After a snack and something to drink, ………. homework! All homework given has to be completed by the next day which makes it a lot easier. (no need to explain that it is better to finish everything and not leave things to the last moment) But after a while I start to get annoyed because they are tired and want to play and I end up forcing them to finish their homework by any means possible. Then I start with the internal dialogue again and start questioning my abilities as a mum. Am I too hard on them and the things I say are not always the nicest, which comes from forcing something on them. Am I a good mum, for putting them in this school?  On the other hand this is our life at the moment, there isn’t much choice of schooling? Should I be judging myself for it? If I look at them, as soon as they are finished, they are off playing. We’re all smiles and laughing together again and all seems forgotten. But not in my head.

So I needed to start using different words internally so I don’t feel so beaten and bruised. It is only me thinking out there. No one hears the thoughts I’m thinking and no one is able to judge them, so why do I judge myself so harshly? How do I tackle this………As the Nike commercial says, “Just do it!”  To start I take one step at a time and every time something nasty or self destructive turns up, I replace it with positive ones. Be it with a word/a phrase, either one I come up with or one from a book. I notice by practicing this exercise I can better get my emotions under control and am not so critical of myself all the time, make no blues it is not easy, but doable.  It not only helped me feel better about myself but infects those around me in a positive way. I still stumble and fall but I get up and start again!


  • Diane

    Wow, I am surprised to read these same insecurities occur within other women and moms. One always thinks that we are alone in these thoughts but perhaps many of us feel the same. Continually questioning ourselves and our decisions as a person, wife, friend and mother. I will use this information to make the effort to adjust my thoughts more positively.

    What a wonderful site with useful information.

    Thanks, Renee

  • DianeL

    I really enjoyed your thoughts and insights on this subject. So many of us and so often we criticize ourselves internally and so harshly. After years of this we do begin to lose confidence in just about all we do and say………….yikes! That’s bad. I’m going to try to use your suggestion and make a mental note of what’s going on in my head when I fall victim to self criticism. Thanks for sharing.

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