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Monday, 30 June 2014

life in the middle

have you ever said something without thinking and heard it come back at you? 

last week while sitting chatting to my youngest nephew at bath time innocent words came out of my mouth and straight away they echoed back to me through a small child's voice accompanied by a laugh "silly billy". i say innocent because i hadn't thought about what i was saying but hearing a two year old giggle at being called silly for walking around and almost slipping in a bath full of water it suddenly dawned on me i was calling him silly and he was laughing. perhaps that sounds stupid or silly to you to think about these words but really - as an adult - does anyone call you silly? how would you react if they did? 

i've been struck these last couple of weeks by my own inner monologue. over the past month or so the work stress levels have risen and pressure has been applied in both my professional and personal lives but if i'm completely honest with you it's been applied mostly by myself. how much i want to achieve, where i expect myself to be, the comparisons with others - well they have been off the chart and not in a good way. perfectionism has got in and boy has it been tearing it up. 

a couple of years back when i was going through a really tough time jane said to me on what seemed like an almost daily basis at the time "please be kind to yourself". she would tell me by text, mail and phone and many times while i was in the trenches of life trying to dig my way out i would wonder why she would keep saying that to me. gradually i realised she was encouraging me to be nicer to myself than i was currently being, i was so far down in that stinky, muddy trench, i couldn't see it. thankfully i overcame that particular hard time but it has struck me over the last few weeks how much we have to be on guard against negative talk at all times and i'm not meaning others telling us we are no good, or that we are wrong or incapable of doing a job or meeting our goal or attaining our dream. 

my regular go to put down recently is to call myself an idiot and i might add, i use my full name when i do it, you know, exactly like your parents might have done when you were in trouble as a child. what, you may ask, causes me to speak to myself like this? well, you know it's the big things. spilling something in the kitchen or forgetting to take a document into a meeting - you know the meetings that are in your office and it's not a big deal to go and get the papers you've forgotten - yeah those kind of major things. and why you may ask are you writing about this, this seemingly small self talk that's not important to anyone else?

well, i've realised this small negative self talk leads to big negative self talk and big negative self talk leads to lack of belief in yourself and your abilities, and lack of belief in yourself causes fear, and fear causes you to shut down and finally you start believing what you innocently tell yourself when you spill milk that you pour into your tea almost every. single. morning. 

so, as life calms down i am reminding myself to be kind to myself, to treasure each day as the gift that it is, to ignore the little voice that so easily comes to the surface while stressed and to live in the middle, life is never as bad as you expect it to be and neither my friend are you. nor me come to that matter.


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