• The Hopefulist

Be aware of the words we use

The power of words. We don't even realize how much power they have over us. The way they are used toward us, about us and what we say to ourselves. Women are so hard on themselves. The self-talk we have is horrendous. At least mine used to be. I never let myself off the hook. I held myself to impossible standards and then bashed myself over and over when I fell short. We have a self talk going on all the time and most of the time we don't even realize it. We don't pay attention to it. But our subconscious does. It is taking notice and acting accordingly. What is the number one rule of the Hopefulist? Never call yourself names. And I mean, never...ever! It's so important. Once you get out of the habit and you find yourself sliding back in at some point, you will realize how damaging it always was.

When we talk harshly to ourselves, we are constantly putting ourselves down. What if at the end of the day we started celebrating all we accomplished instead of berating ourselves for not getting everything done on the to-do list? And start counting all the things we have to do. Like get the kids breakfast and ready for school. Or just going to work and being productive there. Did you cook dinner, clean up? That counts! Did you pick up some take out? You got the kids and yourself fed....bravo! I tend to be very hard on myself when I don't get things done on my list. But I never give myself credit for doing a blog post every day and hosting a podcast every day. Those are some pretty big things and I should give myself credit for them. Sometime I go into crazy work mode and then I do nothing (other than the blog and podcast) for the next two days. Maybe I take on too much at once and have to learn to do a little less at a time. Or maybe being gung ho for a day and then taking two days off works best for me. Only I can decide that. But as I figure it out, calling myself lazy and telling myself I'll never get anywhere won't help. Say that stuff to yourself enough and you will truly believe it on some level.

Even the words we use when talking to others is so important. Are we making mountains out of mole hills? Do we have a disaster attitude and think everything is the worst possible thing that could happen? That never helps anyone. And your attitude can infect others. Maybe try to think about things in a way that whatever happens, you can handle. Because you can. You will get through this quarantine. It may not be in the way you want, but we will all come out the other side. We can come out better or worse. It's up to you. And the way we look at the situation and the way we react to it often dictates how we go about handling it for ourselves and those around us.

I have a friend who has a senior in high school. It was recently announced that area schools will not reopen this school year. No prom, no award ceremony, no graduation. Yes, it sucks big time. I can't imagine how disappointing this is for all of these kids. But my friend posted on social media that she was completely heart broken and she will never get over this loss. Look, I get it. We all deal with things in our own way but are these words helpful in any way? For herself or her son? I don't mean to judge....I really don't but this is such a perfect example of how the words we use shape everything. This is a loss, but it's not something (in my opinion) that we can't ever get over. What this situation has shown us most of all is that we have no control over anything. The only control we have is how we react to it. I've talked to my niece, who is also a senior, telling her it can only get better from here. I don't know how she felt about that text from me. I don't know how she really feels or how hard she is taking it, but I do know if the people around her make it seem worse than she thought it was she will change her mindset about it accordingly. This is a huge milestone. The first very big one for these kids. And it can still be commemorated, just not in the way we all hoped. Some people are having better birthday parties in quarantine than before. We have to make it special. We have to make it a big deal. We can and we will. We won't let these kids move on from high school without making a big deal out of it. Use your words to focus on the good. It's hard at first but once you make the transition you will never go back. Don't be a doomsdayer. No one wants to be around them. They are no fun!

All the words we use have consequences. Especially to ourselves. Talk to yourself in the mirror (just try it for a week, if you still feel like an idiot...stop) and tell yourself nice things. I write inspiring things all over my mirror. It feels a little less weird to read them but they really are more powerful if you say them while starting at yourself. A new phrase I discovered at my conference last weekend is "I can, I will, I must". Don't you just love that? I'm writing it on my mirror today. Don't those words feel so much better than talking about all we've lost? Think of us this way. One person has a motto that "life sucks" and another's is "life is good". If all other things are equal, who do you think lives a happier life?

Start keeping track of your thoughts and the words you use to yourself. Are you super hard on yourself? Are you calling yourself names? Stop it, now. Start just noticing it. It probably happens a lot more than you think. When you notice some awful self talk, stop and change the direction of the conversation. If there is a bad side, there is a good side. Seek it out. Search for it...as long as it takes. It will make you feel better about everything.

It's "I wish it were cocktail Friday" Thursday. We're almost to the weekend. I still look forward to the weekends. Don't you? Almost there. Now, go make today...your best day yet.

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