You’ve booked the flights, hotels and excursions. You’re making calls for a house sitter and dog sitter. The cars will be on loan to your in laws so the batteries don’t freeze in the dead of winter.
But while boarding the plane which will jetset you to the vacation of your dreams (Bali? Turks & Caicos? St. Maarten? You decide!) you realize you forgot one super important thing.
YOU FORGOT TO SET YOUR OUT OF OFFICE ALERT AT WORK!!!
It’s Monday and emails are pouring in, expecting your normal lessthan15minutes reply to answer their questions and requests. Too bad you’re already on the 747, not a sprinkle of Wi-Fi in sight and with only 5 minutes to take off. There’s hardly a moment to send out a last minute tweet!
And so, like a rerun of Sex & the City, the angry thoughts begin yet again. “Why did you forget SUCH a simple thing! Cindy reminded you to do it! Hell you even reminded Sarah to do it when she went to Europe last month! HOW COULD YOU FORGET?!”
You begin the boxing match with your mind, except your mind keeps getting sucker punched again, and again, and again. You’re beating yourself up with thoughts that scream “you’re worthless, useless and weak!”
In reality, you are not weak. You’re strong. You’re awesome. You’ve got your shit together. But the voice continues to speak. Whether you’re Michelle Obama, a supermom of triplets or a masters student at Stanford, you have faced weak thoughts.
What is a Weak Thought?
A weak thought is when we show up for ourselves less than what we truly are. It’s a thought that’s rooted in self-criticism, self-blame, self-doubt and (dare I say it?) self-hatred.
We hear it loudest in moments we’ve done something “wrong,” but it can creep into our consciousness when we’re getting ready for work (you’re so fat!), speaking to your boyfriend (he’s losing interest in you!), speaking up at an office meeting (no one cares what you say!) and other everyday situations. You may not even be noticing that your thoughts are far from self-supportive and self-loving.
What Would Your Best Friend Say (WWYBFS)
Best friends are cheerleaders, fans, and amazing compliment artists. Best friends would never say things like your weak thoughts. When we speak these weak thoughts to ourselves, we aren’t being our own best friends.
But we spend more time with ourselves than we spend with anyone in the world! We owe it to ourselves because we spend all of our time with us! to operate on a level of being our own best friend.
You Are Not Your Weak Thoughts
But here’s the good news: You are not your weak thoughts, therefore you are not a weak person. In other words, there are no weak people there are only weak thoughts.
When we begin to separate ourselves from the weak thoughts and see ourselves for the strength we really are, then the weak thoughts slowly stop speaking in our consciousness.
They stop having a hold on us because we remind ourselves with real thoughts: This is not true. This weak thought is not a reflection of my real self. What would my best friend tell me in this situation right now?
Gentle Thoughts to Replace Weak Thoughts
Powerful shifts happen when we change our weak thoughts from “harsh” to “helpful.” Here’s a few examples that you can take into your mind and use next time you step into that boxing match and stop beating yourself up:
- “I just can’t do anything right I’m always messing up.”
- “I’m not smart enough to speak up at work. I’ve only been working as middle management for 6 months and it’s not part of my job to even make suggestions. They probably already think I’m too much of a chatty Kathy.”
- “I’m such a slacker. I’m not doing enough with my life. I go to work and come home and watch House of Cards. All my friends are taking great classes and starting businesses, and here I am sitting on my ass. I’m a lazy bum.”
- “I’m doing the absolute best I can do and learning so much along the way. I fail so that I can learn. I am learning because I am doing which sometimes involves falling down and picking myself back up.”
- “I get to speak up at my job because I’ve had suggestions that haven’t been made in the past. It may make me nervous but it will show my superiors that I’m invested in my work. I would want to hear what my staff has to say.”
- “I’m focused on my work right now because it’s a 50-hour work week, but I get to find a passion for weekend play. I get to ask my friends what they suggest so I can connect with them on a deeper level and perhaps do something fun with them. I’m a hard worker and I get to incorporate play to help balance my life!”
What are your weak thoughts? What do you find yourself thinking over, and over, and over again?
Share ’em in the comments … and let’s start working our muscles of shifting from “weak” to “strong” thinking for the life of empowerment and confidence we deserve to have.