Accountability, Forgiveness and Getting Rid of Pesky Negative Self-Talk.

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Last week I had one of -those- weeks. You know the one. The one where you feel like your brain and body have had a falling out and are refusing to work in sync with each other. You drop everything, lose everything, spill every glass of water you have, throw boiling hot candle wax all over your kitchen floor and cupboards… Okay, that last one is probably just me, but it happened, as did multiple losses; a Fitbit, which was eventually found, a water bottle and some earrings which are lost forever more, just innocent victims of that week. Work was at above average for its difficulty levels, I pulled a couple of muscles at the gym, reducing my workout ability. You know the week. We all have them.

Am I complaining about these pea-brained 7 days? No. In fact, what I write now may surprise you. I am thankful for it. I am thrilled about it, in fact. No, I haven’t quite turned into the crazy-cat-lady that I suspect I will become just yet, it’s that this stressful and clumsy week has taught me something. As you all know I have worked on myself for quite some time now. A part of this has been the multiple supportive post-it notes around my house, holding myself accountable for my actions (using the ‘don’t break the chain method’ if you want to know more about that just let me know), not playing the victim and most recently, giving up negative self-talk for Lent and adopting the phrase ‘This is good because..’.

Some of my poor colleagues weren’t as wise as me in their Lent selection, so whilst some of my workmates sit looking forlorn at a Jaffa Cake they have sworn not to consume until Good Friday, I am basking in my choice. By not allowing myself, on top of all my other self-care/self-improvement activities, to talk negatively to myself, my mindset has changed dramatically. A few weeks ago, when I was upset about cutting that person out of my life and other things were going on, I lost it. I let the stress get to me and it had negative knock-on effects. This week, however, no matter what happened, I had control. I was on it like a boss. There were no ‘you’re so stupid!’ or other negative voices in my head. If they thought about it, they got knocked down quickly, and I could point out to myself that these things happen, and how you feel in that moment, won’t matter or affect you anymore by the end of the day.

As well as the no negative self-talk, if something annoying happens, or people are a challenge I state why it’s good. For example, if you have a difficult customer at work just think ‘This is good because it’s teaching me patience and people skills that I can further use in my career and personal life.’ It’s an oldie, but as they say, ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ and looking to the good in every situation will change your mindset over time. These two things have really shifted how I think and deal with things and honestly, it is such a release.

Further to this, I have also been working on forgiveness. Sometimes you have to forgive, not necessarily forget, because we need to make sure we learn from our experiences, but forgiveness can be vital. I am not talking about forgiving others. I am talking about forgiving yourself. I have been working on forgiving myself for a situation I found myself in. I won’t forgive the person who hurt me, I don’t believe they deserve that, but I deserve forgiveness for not allowing myself to see the truth sooner. It actually feels harder to forgive yourself sometimes because we can be so self-critical, but you must work through it so you can learn and move on. You can’t do anything to change the past, and I can’t beat myself up now for the choices I made before. I can, however, take accountability for them, learn from them and forgive myself.

Tom Bilyeu brought “everything is my fault” to my attention, and I believe it. Are you struggling because of your upbringing? Have you been manipulated? Were you called fat by the other kids at school? I am not saying these things are your fault. They most certainly were not and you certainly didn’t deserve it. But if you are allowing them to affect your happiness and wellbeing now, then that’s where the blame falls at your doorstep. Do not allow yourself to be a victim of your past. Own your present and your future. Hold yourself accountable, forgive yourself, learn from it and set the world on fire from now on. You have it in you. Trust me. 

It’s not easy. I find the accountable bit the easy part. The forgiveness, not so much.  I still hold a bit of anger at the other person and myself just hanging about in the recesses of my mind. When I forgive myself, wholly, I know that anger will go, and that’s where it becomes so vital. You don’t have to forgive whoever hurt you, abused you or whatever it is they did (if your situation even involves someone else, that is), you just need to forgive yourself. Being angry that you’re “so stupid” (a story I was telling myself a month or so ago) won’t get you retribution against them. They don’t care, you’re only hurting yourself. Forgiveness is something you need to do for YOU. Not them. You are a priority and don’t forget that. 

Forgiving yourself and moving on from a situation, a person, an event, will leave your shoulders chip and weight free. And I for one, I can’t wait to finish working through my forgiveness process and having lighter shoulders! I’m certainly on the right path, I have never been happier or prouder of myself, and I really want that for you too.

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