I'm such an idiot! I can't believe I locked the keys in the car. What am I going to do now? How am I going to get home? I can't even call my husband because my phone's in the car and my purse!! I'm totally stuck. I have no idea what to do. I am hopeless!
I'd like to say that this is a purely fictional situation. That I have never locked my keys, purse and phone in the car, and that, moreover, I would not address myself in such a negative way. But, unfortunately, I cannot.
Firstly, I have found myself in this exact situation. It ended up taking three hours, including two long cab rides to put it right, but that's a story for another time. :)
Let's face it; we all make mistakes. We all end up in situations that highlight just how human we are. Mistakes like this will happen over and over again throughout our lives, and there is basically nothing we can do to avoid them.
We can, however, avoid the negative ways we often react to these situations. And that's what I'd like to focus on today. Changing the way you talk to yourself changes everything. Here are steps we can take to teach our children to avoid falling into the trap of self-defeating inner criticism.
Psychologist Ethan Kross, working at the University of Michigan's Emotion and Self-Control Laboratory, has found that by using one's first name when addressing oneself, social anxiety can be greatly reduced before, during and after a stressful event.
Kross has discovered, through experimentation, that people who use the personal pronouns I, me and my when talking to themselves are much more likely to fail and fall apart in stressful situations than people who address themselves by name.
It comes down to distance, once again. We are far more likely to be harsh with ourselves than with others. We are also far more likely to help others succeed than to help ourselves.
The less personal of an inner monologue that we encourage our children to have, the greater their chances of success. We need to get them saying, "Sam, you can do it! You'll figure it out, Sam." rather than "I can't do it. I don't know how."
Read the full article "The Way You Talk to Your Kids and Yourself Matters" at the Huffington Post.