If you’ve ever critiqued anyone’s performance, then you know how important it is to provide balanced, helpful feedback.
You can’t just berate a kid, for instance, about all the ways he messed up.
And you can’t merely praise a subordinate all day without providing challenges for improvement.
So, if you know that, then why can’t you be so lovingly balanced in the way you talk to yourself … ABOUT yourself?
It’s so much easier to pile on, isn’t it?
“I can’t believe I’m so stupid.”
“Why am I always the last one to figure things out?”
“I should have known I could never get back in shape.”
Here’s a super-simple tactic to knock it off. Talk to yourself ABOUT yourself the way you would talk to someone else you care about — let’s say, your best friend.
I bet you would NEVER say to your best friend, “You’re so stupid. You should have known you could never get back in shape.”
Nope. You might say something more loving and helpful, like this: “I’ve seen how hard you’ve been working, and you’re doing great. Getting in shape takes time, and I know you can get back on track despite this little setback. Come on! Let’s go for a walk and you’ll feel better in no time.”
Acknowledge the disappointment. Learn from it. Move on.
Like everything in life, feedback is all about finding the right balance. You’ve done it before. You can do it now with yourself.