Have you heard of “gentle parenting”? Well, if not I’m going to give you a quick primer:
- “Gentle Parenting is a scientific, evidence-based, approach to raising confident and happy children…characterized by empathy, respect, understanding and boundaries.”
- “Instead of concentrating on punishment and incentive, gentle parenting focuses on improving a child’s self-awareness and understanding of their own conduct.”
What’s happening? Why am I talking about a parenting technique?
Don’t worry, I promise I’m not here to tell you how to parent your children. Heck, you don’t even need to have children for this post to make sense.
Because I want you to gentle-parent YOURSELF.
You know that mean voice in your head, the critical one, the one that punishes you and just won’t let it go?
Let’s try something else.
Are you with me?
Let’s use that voice to gentle-parent yourself instead of berating yourself.
You know why?
When you speak to yourself nicely, when you think about your growth, when you treat your mistakes, your errors, and your slower-than-you’d-like-progress, as learning opportunities, do you know what happens?
You perform better.
You’re more motivated to keep going.
You’re more confident.
You kick shame to the curb.
The science is there.
Want some help getting started?
The next time you hear yourself saying something negative to yourself or about yourself, I want you to acknowledge it, then replace it with one of these phrases instead:
- Mistakes happen!
- What can I learn from this?
- I’m still practicing!
- Let’s try…
- How can I solve this problem?
- What could I do/say instead?
- I’m feeling [insert emotion]. What can I do to make myself feel better?
- That was really [insert emotion]; it’s OK to cry.
- This doesn’t seem to be working; let’s try a different way!
- Let’s take a break! (And a deep breath!)