Have you heard of “gentle parenting”?  Well, if not I’m going to give you a quick primer:

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.

Yes, you. 

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.

Yes, seriously. 

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!)

Are you willing to give it a try? 

Or do you have any kind/gentle phrases you use when talking to yourself?

Let me know!


  • Alexis Haselberger

    Time Management and Productivity Coach

    Alexis Haselberger Coaching and Consulting, Inc

    Alexis Haselberger is a time management and productivity coach who helps people do more and stress less through coaching, workshops and online courses.  Her pragmatic, irreverent, approach helps people easily integrate realistic strategies into their lives so that they can do more of what they want and less of what they don't.  Alexis has taught thousands of individuals to take control of their time and her clients include Google, Lyft, Workday, Capital One, Upwork and more.