Most of us were raised being punished. If we did something “bad,” we were sent to time out, grounded, privileges revoked, lectured, and sometimes even shamed.
In adulthood, we carry this pattern with us.
Anytime we do something “bad,” we punish ourselves. Whether that be through self imposed criticism and shame, or us looking to what “happens to us” as a consequence of our choices or behavior.
But the thing is… “bad” is a label we have created in our minds. The beliefs that we’ve acquired through life, create judgements.
We judge ourselves for not being perfect.
But the truth is… if we were perfect, we wouldn’t be human.
We’re here to learn and grow, to make memories, to create connections and bonds, and to share our individuality with the world.
We do not learn from being punished.
By punishing ourselves, we create a cycle of guilt and shame that traps us in low self-worth and self-acceptance. You do not have to make yourself out to be a bad person in order to change, learn or grow.
How do we learn?
We learn through encouragement, through nurturing, through support, through love and acceptance.
We learn step by step, through every experience.
Think about you trying something new for the first time.
In one experience, you have someone criticizing your every move. When you fail, they laugh at you and say that they knew you couldn’t do it.
In the other experience, you have someone saying “great job!” “I’m so proud of you.” “It takes so much courage to start something new.” “Do you need any help?”
Which experience would you prefer?
And why do you allow the first experience to be the one that occupies your self-talk?
Treat yourself the way you wish to be treated. Comfort yourself, encourage yourself, support yourself, love yourself.