How you talk to yourself matters. Are you kind and gentle? Are you graceful with yourself when you mess up? Are you honest with yourself?
It's easier for me to understand this if I think about myself as having two dimensions… a child self and an adult self. My child self is small and weak, but it's also creative and fun. It's naive and limited, but it's also playful and uninhibited. My child self needs me to take time for naps and give myself a break for not knowing everything or getting everything right.
My adult self is stronger and more resourceful. It can also get overly focused on tasks and forget to enjoy life. It is responsible and sees a bigger picture than what's right in front of me, but it also feels incredible shame and intense anxiety about getting it wrong. My adult self needs me to respect the demands of responsibility. It also needs to me to trust my resources and try again when I fail.
What I need more than anything is grace. Whatever self I'm currently feeling, I have to ALSO be the one cheering me on and making room for my mistakes. I have the potential to be my worst enemy or my best friend and I have the power to choose which one.
Unsplash photo cred: Sunguk Kim