Yesterday I wrote about building a discipline around congratulating ourselves. A competitive culture means comparison. Many of us have developed a strong self-critical inner voice. Just because it’s loud, doesn’t mean it’s true. If we recognise that the external world has shaped this voice, we can also understand that it’s not a fixed part of your nature. It can be reshaped.

It’s about practice

Waves smoothing ancient rocks take a while

Have you made a choice that you feel unhappy about? Try saying: well done for noticing – either the choice, or your feelings.

Or maybe you didn’t notice. Doh! Maybe the bad feeling comes a little later. You can then try saying: well done for reflecting.

There’s always a lesson, a tool to pick up for the future

Research found if you want to give yourself a pep talk before a big challenge, it’s most effective if instead of saying ‘I got this!!!!’, you speak in the third person – and ideally use your own name. ‘You got this Becca.’ Maybe because it’s difficult to view ourselves neutrally or lovingly.

You can also take this approach if you want to consider questions. Instead of asking, ‘what do I want?’, try rephrasing it as, ‘what do you want?’ That additional step of distance might generate different answers.

While healing after a bad breakup I created a box of compliments from others, written on tiny scrunched up slips of paper. It’s valuable evidence that our truth is a mosaic of many different views.