During Spring camp my 9 year old son, Thomas, had a day of grumpiness. In talking with him it turns out he was being very judgmental of himself for not knowing how to play volleyball and for continuing to make mistakes. I explained that a little of that is okay as it helps one have the persistence to learn more of what you want to learn. However, if we don’t see mistakes as opportunities to learn and instead are unkind to ourselves by being severely judgmental, then that grumpiness overflows to those we encounter and those around us.
I suggested he instead focus on the way it felt in his body, not focusing on labeling himself as bad or no good and the judgmental words and thoughts would leave on their own. Things such as, does it feel tight in his stomach, does he feel pressure in his head or neck. Then, he could say to himself, “I am awesome”! …. And then he could ask his teammates or camp leaders to teach him how to play. He said, “I like that!”
(As he and I were talking, the “I am awesome” story came to mind. I had completely forgotten about it until that very second. Years ago I came across a story of a barista who would comment, “I am awesome”, when she made little mistakes … instead of mentally saying things like “I suck”, “I’m stupid”, etc.) Not only did Thomas need to hear that story in that moment; I did too!
Perhaps it will land in front of the eyes that need to see it right in this moment.
Change the “I suck” thoughts to “I Am Awesome” and BE free.
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