1. When you make a mistake (and you will make a mistake, because it is natural and human to make mistakes) resist the urge to beat yourself up about it. That voice that says, “What did you DO! This is awful! You are such a loser!” needs to be recognized for what it is. It is NOT YOU. Your voice would not be so abusive. Your authentic voice will be kind and compassionate, maybe even funny!
2. Go from A to B and back to A if needed. Resist the urge to go from A to Z because that is just a set up for feeling bad when you can’t do it. Baby steps are the key to so many locks, it’s almost ridiculous! This morning I was so tempted not to exercise. It’s been two weeks since I got on the treadmill. Breaking through that inertia is like slogging through a tar pit! Last time I ran I ran 30 minutes without stopping. Was I feeling it today? No. A voice, my kind, compassionate voice said, “No worries! Get on the treadmill for just 15 minutes today. Walk or, if you feel it, run. Just 15 minutes.” That I could do.
3. Compliment yourself on one thing today. Sit with the compliment, no matter how much you want to squirm out of it. Repeat as needed.
4. Find a photo of yourself as a child. Aren’t you cute? Remember that that kid is still there, inside. Talk to the photo. Tell that child it is going to be OK because you are going to take care of him/her.
5. Nurture your body as you would a loved one’s. Give yourself comfort food when you are feeling down. I mean the good stuff, like chicken soup. Not Twinkies for God’s sake! OK, maybe Twinkies but only if you can stop at two.
6. When you get a booboo, kiss it, say to yourself, “Poor baby.” Resist the urge to call yourself a clumsy idiot.
7. Look in the mirror and actually say out loud what you know your best friend would be saying to you right now!