The benefits of negative self-talk.

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They don’t call this the ‘age of entitlement’ for nothing……

It’s 7am. I’ve been awake since 6.37 – I actually slept in after slamming my alarm down when it started singing at 5.10.  I was going to get up early and get on with work but my body quickly vetoed that and I didn’t dwell on or analyse my decision.

So I’ve only been up for twenty three minutes.

During that time I have ‘had words’ with myself on three occasions.

  1.  I opened the door where the dogs sleep, let them out then couldn’t lock the bloody door again.  I bemoaned the ‘typical me’ behaviour on display.  Can do something perfectly one minute then struggle as if it is some mensa puzzle the next. What’s with that Amanda?
  2. On taking the kettle off the boil I set fire to the tea towel that I was using to shield myself from the hot handle. But there was no time to lament that because….
  3. I then realised I’d boiled a practically empty kettle.  On comes the inner dialogue of ‘what a waste of gas, gas is a fossil fuel, that’s wasteful to the environment’ and so on.

And then I snapped out of all of that with a big ‘aha’ moment  and came here to write about it.

flower

———————

The language that cheerleads todays woman onward and upward is powerful, direct, forthright and totally unapologetic.  It screams ‘I’m me, I’m here and you should get used to it and get over it’:

 

Sassy (The American equivalent to Saucy)
impertinent; insolent; saucy.
Urban Dictionary Version:
possessing the attitude of someone endowed with an ungodly amount of cool.
Fierce
menacingly wild, savage, or hostile
Urban Dictionary version:
A term that gay men used in the late 1990s and early 2000s to describe absolutely everything that was of “exceptional quality”.
A Sassy, Fierce woman simply wouldn’t scold herself for not being able to re-lock the door she just un-locked two minutes ago.  She would just turn her head, hand the keys to someone else and walk off into the sunset without a care in the world or an ounce of self-reflection or doubt.
But what if she did take a second to doubt herself?  
To feel even mildly annoyed at her predicament.  
Would she then be lying about being fierce and sassy?
Would she have failed?
———————–
Maybe it is how I’ve been brought up, maybe it is just my self-reflective personality, maybe it is the patriarchy or maybe a mixture of all three but I just can’t help critique my own performance.
Whatever it is it is fine because theses days it doesn’t sting, it only teaches.
———————-
For me being Fierce and/or Sassy (if that’s what I want to be) is all about how I deal with my reality. How I accept and deal with life’s  little hiccups and inconveniences.  
After being alive in THIS society for 41 years with THIS personality I’m not entirely sure if I can burn the tea towel and not immediately have my inner voice scream ‘what are you doing there, be careful, you do this too often, you need to try another way’.  
I’m absolutely sure that I don’t want to achieve the level of nonchalance that our modern language seems to be encouraging:
the state or quality of being nonchalant; cool indifference or lack of concern; casualness.
This brings me back to reflecting on the language we are being encouraged to use to describe ourselves as women.
Everybody is different but for me this fierce, unapologetic and sassy language is not something I naturally gravitate too (old dictionary) and don’t really understand (urban dictionary).  
I feel that in using this language  we have over-shot society’s central axis and landed into the zone of individualism.  
As much as I’m an introverted loner I still respect, appreciate and enjoy the beauty that is a well functioning society.  I want to be a part of that.
So, my own personal preferred word is strong:

Strong: mentally powerful or vigorous.

 

Urban Dictionary Version:
someone who comes off as confident
someone who is comfortable in there own skin
someone who can take on the world
someone who should be very proud of themselves
I feel strong.
I feel I can and do accept the negative self talk for what it is, that it doesn’t touch the heart of me but rather it helps to push me onwards and grow.  For me these fleeting moments of negativity also serve as a reminder of the gap that exists between societies idea of ‘perfection’  and what I can personally deliver. Whether it be about my ageing looks, my choice of clothes, my inability to lock the door or my burning of the tea towel. This reminder of my limitations keeps me humble  (as in not arrogant. Modest),  reminds me to show compassion, to treat others kindly.
 I am strong because I’ve worked hard to accept and love the parts of me that run opposed to societies version of perfection.  The parts of me that put me in danger, slip me up, cost me time and money,  hurt my pride.  I am strong because I know that I am all of that AND MORE.
So, I’m not fierce or sassy I’m strong.
And I owe a big part of that to my negative self-talk.
and so I’ll keep it.
Yes indeedie!
Amanda x
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