To start off a recent group-coaching zoom session, I asked how everyone was doing. One of the attendees responded in a way that truly resonated with me. She said that all was well as long as she was listening to Wayne Dyer on audible. She did most all of her chores while listening to his books and lectures and was enamored by his words and wisdom. But when she stopped listening to the recordings, she got to fill in the blanks within her mind and with very different things. Her predominant self-talk was all around her guilt about not being or doing good enough for her family during their quarantine.
I believe this truly resonated with me as I’ve been there. I also think that it resonates with most of us because we’ve all been there. There are so many empowering and inspiring audio and visual platforms for us to choose from, and these days we tend to need them more than ever. But the moment they are done, we are left alone with our regular and often self-defeating thoughts and feelings, alone with our same old stories, alone to replay the negative scripts that we know so well and seem to be playing on automatic repeat.
It’s a lot like having a megaphone in your mind. Messages are being transmitted 24/7 to every cell in your body. Sometimes they’re coming from external means and other times their playing from within. Either way, these messages are bombarding your system.
What if we could set this megaphone to repeat a healthier internal script? What if when we turned the external empowerment off, we could turn an internal source of inspiration on? And if that’s asking too much, what if we could at least have the ability to lower the volume on the self-sabotage? Your inner narrator is negatively biased, so it needs direction.
I’d like to offer some important mental reminders for you to use during COVID-19 when you’re alone with your thoughts that can support you from within:
- When you wake up in the morning and realize that it’s all still here and it’s real, remind yourself, “If I am feeling strong and healthy, then this new day is a gift and I am blessed to have the opportunity to try again.”
- At the end of a long day, when you’re feeling exhausted and somewhat overwhelmed, remind yourself, “I can handle this.” You can’t promise yourself that everything will be OK, but you can know that you will handle it like you’ve handled past challenges. Remind yourself, “I can do hard things.”
- Although it feels like it’s never going to end, you have to keep reminding yourself, “This too shall pass.” Because it will; everything does.
- And when the state of your house starts to weigh on you because it’s not as neat and organized as you’d like it to be, remind yourself, “That’s an unfair expectation. The house can be less tidy now and that’s OK, even good enough.”
- When you’re feeling guilty because the kids are on their iPads or smartphones too much, and you know the latest research regarding the negative impact of iPad/smartphone overuse on your children, remind yourself, “I’m in survival mode now, with a lot to do and balance. When my mind is tired and my body exhausted, and I’m not feeling creative or resourceful, I can give myself permission to catch my breath by offering or allowing technology as an alternative. I am still a good enough mother and my children will be just fine in the long run.”
- When the meals don’t feel as healthy as they should be, remind yourself, “This is temporary; it’s not necessarily a true reflection of my values. Of course, I try to prioritize healthy eating for my family like I try to prioritize an organized home and an amazing work-life balance. But I am living in unprecedented times, and I must prioritize my emotional health, so some things will just have to give. Some standards may have to be lowered or relaxed for now, and that’s OK.”
You may have heard some or all of these messages before, but oftentimes we only understand things intellectually. When we listen to our favorite speakers, books and podcasts the words often speak to the depths of our soul and we feel as if they have been chosen specifically for us. Why? Because they resonate. Because they feel so true.
But that doesn’t mean that we can easily live them or that we can always walk the talk. To truly believe and be able to integrate new ideas and wisdom, they first have to become part of our inner dialogue. As my wise son said to me last night when I asked him to help me change something about myself, “It has to come from within.”
We can overload ourselves with every possible empowering external resource but if our inner script doesn’t buy into it, we become no more than a saturated sponge filled with knowledge that cannot be applied.
So, allow yourself to repeat these phrases:
- I can do this. I can do hard things
- This too shall pass. And until it does, with each new day that I am feeling strong and healthy and staying safe at home, I can direct my inner narrator
- I am human
- I am being enough and doing enough
- I can fall and I can also get back up again
- I am doing my best
The greatest gift you can currently give yourself is to become friends with your mind and nurture a new and kinder relationship with it. You can choose to feel worthy, good enough, and whatever else you want and need to feel at this time to get you through this most vulnerable chapter.
Your megaphone is waiting for YOUR direction, not only for external direction from the Wayne Dyers of the world. It’s not about seeking the perfect script, just one that feels gentler and more reassuring. A good enough script will do just fine—one that will allow you to be alone with your thoughts without having to seek external distraction.
PS – Contact me if you would like to benefit from a group-coaching zoom session