Would you like to try an experiment in just how well you regard yourself?
Try this for one day: carry a small notebook and pen around with you. Every time you have a negative thought about yourself (not a negative thought in general, but specifically about yourself), make a tick mark. You don’t have to write down what you thought, just that the thought itself occurred.
I guarantee you will be shocked at the number of tick marks you will accumulate through the day. Negative self-chatter is inevitable. I’m certainly guilty of it and have actually channeled it into a seriously self-deprecatingly dark sense of humor.
Now try this experiment for a second day. Try it for a week. Count up your tick marks, your negative chatter bits. How often are you playing your own negative feedback loop?
And what on earth does this have to do with infertility?
Challenge the Chatter
I use this negative self-chatter feedback loop example to illustrate not only how often we engage in thinking crappily about ourselves, but just how second-nature it is.
While getting dressed in the morning, we might look in the mirror and think poorly about our bodies. We might feel guilty for grabbing a slice last night’s pizza from the fridge instead of that banana. While driving in to work and we’re running late, we might think “Why can’t I be more responsible? I should have gotten up earlier. I shouldn’t have stayed up so late. I wish I had it together.”
In just a two-hour span of a simple morning routine, we unconsciously open the floodgates of self-doubt.
When it comes to infertility, at any random point in the day, any number of things could trigger a very special kind of negative chatter reserved only for the infertile: “Why did we wait? I should have paid more attention to my body. If I had only done XYZ, this cycle would have worked. I feel like a disappointment to my partner.”
If your negative self-chatter loop is set to a constant playback in your brain, it’s no wonder then just how those bad days feel just awful. It’s no wonder then, why your infertility journey might seem hopeless. Your chatter has trapped you in a negative feedback loop and you just start to doubt everything.
Today, I’m challenging you to break out of your negative chatter loop.
We are not kind to ourselves by nature. Seriously, try that experiment above for even just half a day and you’ll understand why I believe that. I believe that if we desire to be kind to ourselves, we have to make a deliberate choice to do so.
It’s just like choosing hope. You have to choose kindness. I like to think of it like this way: you invite kindness for yourself into your life. When you invite people over for dinner or a party, you’re making a choice to welcome them into your home.
The same thing goes with being kind to yourself. You have to make the choice to welcome and receive kindness in your life.
Let’s put a spin on our above experiment, shall we?
For every tick mark you’ve accumulated in one day, at the end of the day, count them up. For every tick mark, you get 5 minutes. And for the total number of minutes, you have to set aside that amount of time and do something kind for yourself that very day.
Go for a walk. Take control of the remote. Grab a cookie. Play with your pets. Whatever it is, the time is just for you.
Now, this shouldn’t be used to promote more negative self-chatter the next day, like, if you think even more worse thoughts the next day, that’s just more time you get to have for yourself. On the contrary. Hopefully, if you’re taking care of yourself, you start to tune out that negative self-chatter. And the more you are kind to yourself, over time it starts to become habit. And habits can become a lifestyle.
One act of being kind to yourself can become a shift in the entire way you believe in yourself, your abilities, and your gifts. All it takes is that choice to invite kindness in your life and following through on that first commitment.
I truly believe, with all of the physical and emotional onslaught you face in your infertility journey, being kind to yourself becomes an act of survival.
Launch Giveaway: Wednesday
Today I’m giving away a beautiful handmade bracelet by Suzy of target=”_blank”>Not a Fertile Myrtle from her Etsy shop, That’s 2 Darn Cute. Suzy was even kind enough to design it with the color palette from my new site!
Deadline & Notification
Today’s Giveaway ends at 12:01am EST (US) on Monday, March 12, 2012. (Please note this is later than yesterday’s giveaway.) The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter’s magical random selection tool and be notified via email within 48 hours of the contest’s end. Good luck!
Today’s giveaway is a perfect example of how you can be kind to yourself. Go buy that bracelet or cute pair of earrings. Don’t wait for someone else to give you permission to treat yourself.
Choose to be kind to yourself today. You’ll be glad you did.
How will you be kind to yourself today?