A few weeks ago I was scammed for a large chunk of money. I was really embarrassed and felt a lot of shame. I told a friend what happened and called myself an idiot.
He said, “Don’t call yourself that. You made a mistake. It’s okay.” He was right. It was just a mistake.
In my early 20’s when I was too scared to ask a woman out I would say to myself, “Maybe if you weren’t such a wuss women would like you more.”
When I got older I would wake up hungover next to a girl I barely knew and think, “I hate myself.”
I don’t talk to anyone else like that. Why do I do it to myself?
In school did our teachers say, “Be an asshole to yourself. You’ll do better in life.” I don’t remember hearing that.
A few years ago I tried a new way of talking to myself. I call it The Nice Gym Coach.
Whenever I want to be an asshole to myself I think about what The Nice Gym Coach would say.
He wouldn’t say, “You’re a fat piece of shit. Do more pushups.”
He would say, “Today, you showed up and put in the work. Good job. Let’s do it again tomorrow.”
The Nice Gym Coach wants the best from you. But not at the cost of your own self-worth.
It feels weird to think I have to work on being nicer to myself.
It makes me wonder why I was mean to myself in the first place. Clearly it was serving me in some way.
One of my friends who has the same problem said, “I’m mean to myself because I’m afraid I will go soft if I talk nicely to myself.”
Another friend said, “I’m mean to myself because of all the pressure I felt growing up. Do well in school. Go to a good college. Get a good job. Get laid. It’s overwhelming.”
The other day someone emailed me and said, “I will probably always struggle with perfectionism.”
I looked up the definition of each word. It translates to, “I have a forceful or violent effort against myself to be absolute or complete.”
The Nice Gym Coach would never ask someone to be absolute or complete. “Put your head through a window! You’re not good enough!” That’s ridiculous.
The Nice Gym Coach would say, “You’re already worthy. You are enough. Let’s keep going.”
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