How To Quiet Our Self-Criticism…
Through tears my client says, “I am such a failure. I can’t seem to get a grip on this weight thing.”
“Tell me more,” I say.
“Well, I am 150 lbs over weight, and I just can’t control my eating. I think I am on track and then something else happens in my life and I fall back into bad habits.”
“You are brilliant,” I say.
“What do you mean? I am a failure,” she says.
“You have found a coping mechanism that works for you. Every time you have pain in your life you rely on food, right? And have been doing that since you were a kid?”
“Yes,” she said through her tears.
“You are brilliant. Food has been working for you. It has likely saved you under many circumstances. Now, you are deciding that it isn’t serving you anymore. Right?”
“Yes… so you are saying I am not a failure; I just haven’t found something else that works?” she asks.
“Exactly. Let’s take a moment to appreciate your genius and appreciate food… for all that it has done to keep you safe and alive. The key to change is to first appreciate your present state.”
“I have never thought of it that way before. Food really has helped me so much. I guess I shouldn’t hate it so much,” she says.
“There you go being brilliant again. While there is still work to do, I just want to applaud you for this very important first step.”
This is a conversation that happens regularly with clients. Whether it is fear of letting go of the pain, anger, addiction, isolation, food, or any other behavior that we use to cope… they serve us until they don’t.
As my mentor said, “What we resist persists.” In other words, the more we hate on our habits or lack in self-compassion for our coping mechanisms, the less likely we will be able to change.
Let’s start with appreciating how amazing each of us truly is. A little self-compassion may be the key to shifting that behavior that is no longer serving us.
What do you do that has served you up until now? How has it served you? What would you like to do instead?
If you are struggling with how to say the right thing when the wrong thing happens or you are going through a challenge in your life and you want a little shift in perspective,check out my free ebook Compassion Code Starter Kit.