I actually caught myself and changed my response to this: “It’s OK. People make mistakes. I just need to refocus on the task at hand.” My two little boys were in the car, and I said it out loud so we all could hear. But the situation reminded me just how unhelpful those knee-jerk put downs we give ourselves can be.
Here’s a dozen to strike from the list, for good!
1. “Why did I do that?”
Just move on to the solution. Nothing good is going to come from asking why. Need proof? Ask a four-year old why he drew on the walls. Doesn’t solve a thing.
2. “How stupid”
More likely it was a bit clumsy, imperfect, unpolished, or just wrong. For goodness sakes, don’t let a mere slip up impugn your intellect.
3. “I’ll fail”
When you tell yourself this, you’ve lost the race before the gun even goes off.
4. “I can’t”
Fear lurks here—as long as you let it.
5. “I’m not _____ enough”
Tall? Rich? Good-looking? Phooey!
6. “I don’t deserve it”
Of course you do. So remind yourself you do.
7. “I never win”