You’ve probably told a friend that they’re going to be great before they get up on stage and give a speech, or your little cousin that they’ll be awesome in a school play. You offer these words of encouragement to friends because you want them to do well and stay motivated, but chances are you’d never say any of these things to yourself. As Dr Patrick B. McGrath points out in Psychology Today, maybe you should.
Photo by Arieliona (Shutterstock).
Say you have a child or niece or nephew who is taking piano lessons and they invite you to the recital. You will probably tell them before the recital that you are proud of them and that you cannot wait to hear them play, even if this is not true. You might truly be thinking, “What a horrible piano player – these lessons have surely been a true waste of money, but have a great recital.” We would not tell anyone else this, so why would we tell this to ourselves?
McGrath suggests that you’ll feel far less stress if you treat yourself the same way you’d treat a friend in these situations. It might feel like a weird thing to do, but why should it? Perhaps you’ve just gotten too used to beating yourself up.
You Are Unique, Not Special [Psychology Today]