"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
I learned to drive in an old Dodge Dart. It was a sturdy, dependable car, perfect for a new driver, except for one little idiosyncrasy.
Its emergency brake, once engaged, didn’t want to let go. I’d been taught to pull on the emergency brake when the car was not in use, so, releasing the emergency brake was a necessary part of starting the car.
I’d get in the car, turn it on, and release the emergency brake. I’d put my foot on the gas pedal, expecting to accelerate smoothly. Instead the car would jolt forward at a snail’s pace. After a minute or two, a plume of smelly smoke would rise from under the hood, reminding me that, yet again, I hadn’t fully released the emergency brake, and I wasn’t going to go anywhere until I gave that black handle a couple more good pulls.
In my experience, trying to live your best life, while telling yourself over and over that you’re not good enough, smart enough, tall enough, brave enough, neat enough or calm enough is like trying to drive with that emergency brake on.
What are you telling yourself about who you are, and what you think and do? Do you support yourself with positive self-talk, or do you spend time reminding yourself of all your short-comings?
What if you decided to talk to yourself differently, with kindness and compassion? What if you decided to release that emergency brake of negative self-talk once and for all? What if you released your expectations of who you should be, and just allowed yourself to be you?
Why not give it a try?