I’m probably the worst person at taking my own advice, except, I’m not.
Fact is, we all seem to be born with the innate ability to give free advice for any number of situations, whether we have experience with it, or not. I think men are worse at this in that we don’t necessarily want to discuss things all the time or just listen; we just want to fix it. Then there’s a whole new level of misogyny where men feel the need to explain things in simple language to women – ‘mansplaining’ – because they otherwise ‘wouldn’t understand’. That’s dumb, but not really where I’m going with this blog post.
What I’m talking about is how easily I slip into lifting-someone-up mode; trying to high-light positives, thinking through all the strategies to suppress negative thoughts – even true ones – and focus on the positive thoughts, but then I go on a run today and it’s a torrent of negative, frustrated, self-critical thoughts that seem to win the day.
Maybe seeing the positive when you’re in a hard place or doing a hard workout – when you have some big event coming up that scares the hell out of you – maybe when you’re in that, you can’t really find the positive all that easy. When you’re in it. When you’re knee-deep in it, maybe you just have to keep hearing it from the outside as you build that muscle through practicing a way of thinking that doesn’t come very naturally.
Maybe we can get better at it through practice – but until then, relying on your friends for the positive reinforcement you refuse to give yourself? Well, maybe that’s not such a horrible band-aid in the meantime.