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  • Writer's pictureYesYou.Anna

Mrs Battams was right. 'Nice' is a rubbish word.

I often tell you to be nice to yourself. I may have been doing you a disservice.

When I say be nice to yourself, I mean speak to yourself like you would speak to a friend. For example, you make a presentation at work which doesn't go as well as you'd hoped. Being nice to yourself sounds like:

I can learn from this, OK I got some stuff a bit wrong, but I give myself credit for standing up and giving it a go (nice)


I am such an idiot, why do I always mess this stuff up?! (nasty)

I used to be nasty to myself so I learned this from experience. The little voice in my head was mean, mean, mean. Now I tend to be nicer to myself and life is better, so I encourage you to do the same.

But there is a snag.

Our inner voice is sometimes a wolf in sheep's clothing. It plays nice.

Here's an example - I was doing 30 days of yoga at 6am. Four days in I woke up and almost immediately heard my brain say 'you had a late night you need to rest, go back to sleep'. On the surface that sounds like me being nice to myself. But I didn't needed more rest, what I needed was to get my ass out of bed! After years of starting and stopping various things I didn't trust myself to follow through on what I said I would do. Having worked hard to set goals and trust myself again, I was going to lose it by falling for the thought that sounded so nice!

Your inner voice is the same as mine, it will try different tactics to get you to do the same basic things, save energy, avoid pain and seek pleasure. Sometimes it will berate you into doing these things, sometimes it will sound really nice, like mine did when it was time for yoga at 6am.

If you are on a mission to be nicer to yourself, watch out for the wolf in sheep's clothing telling you 'you had a late night and you need to rest' when you really need to get your ass out of bed.

I'm not a parent, but I imagine of how I would treat a kid when my brain is playing tricks on me. If a kid didn't fancy going to their rounders match I wouldn't fall for their story about it, I would take them anyway because it is good for them. Whey they asked for a large bag of Haribo for the second time in a week it would be a firm no. When you don't feel like going to your gym class, treat yourself like a firm but loving mum and take yourself anyway.

Like all primary school children before me, I struggle with how to phrase this way of being. But 'nice' doesn't quite fit the bill. I heard someone describe it as honoring yourself versus babying yourself. That is it exactly, but I cant see that phrase coming out my mouth seriously. But my primary school teacher was right, nice is a rubbish word, and yes, I will go an look in the thesaurus for something better.

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