i can do better

Though I’d like to assume that I don’t think demeaning thoughts about myself, I’ve recently noticed a surprising reality. Often when I make a mistake, say something I regret, or do something selfish I find the words “that was stupid” bubbles out of my mouth involuntarily. I’ve actually now noticed it frequently enough to consider it a pattern that I’ve been unaware of for a very long time.

And though thinking “that was stupid” (which is pretty similar to “I am stupid”) is not in itself incredibly disrespectful, I want to change this reaction.

Now, every time I find myself thinking “that was stupid” I want to replace the thought with “I can do better.”

I think this small but meaningful shift will help me recognize the mistake I’ve made, and focus on making better decisions in the future.

No need to drag myself down. It’s time to correct the action and move on.

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  1. I think we are groomed to say this at a young age. If you say you are stupid, then the person yelling at you will stop. It’s acknowledgment that you did “wrong”. Or puts you lower than the person yelling at you. It creates a hierarchy for people and helps people manipulate others. It creates or gives away power. It’s the right/wrong mentality that is so very destructive. I like the “I Can Do Better” because it’s not putting yourself down and may stop the person from harassing you. It just depends on who the person is (it may be yourself) and how much power they want from it. I recently made a mistake at work and the “I’m sorry I made a mistake” wasn’t enough for her and it went to the CEO of the company. New processes are in place and the “I can do better” will be my committment even if she still wants the power and tried to get me to say I’m stupid.

  2. Lauren

    I see myself as an extremely positive person, but this made me realize I do the same exact thing. I need to fix that.!

  3. Carla

    I love this idea! I’ve got all sorts of little mantras I use for myself in different situations. When I’m feeling unproductive or lazy or like I can’t do it, I tell myself to dig deep and getherdone =) Silly but it motivates me!

  4. I had a situation yesterday where I should have said “I can do better” instead of “that was stupid”. Now I’ll use the more positive phrase!

  5. Merissa

    Positive reinforcement is always stronger than negative!! It’s proven that children respond better to rewards and praise than punishment and criticism. This is something we ALL can do to improve the relationship we have with ourselves. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Julia

    Wow, this post could not have come at a better time. Thank you for helping me get my head back on a little straighter today.

    I always say that I don’t believe in the effectivity of punishment. So then, why do I always punish myself?

    It’s really good to be reminded that beating yourself up is not going to get you the result you actually want… it’ll probably steer you away from your goal.

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