Welltalks: Five ways we can be easier on ourselves with Chloe Elgar
We are our harshest critic. Whether it’s feeling like we’re not putting in enough hours at work, aren’t satisfied with the traction our new business has gained, or haven’t achieved what we thought we would by a certain point, we often give ourselves a very hard time. But luckily, the mind is a very powerful thing. To get some insight on ways we can use the power of the mind and self care to take it a little easier on ourselves, we chatted with Chloe Elgar, holistic nutritionist, author, speaker and founder of Chloe‘s Countertop (a platform to support women around the world who are suffering from disordered eating, inauthentic living and body image issues). Chloe is the author of Living in Light and creator of the podcast Conscious Conversations. Motivated through her own body image story and journey through eating disorders, anxiety and depression, Chloe is driven to change the way we approach pain and darkness and how we face fear in our lives.
1. Become conscious of negative self-talk
The thing about self care is that it’s really easy to do certain things like your morning ritual, going to yoga, going to spin, etc. on a regular basis. I think the real question about-self care is, what do you do when things go wrong? What are you doing when you’re feeling out of balance? This is where it’s really about that internal dialogue. When something goes wrong, how do you react? How do you treat yourself? What do you say to yourself? What are the stories that start to insert themselves in your mind? It’s important to pay attention to what your internal dialogue is saying and a great way to do that is to write.
We spend all of our time in our head and we’re not conscious of our thoughts until we see them. A lot of the time with clients I get them to write down the five stories that are not serving them. Then I have them speak those out loud, feel what that feels like, and then change those stories by shifting them into a positive and speaking them to feel what the difference is. When you write something down and read it out loud, you realize, “I don’t like that, that’s not nice”. Ask yourself if these are things you would say to someone that you love. If not, shift them into something that is positive and loving.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
In business in particular, sometimes we’re striving to do so well we go into comparison. In those moments you have to ask yourself, “is what I’m comparing myself to truly what I want?” Consider intention, because when we go into comparison, it turns into a general comparison and we lose track of what we actually want. Ask yourself what your intention is behind what you want, and be honest.
For me, I’ve always been very competitive; competition has been a big part of my relationships with women in general. One thing I noticed, but was never really conscious of, was whenever I would meet a woman, I would immediately compare her to me –”she’s prettier, I’m prettier, she’s got thinner legs than me.” About two years ago I noticed that was happening. I thought, “OK, next time I see a woman I’m just going to celebrate her and say one thing that I think is wonderful about her.” So instead of thinking, “I’m so mean, why do I do this”, I allow myself to just celebrate the good.
3. Give yourself time
Giving yourself time is important for self care. We tend to feel like we have to do everything, especially if we have our own business. Whether a one-person business, or a home business, everything tends to blend together. Our home, our relationship, our work, it all becomes the same thing. It’s important to separate these. When things are going badly or you’re out of balance, are you doing things to get yourself back into balance?
4. Let go of “goals”
When we create end goals, they limit us. As soon as you’ve created a goal, your mind is in control of your destination. You get in the mindset of, if these things don’t come true then I’ve failed. For example, if you create an idea of the exact man you want, and you meet someone that doesn’t fit those criteria, you probably won’t allow him into your life. Goals are very different than having a vision. When I think of a vision, or creating an open-ended dream, it’s about identifying things that you see as a possibility. Goals can come from a place of fear – “my life isn’t good right now, so until I reach my goal my life isn’t going to be good.” Like with weight loss for example, people say – “I can’t live my life properly until I’m at my goal weight.” You want to figure out why you have a certain goal. Sometimes when you ask yourself why, that goal actually disappears. Language can be limiting, so try changing the word to intention as opposed to goal. Ask yourself what that intention is, and be sure to stay open and flexible.
5. Be a real human
If you’re not feeling well, don’t feel well and be honest about that.When you’re harbouring something you don’t want to tell someone, it creates all this shame, guilt and fear. So the way to give yourself permission is simply to be honest.
Read more about stress and the body here.