What do you need to hear?

Recently I’ve been coaching a number of people who have at certain stages identified the fact that there is a certain message they need to remind themselves of on a regular basis. Some people call this a mantra (though to some this phrase makes them cringe so I won’t be using it in this post!).

I’ve had a phrase myself for a good few months now and it’s serving me really well. In my case I am always striving to improve in every area of my life. This really helps to keep me motivated and enables me to achieve things that stretch and challenge me. However, sometimes this can lead to me pushing too hard, overanalysing everything I do, experiencing guilt about everything I feel hasn’t gone quite to plan, beating myself up when I don’t meet my goals, and not taking enough time to relax and just be. Sometimes I need to be reminded to cut myself some slack.

A friend said to me a few months ago (in an exasperated though caring manner), “I wish you’d give yourself a f***ing break”. I laughed out loud and said I’d needed to hear that. It stuck with me and now I use this as a regular reminder for those times when I need to slow down and be kinder to myself. It helps me prioritise things that allow me to have a break (like going to the gym, reading, going for a walk, spending time with family and friends, watching TV etc.). The profanity helps for me because it made me laugh so it lightens things a little and reminds me to embrace my more relaxed (and silly) way of being.

A number of coaching clients have had similar realisations during our sessions, and together we have found a phrase that helps them keep their goal in mind and keep them on track as they progress. The words and intention are likely to be different for everyone depending on what we need support with. Some examples might include things like:

  • “You can do it” – if you can lack confidence
  • “Give it a go” – if you can hesitate when trying new things
  • “Just get on with it” – if you can struggle with procrastination
  • “Listen to your intuition” – if you can struggle with decision making
  • “You are enough as you are” – if you can struggle with self-acceptance

What phrase do you need to be reminded of to support you?

It might be something someone has said to you, or something you’ve read, or something you recognise you need to remind yourself on a regular basis.

How you use the phrase is up to you; some people like to verbalise it, some like to write it down, some like to turn it into a picture or a scene to visualise, whilst others like to just think about it. It can be helpful to use it regularly at first, perhaps as a daily habit integrated into your morning or nighttime routine. After a few weeks it’s likely you’ll just refer to it when needed and your need for it may reduce over time, or another may emerge as more pertinent.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have a phrase that supports you, or do you have one in mind that might help you? What could you do to integrate it into your life to help you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂


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