This week I’m staying a beautiful campsite on a working farm, just outside Edinburgh for the Royal Highland Show. It’s my third year, bringing the caravan to this tiny site. You get to it driving down a narrow lane, at the bottom you must reverse back up a hill while making a sharp turn into a small field where the caravans are sited.
The first year I came here, I was very new to caravanning and lacked the necessary skill! I ended up going backwards and forwards; the lane is very tight with a hedge on one side and a stone wall on the other.
As the farmer watched, I tried again and again, getting hotter and more embarrassed with each failed attempt. Like most men, my fragile ego doesn’t like not being able to do something, especially with an audience. My blood began to boil, my temper rose, and the negative voice inside my head went into overdrive!
I finally got the caravan into position, and as I climbed out of the van, the smiling farmer congratulated me and said that I wasn’t the first to struggle to make the turn. I realised how unnecessary my anger and embarrassment were.
His manner was one of sympathy and concern; he wasn’t judging me. I realised the issue was me judging myself.
This year, with two more years of experience, I made the manoeuvre first time with no problem. I smiled to myself, remembering my previous rage and embarrassment.
I’m struck by the notion that we are our own harshest critics and how counterproductive this is. If I had stayed calm and thought only of the task in hand, rather than of the audience and my failure, then I would likely have found the job easier. I would certainly have avoided the unnecessary negative emotions that accompanied my anger.
Today if you find yourself struggling with a task, then I urge you not to make a personal judgement about yourself and your competence. Focus instead on the activity in hand, what needs to be done, or what do you need to learn to accomplish it?
Concentrate your energy on this positive action rather than letting your mind fill with the negative self-talk and the high emotions that come from a fear of failure.
Be kind to yourself and remember that many tasks you do today with ease were things you thought impossible only yesterday.
Don’t forget, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.
17 thoughts on “Self Talk”
Can I just say that I read the daily message each morning when I get into work with a cuppa.
Some bring a tear to the eyes and some make you think like today’s.
Keep them coming.
All the best
I love your blog you are so inspiring
Still waiting on my samples though so I can experience those lovely scents
Hello my name is Joanne,
Ur blog reminded me of a person iv been with for 11 years only he gets very hot headed and red in the face, gets to a temper in a sale of 100 in seconds which me and my son of 16 years cheeky laugh to each other.
Sometimes if he loses it really bad while driving we do end up all laughing so not so bad in the end.
I like reading the blog and the picture looks amazing.
Me and my family are off to Devon soon.
The lanes are so tight so I’m sure there be a lot of laughter and a lot of the same sayings (not coming here again) haha we still go every year.
Hi all at Valentte. What a fabulous morning in South Wales. A quick question for you guys wax melts do you have you and are you going to xx
We are working on wax melts at the moment and hope to have them available in the next few weeks.
Hi , so true . The number of times I’ve not attempted something because of the fear of failure . Wasted opportunities.
Hello. What a, positive and gentle post to read on waking. Look forward to trying your perfume and feeding back. Have a sun-filled day.
No. Much prefer other forms of fragrance.
Hi loved the read but I’m still waiting on my samples!! Any updates?
Thank you for sharing your beautiful photograph of Scottish scenery.
I hope you enjoy your holiday (even though I’m English, have to concede Scotland has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world!!)
I really really enjoyed reading this “self talk” it was like reading about myself in general life and working life!
How true, how I can relate to this!
How I feel and think you have just written beautifully in words.
Thank you for this….
Thanks for doing what you’re doing . I really enjoy reading your blog. Reading words of positivity and that all important self reflection brightens my morning .
Your positive thoughts were just what I needed today having only yesterday doubted my capability to cope with a particular issue. You have made me feel stronger today and solutions have been found. Wishing you continued good luck with your wonderful products – order coming your way. Thank you
Luke , I couldn’t find you at the royal highland show today. -where was your stand?
I’m sorry you couldn’t find us at the show. Our stand was in the Rural Crafts Marquee. We will be in the same position next year. In future, I will mention in the blog post where we are located. Best Wishes
Love the messages. They inspire me and are nonjudgmental. Keep doing what you are doing, you are helping others. Thanks and God bless
Enjoy getting these messages. So thoughtful and balanced – in plain, kind words. They go a long way.