One of our team shared a morning meme today on our group chat:

Them: “What do you do for a living?”

Me: “My best, I always do my best.”

While seemingly trite in nature, there is some profound wisdom in this simple meme which has had me pondering it’s truth all day.

If you are like me, then perhaps you arise in the morning with grand plans of all you are going to accomplish for the day – write out your goals or ‘To Do’ list, look at your calendar and schedule appointments, prepare for the day the night before (this is actually one of the secrets for a good night’s sleep – get everything out of your head the night before, write it into your diary, and then forget about it … a much better option then stressing about it all night!).

However, then as we know life happens.

Things don’t always go to plan.

Something urgent and important unexpectedly lands on us that we have to deal with, and with it our plans often go out the window.

Before we know it, the day has disappeared and we are left at the end of the day scratching our head wondering what we actually achieved for the day!

This is especially relevant at present with so many working parents juggling home schooling and finding ourselves donning the teachers cap and helping our kids with their schooling.

A difficult balancing act to say the least!

So why is it that some days we seem to get completely swamped, frustrated, irritated and overloaded by the stress, while over days we take it in our stride and own those moments like a boss?

I believe a large part of this is revealed by the self-talk, or inner dialogue, that is going through our minds on each of these days.

The great Brain Tracy, self-development author and public speaker talks about our ‘self concept’ – referring to the way we think and feel about ourselves, most of the time.

If we are constantly berating ourselves for not being ‘good enough’, if we dwell upon our failures or areas that we feel we are lacking in, if we look at ourselves and only see the things we don’t like about ourselves, then this reveals a low ‘self concept’, a lack of confidence and a negative attitude towards ourselves.

Brian Tracy advocates that by changing this inner dialogue we will dramatically improve our outlook on life and improve our day to day experiences.

His advice is to even use simple tools like telling yourself ‘I like myself, I like myself’ as an effective way to counteract any negative self-talk.

If we are telling ourselves to ‘do your best, nothing more nothing less, but always do your best’ then even when life doesn’t follow a perfect script we can mentally catch ourselves before we go down the mental path of stressing out and getting frustrated with the imperfect situation we are faced with.

We can tell ourselves that we are genuinely doing our best, it may not be perfect, but it is pretty darn good and we are absolutely giving it our all.

Imagine an athlete at the starting line of an event.

The champions are full of confidence, have a positive expectancy about the result and ‘see’ themselves as doing their best and giving their all.

The race may not always go to plan, but maintaining a positive inner dialogue is essential for peak performance.

So what mental radio station is your mind tuned into?

We are all faced with some difficult and trying times at present.

Not being able to see loved ones, enjoy the social interaction of catching up with friends, a cold beer at the pub, managing the juggling act of home schooling, or just getting out of town for a holiday or some retail therapy.

More than ever, it is important to be aware of our inner dialogue.

We all know how positively we respond to external praise – being told we have done a great job, receiving congratulations from our peers, a pat on the back from the boss, receiving praise from our family and friends.

Maybe you get that warm glow of contentment, a sparkle in your eye, or a pep in your stride.

But how often do we stop and congratulate ourselves for all we have done and achieved?

Take a moment to reflect on your achievements, be them great or small, and give yourself some praise for all you have done, what you have survived and thrived through, the unexpected challenges through which you have found a way to rise to the occasion.

More than just a feel-good moment, regularly engaging in reflecting on your successes is an excellent way to change your inner dialogue and create a more positive outlook for the future.

So whether it is navigating your way through working from home, home-schooling or simply surviving another day in lockdown, when you get to the end of the day, ‘what did I do today?’ be ready with the answer – ‘my best, I absolutely did my best’.

What more could you ask of yourself?

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