Sometimes we just need to harness our inner cheerleader. Whether it’s for our own good or to rally in support of a friend.
In Karen Salmansohn’s new book, Think Happy (Ten Speed Press, 2016), she acknowledges that often times our cheerleader is operating at a too-quiet mode or perhaps is non-existent. Or perhaps the negative has taken hold in our brains and is overpowering any positivity that might exist.
In Think Happy she provides motivation and inspiration with her “instant peptalks” to help boost positivity. Her peptalks are fun and clever—think Sex & The City vs. Stuart Smalley (remember him from Saturday Night Live?). And even more important, the peptalks are especially relevant, dealing with issues such as failure, learning something new, major life challenges, negative talk (whether self or otherwise), and the constant pressure for Pinterest perfectionism.
We asked Salmansohn to share a chapter from her book with us that happens to be one of our favorites—5 Things to Say to Improve Your “Self-Love” life. Yep, you read that right. Self-Love life. Read on for her suggestions.
- Perfectionism is a form of self-abuse.
GOING FOR EXCELLENCE IS MOTIVATING. GOING FOR PERFECTION IS SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR PAIN—BECAUSE PERFECTION DOES NOT EXIST.
So be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can. You’re simply a work in progress. And all those mistakes you make along the way have the power to turn you into something better, stronger, wiser than you might have been otherwise.
Remember: Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. So make it a warm and forgiving relationship. Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to someone you love. Shush your inner bully. Be your own bestie. Ban, delete, shred, obliterate the words “I’m not good enough.”
Be good to you.
- You are not a pretzel.
YOU ARE NOT A PRETZEL. SO DON’T TWIST YOURSELF INTO WHO YOU THINK PEOPLE WANT YOU TO BE, JUST TO MAKE THEM HAPPY. THIS MAKES YOUR SOUL FEEL ALL TWISTY-LIKE.
Don’t change yourself, ever—just to make someone happy—unless that someone is you. Be who you are. Accept and love all your quirks. Don’t be a pretzel. Be your whole enchilada.
- No matter how awesome you are, you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – but no worries. You’ll be many people’s double espresso.
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS RESERVE YOUR TIME FOR THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE THEIR FAVORITE ITEM ON THE MENU.
And don’t fret if someone doesn’t like you. It’s not other people’s job to like you. It’s yours.
Besides, there are even people out there who don’t like cupcakes!
If you want to be happy, you don’t need to surround yourself with lots of friends. You just need to find a few who love you lots.
Your mission: Surround yourself with people who make your soul feel happily caffeinated.
- Weird is the new awesome.
BE PROUD OF WHATEVER MAKES YOU WEIRD— BECAUSE THAT’S YOUR SOUL’S LIGHT SHINING THROUGH.
Remember: You get only one soul, and it’s the only soul of its kind on this vast planet—hence its weirdness. So be good to your weird lil’ soul.
Treat your soul like a soul mate. Take it for long walks. Listen when it whispers its desires. Take action on what it says is right—and right for you.
Never dim your soul’s light for anyone—even if they make you feel bad that it’s shining too brightly in their eyes. In fact, be sure to shine your special little soul’s light as brightly as possible—so other weirdos from your soul’s tribe can be sure to find you.
- Do good to feel good.
WHEN YOU DO GOOD, YOU FEEL GOOD—AND WHEN YOU FEEL GOOD, YOU DO GOOD. This is not only fun to say, it’s researched information—with its own fancy name! It’s called the “feel-good, do-good” phenomenon.
Studies show that when people feel good about themselves, they tend to do more good deeds, which then raises their self-esteem, which then makes them feel even happier, which then makes them want to do even more good— and on and on this cycle recycles itself!
So if you’re feeling down, perform an act of kindness. Not only will your kindness make someone feel happier—you’ll feel happier too.
Warning: This cycle works in reverse—as a “feel-bad, do-bad” phenomenon. If you’re unhappy, you can become unhappier by indulging in bad behavior. Don’t downward spiral! Instead, do a good deed and upward spiral to a happier mood.
Reprinted from THINK HAPPY Copyright © 2016 by Karen Salmansohn. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Monica Garwood. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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