There is a lot of wisdom in this Navy Seal saying, “when disaster strikes, we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself how you train to show up in the world?
You interact with yourself significantly more than you interact with anyone else. That constant voice in your head—how you treat yourself—is how you train to show up in the world. Unfortunately, negative self-talk is the default operating system.
That voice in your head saying that you need to be a certain way. The inner critic saying that you aren’t good enough. The feeling that your needs are a burden to others. The belief that love is earned, and you need to be perfect to earn it. The belief that “perfect” even exists, and it’s not you.
People openly talk about being hard on themselves. All the while, wholeheartedly believing they would never treat another person as harshly.
But when disaster strikes, we fall to the level of our training.
When we get overly stressed, those inner voices are the ones that come out to greet others.
When people say you can’t treat others better than you treat yourself, they aren’t talking about the times you are able to consciously think about your interactions. The times you have space to breath. No. They’re talking about the 90% of your life when you’re running between things, trying to catch up on your to-do list, and 70% of your brain is on autopilot while you attempt to multitask 5 different things.
In that 90% of life, you’ll fall back on your training.
When this happens, you either fall back on your trained inner critic response or your trained gratitude response. Which one you fall back on depends entirely on which one you’ve been training with your inner dialogue.
If it’s the critic, those traits that you dislike about yourself, you will punish when you see them reflected in others. This is why family can be so triggering. Family holds up a mirror showing you the traits that you worked so hard to suppress, the behaviors you are ashamed of, and failure to meet the unrealistic standards you’re pushing yourself toward and punishing yourself for failing to meet.
Our inner voice doesn’t know the difference between self and other. When you haven’t learned to treat yourself with compassion, you won’t be able to find that compassion when you see the parts of you that you hate reflected in another.
However, if you’ve been training gratitude with your inner voice, everything changes. Self acceptance, self love, and self compassion come from practicing self gratitude: honoring your body, your intuition, your creativity, your compassion, your voice, and your truth.
When you train your inner voice to focus on and be grateful for all that you are, your relationship with yourself changes and the way you show up in the world changes. When you train to be compassionate with yourself, your default will be compassion for others.
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.
Which inner voice are you training?