I’ve been reading Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, the first book by Kelly Williams Brown of Adulting Blog fame. It has alternately made me laugh out loud, think pshaw Kelly! I already knew that!, and kick myself for not have completed this crucial step to adulthood sooner. Step 15 is, “When necessary, look yourself in the mirror and give yourself some Real Talk.” The expression Real Talk – popularized by the R Kelly song – is defined by Urban Dictionary as no joke, you actually mean what you’re saying, or talking honestly and sincerely. It’s a term which Williams Brown interprets to mean, giving yourself a straightforward self talk – like if you’re crying in the bathroom at work, looking in the mirror and telling yourself to get your act together and go on with the day, which she takes time to note is NOT the same as berating yourself. Negative thoughts, or internally putting yourself down is something I’m sure a lot of us are guilty of – thinking our hips are too big, our outfit isn’t fashionable enough, our job isn’t making us successful enough. But that way of thinking? It’s not going to get you anywhere.
This article on The Huffington Post give several helpful tips on how to upgrade your self-talk, or internal soundtrack from negative to neutral or positive, if you find negative thoughts taking over your day.
- First thing’s first – deciding you want to stop thinking negatively, and think positively is step numero uno.
- Next, start being aware whenever negative thoughts come into your mind. Note them, and move on.
- Be nice to yourself, and don’t beat yourself up when you notice you’re having negative thoughts even though you don’t want to anymore.
- Think of a response to your negative thoughts that you’ll use every time you notice them popping up. Feel free to be witty, and funny like you would at happy hour if your bestie was trashing the outfit she was wearing.
Try it out, then repeat until your self-talk and Real Talk take on a more positive note. How do you deal when you find yourself being negative?
Last Thursday evening, I went to the book launch for the author of Adulting Blog, for her new book How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. It was SUCH a lovely evening! Free beverages courtesy of tumblr, a gorgeous book café setting and a whole host of hilarious speakers. The guys and gals that led up to a speech by Kelly Williams Brown herself told funny stories about moments when they realized they were either A. Succeeding wildly at being an adult, but mostly B. Failing miserably at being an adult, and the lesson they learned from it. One woman told about how she learned to seek medical attention sooner by neglecting a really funny problem (a sore butt) for way too long. Another told how she learned she shouldn’t really swear around babies, while a third got lots of laughs telling how she learned to afford the amount of cereal she likes to eat. All important lessons! All recounted with a hint of irony and, a sense of I really should have known that without having to learn the hard way. That’s the beauty of Adulting stories. They’re usually funny because they’re things that you would think adults should already know through their life experiences and good old common sense. BUT for most of us, they are the things that we just don’t figure out (even though they might be glaringly obvious to others) until we muddle through the situation on our own.
Fast forward to this week, when I had a classic Adulting moment of my own. I have known my current roommate was planning to move out for about a month now with well, pretty much all of our furniture. I was pretty proud of myself for quickly and easily handling finding a new roommate, signing the new lease, transferring bills, and all the little details while planning/attending social events and bridal showers. While I was planning to buy a couch, I figured I would wait until I had some free time, and then just go pick one out. Living in Manhattan where everything is instant gratification, I was relatively certain I could simply go to the store, pick out a couch, and have it delivered that day. So, I waited until after my roommate moved out to even think about the kind of couch I wanted/where to buy it. And it turns out, there’s a lot more variety out there than I realized. Attached cushions or loose! Different fabrics! Tufted!
After deciding the styles I was into, I forayed out into the world of furniture stores one Sunday, planning to have a couch in my apartment that night. Which, as it turns out, is completely impossible. Unless you’re into the earth tones they carry on the showroom floor (I’m not), or are willing to buy a sample model, the minimum wait time you’re looking at is 4-5 days for delivery. If you tend to be a little on the picky side about your housewares (I am), and want anything in a warm color palate, you’re going to need to special order that bad boy which takes anywhere between 6-12 weeks (a fact that it seems most adults who have purchased furniture before would know). Whoops! Looks like I’ll be purchasing some bean bags to tide me over for the next month and a half until my adult-furniture arrives.
Have you ever had a moment when you realized something like this, much much too late?