From Episode 4 of The Flexible Life with Chante Phan & Family
This spring, most of the talk around TFC has been about my digital TV series, The Flexible Life. Bringing it to fruition has been such a major and incredibly rewarding project, so I’ve looked forward to sharing even more about it with you here on the blog.
Which includes, of course, sharing ways you can apply the various tips & tricks from the series in your own life, too!
Today I’ll be sharing how to practice positive self-talk as a parent, as inspired by episode four with the beautiful Chante Phan & family.
When I first met Chante, it was clear she had a lot on her plate (as so many of us do!). Between working full-time and running her two young kids to & from school, soccer, swim, baseball, etc. etc. – her home life had become a bit chaotic and disorganized.
As a mom, it’s easy to feel torn between all the domestic stuff that needs to get done around the house and also being present for all the little moments with your kids. This had started to weigh on Chante, causing her to give into negative self-talk and feel like she was always behind the ball.
Who else has been there!? (Raises hand…)
Or perhaps you’re there now? If so, I’ve got you.
After a few hours together, we were able to dig deeper into Chante’s specific challenges. One of which was getting fast, healthy, homemade meal options on the table.
Figure out how to make the switch to using more empowering language toward herself with positive self-talk.
Honestly, I think a lot of that stems from the sheer mental load we take on as a parent of one kid, let alone multiple kids!
Regardless, the first step toward remedying it, you ask?
Be mindful and strive for positive self-talk
This is something I talk about when it comes to adopting healthier eating habits, too. So much of our behavior is automatic, subconscious, or based on habits we’ve acquired…that we don’t even know we’ve acquired! Especially when we’re busy…and sleep-deprived…and all we can think about is a long, hot shower.
But as you know, the icing on the cake is also knowing there are little ears around who model after our own actions. So if they hear us being hard on ourselves, you know what that shows them to do, right? Yeah, you do…
Here are steps you can take to embrace more positive self-talk:
- Practice journaling
- Count your positive self-directed comments throughout the day (and reward yourself accordingly!)
- Ask others to hold you accountable – or simply…
- Practice awareness, catch yourself in the act, and flip the script right then & there.
Give yourself permission to try new things
…Then give yourself grace to not be perfect at whatever it is straight out of the gate.
Because honestly, where’s the fun in that?
Who knows, maybe the highlight reels of social media that we’ve grown so accustomed to are to blame, or maybe it’s just our human nature to compare ourselves to everyone else (even when there is no comparison!) But most people become good at something by working at it over time and doing it with energy and passion.
But let’s say you’re trying something new that you don’t feel energized by…like cooking…or hosting a bunch of kids and their parents for your kid’s birthday party.
(Yep. It’s okay to not feel over the moon about that.)
Here’s my take: Stop envisioning yourself doing it perfectly, and envision yourself doing it with enthusiasm. Whatever you’re attempting to do will be way more fun, I promise. And as a perk, you’re likely to do it with greater excellence that way, too!
While helping Chante in the kitchen, I had all the ingredients ready to go for burgers. Then she told me she was vegetarian. Hello! This could have been a total panic moment, but flexibility is all about creativity. So I checked the fridge, found some eggs and decided a veggie fritter was an easy way to go. Crisis averted!
Along the same line, not having a certain ingredient or overcooking the pasta is far from the worst thing in the world and it certainly doesn’t make you the worst cook in the world.
Besides, trying to be a Michelin star chef overnight isn’t what it’s all about anyway!
Ironically, often what we define as “failure” is us just setting ourselves up for it! If we think it has to go just so, and we leave zero wiggle room, or margin for error, well…that’s obviously not setting ourselves up for success. It’s only creating opportunities for us to get down on ourselves! Aim for realistic expectations, control the controllables, and plan to roll with the punches.
Make the extra effort to turn your home into a sanctuary
Okay, I’m not saying there won’t still be toys, homework, and dishes out of place – but you can chip away at creating a more organized, relaxing, and decluttered space.
Try not to see it as a daunting project! Take it one space at a time – do it over time – and remember why you’re doing it.
It’s hard enough to find rest from the mental weight we’ve been talking about – and it’s even harder to do so in an environment that keeps us feeling stressed out.
I share more tips for doing this inside of my free guide to The Flexible Life Framework.
Strive for little wins along the way
For Chante and I, that was showing her the best way to chop an onion. It was such a simple tweak that totally boosted her confidence. For some reason, most of us think we need to do these grand gestures or be all or nothing – but life just doesn’t work that way. Little wins, little bits of progress…that’s what leads to big positivity and productivity! Positive self-talk for the win!
See for yourself in the full episode here.
Go for a walk & talk when you need to clear your head
And if you’re on duty with the kids? Head outside together. (I know, I know, not as great as a solo walk…or an hour to yourself.) But it’s likely that everyone could use the fresh air. It’s really easy to become stagnant not only with our thoughts, but with our bodies. Remember Newton’s law here…an object in motion, stays in motion!
So get moving to gain perspective and circulate some more optimistic thoughts.
Be consistent and persistent – without remaining attached to the outcome
Rather than getting frustrated or discouraged when your kids (or um, life!) just ain’t cooperating, keep up the same effort.
For example, continue offering healthy options to your kids even when they say no.
In this case, it’s really and very likely not you – it’s them. They’re kids!
As I shared with Chante, it took me 3 YEARS to finally get my son Liam to agree to try some salad. And ya know what? I’d still say it was worth it!
Okay…now how do you feel?
As I did with Chante, I’m just here to nudge you in the direction you already have in your heart!
Need a little more convincing or inspiration?
Stay flexible and make every thought count,