Do you give yourself pep talks?
When would you need one, and what would you say to yourself?
Every now and then, we will probably find ourselves in situations where we’ll need to do significant things that are difficult, even painful, but will be good for us and grow us in character and experience.
If you’re single or newly open to dating, it might be going on your first date ever or even just a first date that you’re hopeful about. If you’re dating or married, it might be having to address something after having a fight with your significant other, preparing to discuss an issue that you both disagree on, or tackling a change in your lives.
Outside of relationships, it could be making a case for a promotion at your job, completing a race or physical goal, giving a speech at a wedding, moving to a different city or country, going to an event alone when you’re used to having company, doing something extremely out of your comfort zone, or even as “simple” as jumping off the taller diving board. You know, that one.
Sometimes, we need a reminder that doing these things are worth it and to approach doing them with courage and self-confidence. What would you say to yourself to help you feel like the world is at your fingertips?
One example that I think a few of us can relate to is in writing (or insert an admired skill here). Brilliant, witty minds constantly churn out well-crafted, thoughtful, thorough, and spot-on posts. Powerhouses, they are. It can be easy to admire fantastic content, be inspired by it, but also in a tiny way wish we were good at that exactly, simply because what we do is not that. (Note: this also happens to me while watching basketball, longboarding videos, or basically admiring anyone good at their craft. It’s great; I want all skills.)
I personally always hesitate a bit right before publishing any post online, but in my 30-second pep talk before I hit “Publish,” I tell myself that it’s likely that at least one person will (hopefully) find my post interesting, encouraging, or useful, and that alone for the purpose of sharing, makes that post worth writing. That being said, I ultimately remind myself that my worth does not depend on good or bad feedback, nor if I write or do not write. If literally no one were to like my posts, I know then at the very least to me that writing is enjoyable, and I always love the process of crafting a post.
There’s a reason why pep talks are great in relationships. I think it’s good to acknowledge that your mood, actions, and in some case performance, can be affected by negative prep (thoughts like “This won’t be fun,” “I’d rather stay at home than go out and socialize,” or “This probably won’t be worth it”), whether or not those thoughts are intentional. They don’t have to take long at all. I’d like to see it this way: with a simple pep talk, you’re essentially priming yourself for positivity, and that can set the whole tone of your experience! There is something to be said about optimism, regardless of your relationship status.
How would being aware of feeling encouraged before tackling something and having this type of mindset change how you approach anything of any difficulty? I think what we could begin to see is that we’re more relaxed and self-confident on a first date, “difficult” conversations become clarifying and treasured, and choosing to have the attitude that you can roll with the punches and initiate taking on something BIG is empowering.
What kinds of things would you tell yourself in a pep talk?
There’s a talk of every shape, size, and occasion (even a sentence, in some cases!) that you know is best for a situation. In the context of relationships since you’re reading CMB and all, here’s a few that you can choose from to spur more thought:
For those single and dating (or ready to go on a date)…
1. What makes me different and unique, and do I value that? What am I good at, and what do I like about my personality? (Yes, pick a few things and own them.)
2. What am I passionate about? What can I talk about for hours? (If you can’t think of a specific answer, let’s start here: what would you like to be passionate about?)
3. Why am I meeting up with __, and why would it be worth doing? Do I have any goals for the evening (get to know someone, have a fun time, etc.)?
4. What, if anything, makes me anxious or nervous about the date/meet-up? (Any fears, specific expectations, or shyness? Size up your fear and look it in the eye.)
5. What is my identity rooted in? Will possible outcomes of this date affect my identity? (Examples: your faith, your skills, your family or belonging in a community.)
If you’re dating, engaged, or married…
1. How would discussing __ benefit our relationship?
2. What do I appreciate about this person (or the people involved), and how would they feel or respond?
3. Will this clear up any ambiguity or propose a new direction? Would this improve our communication?
4. What kind of sacrifice is needed on my part, and would I enjoy and be willing to sacrifice?
5. Is this in line with our goals, identity as a couple, or beliefs as a team?
Sometimes, I like to consult a good friend for a pep talk about how to approach something. Hopefully you can find one that knows your tendencies, understands in part your background, and inspires you to be your best because that is one of the most beautiful things about friendship. I definitely think encouragement is healthy and relationally necessary to make progress forward (whatever that looks like for you), so give pep talks to others freely!
If you liked this post, check out some tips on How to Stay Grounded When Online Dating.
About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.