When we set out to accomplish a goal or better our circumstances, it’s fair to expect a healthy mix of “good days” and bad days. Or, as I like to say, a mix of success moments and opportunities for a comeback.

But I think we can all be honest — it’s not the good days or successful moments that we have to work to bounce back from. So how do we encourage ourselves on the harder days?

Let’s say you’ve been working hard on a presentation at work, but the end result falls flat. Your manager dispenses some constructive criticism, and your initial feelings resemble defeat. How do you choose to talk to yourself?

Do you harp on all the things you could have done better?

“I should have stayed up later and ran through the presentation again.”

Do you allow your inner critic to pick you apart?

“Why did I think this would be a good idea? I never have good ideas! This was always out of my scope.”

…In short, are your thoughts pushing you forward or holding you back?

When you find yourself powering through a difficult season or challenging day, it’s important to pay attention to your thoughts.

When we examine our thoughts, we explore the idea of thought awareness. Thought awareness is the process of allowing our thoughts to come up naturally and paying attention to what we’re saying to ourselves. Are we being overly critical? How are we showing up for ourselves, if at all?

Thought awareness, like mindfulness, facilitates the important practice of self-actualization. So what does thought awareness look and sound like? Glad you asked! In today’s video, we’ll explore it all, and I’ll leave you with a self-coaching challenge for the week.