On Facebook, just a few days ago, I posted a simple image quote that read:
“Nothing I say can be as powerful as what you say to yourself.”
That’s a powerful statement, isn’t it? If you look more closely at what that quote is telling us, it’s that no matter the feedback we get from other people, positive or negative, nothing can impact us the way that our own internal dialogue does.
And it’s true. We can be brought up with the most loving of family and friends, who are supportive and kind, and yet, you can still have that nagging self-doubt in the back of your mind.
You could have had a horrible childhood but a wonderful adulthood but you can’t understand why you can’t just believe the positive things people say about you.
On the contrary, our self-talk can become a fortress against the negative things that people say against us because we know that the negative comments that can be made simply are not true, so they don’t affect us.
I know this afflicts men, too, and I don’t mean to isolate anyone but we as women are pretty much plagued by this, are we not? I know I personally struggled with negative self-talk for awhile and I hear women do it every single day.
It’s so much easier to put yourself down. It’s easy to let your mind slip into the “but, maybe’s”.
But, maybe I’m not smart enough for this job.
But,maybe she’s prettier than I am.
But, maybe I really am the things that they say about me.
There is no magic bullet to stop this kind of thinking. It takes practice and it takes effort and sometimes, one weird look from someone can send you right back down that rabbit hole of negative self-talk.
If you don’t like what you’re telling yourself, then change the conversation. What we tell ourselves are what we become and you are so much more than your negative self-talk.
Changing that conversation isn’t always the easiest and it isn’t always the simplest road.
So, what we really need to be asking ourselves is how can I change the conversation in my thoughts?
When a negative thought comes up, really watch how the conversation in your mind plays out :
- What triggered the thought?
- Once you have the thought isolated, really think about it.
- Is it true?
- Why is the thought true, or not true?
- Who does this thought affect more, you or someone else?
- How can you turn the thought around to become more positive?
Let’s assume for a moment that you did provide a slightly negative, but accurate, portrayal of something. Maybe you forgot part of a presentation or something embarrassing happened to you, and yes, both of those things suck. Can you still make it out to be a positive situation? The answer: YES!
- Remind yourself that you are human, you are not perfect
- Mistakes happen to everyone.
- Maybe come more prepared next time, or learn from the experience in some way.
- Ask yourself if you’re being too hard on yourself.
- If it were your best friend, what would tell them? Would you tell them how much of a screw up they were or would you speak with a little more kindness?
Overall, the answer is self-kindness. Find a list of positive affirmations or a daily book of affirmations and go through them every day. Remind yourself that you are worth more than the hateful words that you speak about yourself.
Once you begin speaking kinder about yourself, to yourself, you’ll begin to feel better and more comfortable in your own skin. You knew you needed to work on your negative self-talk but now you have the tools to begin speaking kinder to yourself!
Give yourself some grace and allow room for error; we all mess up sometimes, that a part of the human experience. Finally, don’t forget:
Practice makes perfect.
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