In the last few months I have noticed a very clear pattern with my clients. Maybe it is time to take that message and put it out in the universe to help others who are struggling with what seems to be an epidemic. You see the epidemic I am talking about is negative self-talk. Growing up, I didn’t have the most positive messages instilled in me, which made me develop a negative inner dialogue. Thereafter, I got married and without noticing it my inner chatter box, got worse and worse. Before long I was pretty much convinced that those messages were true.
Years of inner work, healing, and mindset shifting has changed a lot for me, and makes me pick up on this debilitating plague in others immediately.
Do your voices sound something like this:
- I am not a good person
- I am not worthy of real love
- I am a failure
- I am not lovable
- I am not pretty enough
- I am overweight
- I am to blame
The longer and louder these voices keep persisting the more you begin to believe them and find ways to validate them. The reality however is very different! These voices aren’t even yours, they are messages others have said to you and without noticing you learned to internalize them.
I am here to tell you that you are a beautiful, magnificent, fabulous woman. The words of others do NOT belong to you unless you CHOOSE to accept them as your own.
So how do you fight these words and powerful inner critics?
Here are 5 tips that will help you overcome negative self-talk and teach you how to be kinder to yourself:
- Know what triggers you
It is very important that you become aware what triggers you to get into a shaming critical spiral. One of the most popular methods of killing your inner critic is called cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on the concept that thoughts trigger feelings, and feelings in turn influence behavior. Maybe you notice that every time you check out your Ex’s Facebook page you get sad and depressed and start putting yourself down, which then leads you to drink. Think about your most recent down in the dumps episode, maybe it was a constant thought that you have or tell yourself that triggered you to spiral out of control. The goal is for you to become aware of your trigger so that you can challenge them and create new healthier habits.
- Flip it around
The next time you notice having or telling yourself a negative thought, flip it around to the exact opposite. For example: “I am so fat, and will never lose weight”, flit it around and replace it with, “I can and will lose weight”. Most of the time our negative thoughts are far from the truth. Like if I tell myself “I am never going to manage this test”, is it really true? How many tests have I passed in the past. By flipping around a negative thought, your mind will automatically find evidence to back up that new position you just took. By stating “I can and will lose weight”, your mind will find the evidence it needs and remind you that not so long ago you lost ten pounds.
- Like attracts like
The more you allow yourself to think negatively the more negative thoughts and situations you will attract into your life. Did you have a day recently when you were in a positive mood, felt rested, grateful and excited about life. Did you notice how things just seemed to magically fall into place that day? You drove to work, found an awesome parking spot, had a great meeting, felt productive, had a great lunch…. Then I am sure you had the opposite as well sometimes. Didn’t you? Pay attention to your thoughts, I bet you that on the days where everything went smoothly your thoughts were positive, you felt good about yourself. That is the what the law of attraction is all about. When you put positive thoughts out there, they carry energy and that energy in turn returns more positivity. So beware and pay close attention to your thoughts. Shift them as soon as you notice them taking a wrong turn. You can always redirect.
- Playing into worst case scenarios in your head
Some people get stuck on overthinking and getting into dramatic worst case scenarios. When you find yourself in that state of mind truly challenge that fear and thought process. What is the worst that could really happen? What solution would you come up with if that were to happen? If you are going through a divorce, does it really mean you will never find love again? See yourself in five years from now, feel that pain of your fear, experience it, and then what would you do? Think creatively, would you sit around alone forever or would you join a dating site, or start going out with some old friends? You see most of our worst case scenario fears are not the be all and end all. We are resilient beings and are built to survive and thrive.
- Do you believe that about your friend
I have a client who recently told me, “I’m a failure because I am divorced”. I looked at her and asked her if she thought that way about me as well. She looked at me uncomfortably and said of course not. To which I replied, well I was divorced as well, did that define my success or failure? If you feel like a failure because of your divorce get real quiet and ask yourself: “Is everyone who gets divorced a failure?”, “Do I know women who are divorced and this statement doesn’t apply to them at all?” No matter what your thought may be truly challenge it, either grill yourself or think of how you would talk to your friend if she were to talk this way about herself. I know, shocking how mean and cruel we are towards ourselves.
It’s not what you are that holds you back. It is what you think you are not! Stop being your own worst enemy and step into loving yourself and discover who you really ARE! An amazing beautiful resilient strong woman.