Wherever you are, whatever you do, whomever you’re with, do me a favor and…STOP THE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK!
You may not even realize this ~ most people don’t ~ but that little voice inside of your mind? It can do a LOT of good. Or, it can do a LOT of damage.
The really, super, amazing, wonderful news is this. WE HAVE CHOICE.
And I know this to be a FACT. Because, my life has literally transformed since I’ve realized this truth. (not saying it’s magic, but I’m not NOT saying it’s magic).
Here me out.
Does this sound familiar?
Out for dinner with some besties, and your uber successful girlfriends start talking about their recent successes, newest awards, fancy new job titles. You’re happy for them, you TRULY are, but you then start questioning yourself. Not smart enough. Where’s my promotion? Gah, I’m not working hard enough. I’m not doing enough.
I AM NOT ENOUGH.
Scrolling through social media. Kim Kardashian. Hailey Baldwin. Jessica Alba. Jillian Harris. Your friend Sarah. Your cousin Amy. Your brother’s sister-in-law’s ex-girlfriend’s teacher. So beautiful. So successful. Perfect curated feeds. Immediately the voice starts taunting. Not pretty enough. Not rich enough. Not perfect enough.
I AM NOT ENOUGH.
At the gym. First time out in a while. Looking around, you see all of these super fit, super young Instagram perfect girls. Oh God, why do I even come here? I’ve passed my prime. I’ll never look like that. They probably don’t even eat. It’s not fair. Not fit enough. Not strong enough. Not skinny enough.
I AM NOT ENOUGH.
Do I even need to say WHY these thoughts, which lead to feelings & emotions, which lead to behaviors, which all lead to beliefs, are BAD for us?!
When untamed, negative self-talk can stop us in our tracks. It can create a barrier to strong, healthy, loving relationships (with ourselves and with others). It can create unnecessary anxiety, stress and fear. It can, over time, lead to a negative self-image that affects our confidence, our ability to try new things, our motivation to chase our dreams. And, put simply, it can inhibit us from living happy, joyful lives.
UGH. GROSS. ICKY. BLAH!
BUT WHHHHYYYYY DO WE TORTURE OURSELVES?!
AND HOOOOWWW CAN WE STOP THIS INNER MEAN GIRL MADNESS?!
HERE’S WHY WE DO IT.
Before you start getting down on yourself for having these thoughts (I mean, don’t add fuel to the fire here), you can feel better about it all, because…YOU ARE NORMAL.
Yup! We ALL have thoughts like this at times. Some of us more, some of us less. But absolutely everyone experiences negative self-talk.
When it’s not spiraling out of control, our inner critic does actually have a very important job. It keeps us questioning our abilities, aware of our limitations, and most importantly, it keeps us safe from danger. At very low dosages, a little warranted criticism can help us to identify where we want to go, what we need to change and do to get there, and what it looks like when we reach success.
However, when unnoticed and untamed, negative self-talk can lead us down quite a dark path (believe me, I’ve been there…like, a lot).
I’m normal? You’re normal? Phew. Ok. Moving on.
AND HERE’S HOW WE CAN STOP NEGATIVE SELF-TALK IN ITS TRACKS:
To gain control over that mean girl within, we first have to notice her. Awareness is a skill that simply just needs practice. To do this, we need to slow down and listen to our thoughts. Often, our negative emotions can cue us to the presence of negative self-talk.
Once we notice that she is there, we need to separate ourselves from this mean girl. SHE is not ME. I am not HER. Give her a name (‘mean girl’ for example), and tell her NO THANK YOU.
2. POSITIVE I AM AFFIRMATIONS
Affirmations are simply a stream of thought running through our minds, affirming beliefs to be true. Once aware (thank you tip #1!), we can replace the negative self-talk with the positive. When we hear that voice creep in with a sly little ‘not good enough’, we can take notice, say NO THANK YOU, and replace it with the opposite ‘I AM MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH. I AM WORTHY! I AM LOVED!’
Said over time, with consistency and conviction, we begin to believe these statements and their validity, leading to a stronger, more improved belief system, and a healthier self-image.
3. SURROUND OURSELVES WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE & IDEAS
Input equals output. Garbage in, garbage out. Whatever we feed our minds, bodies, and souls, will directly have an effect on how we show up in the world. Why? Because the people and ideas that we surround ourselves with, are constantly supporting the way that we view ourselves, each other, and the world (whether those viewpoints are negative or positive).
So, we should ALWAYS be questioning ourselves ~ who is sitting at our table? What are they talking about? What shows am I watching? What books am I reading? What podcasts am I listening to?
Do these people and ideas have a POSITIVE impact on me, or a NEGATIVE impact on me?
When we are feeling down on ourselves, when we are being straight up MEAN to ourselves, the whole wide world can seem preettttty grim. Again, being aware of how we are feeling, what we are thinking, and what words we are using, will alert us to know when to switch off the negative and step into the positive…and gratitude can help us make that leap.
Gratitude helps us to find peace and joy in the present moment.
Gratitude gives us perspective, reminding us of what’s important, and what’s not.
Gratitude takes us away from our mean girl, spiraling freight-train chattering mind, and back to the good stuff. The beautiful stuff. Our blessings. The point and purpose of it all.
Gratitude, in a word, is magic.
5. CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY WITH US
So friends, know that this message, these words, this entire article was written for you, yes, but it was also written for me, from the heart, as I continue to heal out loud on this self-love journey of mine. Hey, what works for me, may just work for you.
So, for more tips and tricks and info on how to love yourself more fiercely…let’s stay close.
Love, Lindy XOXO