We believe what we tell ourselves, we believe ourselves more than we believe anyone else, so what we tell ourselves matters, it makes a difference, and it can be the difference of us succeeding or failing.
I used to have a yoga instructor who was a beautiful vocalist, and at the end of each class she would sing “I Am…” and then follow it with different things, I am strong, I am beautiful, I am courageous, an on she went until the end of class, it was beautiful, and it always brought a tear to my eye…well, usually both eyes, because for most of my life what came after “I Am” for me were always negative things, I am not good enough, I am a freak, I am a loser, I am weird, I am different, I am a failure, you get the point, it sure wasn’t anything inspiring, and when I started on this path my self-esteem was so low and I hated myself so much I physically couldn’t look myself in the eye and say anything positive.
What we say to ourselves we believe, and when we continue to say negative things we reaffirm to ourselves that we are exactly where we are supposed to be, that we don’t deserve the good, and not worthy of anything better. We say things to ourselves we would never let anyone else say to us. Why do we allow ourselves to do this?
There are many reasons why we say these negative things to ourselves, they could be things that were said to us as children, at home or at school, they could be the result of our own unrealistic expectations, or they could be a source of self-sabotage to keep us from moving forward or achieving the goals we want to achieve because deep down we don’t believe we deserve them. Figuring out why we say them is the key to turning that negative self-talk into positive. It takes work. All the most rewarding stuff does. But it’s always worth it. Asking yourself where the negative self-talk comes from is the beginning, working on what comes up from that, for me it took working with a counselor to make sense of it all and to start changing that negative self-talk into positive self-talk. It wasn’t easy at the beginning, it took a lot of contrary action, doing the opposite of what I had been doing, or wanted to do, to make better healthier choices for myself. It took me focusing on the things I was grateful for. Again, at the beginning, it wasn’t easy, some days the only thing I could think of was, it’s sunny outside, but, that was a start. It’s about changing your personal narrative, changing your story, you have the power to do that on any given day at any time. You can take steps to stop the negative chatter, or at least keep it to a whisper. I’ve been on this path for over 12 years and some days it still can get loud, so it’s not setting out with the expectation that it will go away completely, but about building up the tools in your toolbox for combating it, learning how to throw positive things at the negative chatter and turning your thinking around. I know that can be done because I’ve done it. Work to focus on the good each day, challenge yourself to compliment yourself on at least one thing when the negative comes up, and seek outside help if you feel you can use some extra guidance.
I no longer wake up with the negative thoughts racing through my head, today I work to come up with positive words to describe my “I Am.” I am strong, I am a warrior, I am a survivor, I am good, I am fallible, I am trustworthy, I am love, I am confident, I am happy, I am generous, I am…I am me, there is only one, and that is my superpower! And that is also yours.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you say negative things to yourself? Why do you think you do that? How does that hurt you? How does that help you? What do you think would happen if you started replacing the negative self-talk with positive self-talk? What can you do to start doing that each day? I challenge you, SLAYER, to write down 5 things you love about yourself, when you notice the negative self-talk pop up, look at that list, say it out loud, start making a habit of saying positive things to replace the negative, and know SLAYER that it is a process, if you slip back into the negative that is part of the journey, no one gets it right all the time, but you do get the chance to do it right right now. SLAY on!
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you