When language and communication are fundamental to our relationships with others, it’s no wonder that the same can be said for the relationship we have with ourselves. So, how does negativity seem to take up all of that headspace for all of that time? The truth is, our negative self-talk is usually based on misconceptions we have about ourselves. There’s no proper evidentiary support (thanks, Elle Woods) that provides any merit to these claims.
If that’s the case (and it is!) then why do we continue to tear ourselves down instead of build ourselves up? Some people might say that negativity is their frienemy who pushes them forward in a “No you can’t, yes I can,” type of manner. This game of tug-o-war isn’t the only strategy to coach yourself along and it tends to breed even more negativity.
So, let’s talk positivity. What’s the drawback or barrier? One of them is this idea of not believing it. “If I tell myself I’m beautiful then I’m lying to myself.” If it’s about honesty then circle back to the part about evidence. Often, we’re actually told the opposite of what we think is true about ourselves (Ever hear “You look great in that dress!” and the first thought you have is “No, I don’t!”), so if it’s about proof then sometimes our biggest supporters (friends, family, teachers, significant others, etc.) give us a chunk of that. We’re usually just not open to accepting it.
Which leads to: how do we become our own biggest supporter? Just like comments like above, we need to treat ourselves like we would treat the people we love. If you’re a good friend to others, then you know how valuable and important your love and support can be.
But how do we begin to get rid of the negativity? It doesn’t typically happen overnight. It’s something that has to be practiced, but it’s important to note that we do have the power to invite these thoughts in or turn them away. Think of it like this: Picture your mind like an apartment. Any negative self-talk represents everything that makes living there unpleasant. Unlike many actual apartments, we get to decorate this one any way we want and create a home for ourselves. In other words, we get to choose whether or not we keep the negativity around or replace it with more positive self-talk. Which place would you rather renew your lease?
Catherine at Revive