Today, when LOVE has become a buzzword, we need to understand the meaning of unconditional love which carries the true essence of the word.
'Self-talk' the word itself may feel like someone murmuring to themselves. It can be the same but most of the time it is what we keep on saying to ourselves in our mind-our internal dialogue. It includes what we say to ourselves about others or our own self. Self-talk has a lot to do with self-worth when it comes to our inner conversation regarding our own self-image. Negative self-talk may influence one's personality in a detrimental way. Conversely, if you consciously turn this self-talk into a positive conversation it can make you an achiever in every field of your life
What does negative self-talk look like?
It is our inner comments on our own behavior or actions and sometimes about looks. We are not even aware of it consciously but it is a culprit acting silently hidden in our thoughts that we generally ignore in the outer hustle. Some examples of negative self-talk can be
- Ah, look at her dress. Mine looks crap compared to hers.
- It was so foolish of me to ask that question.
- Not again! I am always stumbling around.
- How could I make that silly error?
- Sometimes just those angry expressions for ourselves, the non-verbal talk out of annoyance and anger: augh! Aw! Oh! Etc.
- And much more
If you just start listening to yourself and make a list you will find a lot. Throughout the day we keep on talking to ourselves not knowing how those repeating thoughts are impacting our lives.
Basically, negative self-talk includes self-criticism, comparing yourself to others, judging yourself out of the fear of judgment by others, doubting your abilities, pointing at your weaknesses. All this list is already so intimidating. You can easily imagine by the severity of these words, what damage can be caused by this self-talk. Such weeds need to be removed from our system. The good news is we can reverse the negative self-talk into a constructive force within us by being aware of these patterns and making some conscious efforts to bring out the desired changes in our lives.
What is the way out?
We can claim a peaceful and happier life full of confidence and success, once we start addressing this turmoil inside. The solution as I mentioned earlier lies in reversing the patterns. This can be achieved in three simple steps.
These three steps to heal the situation are:
- Being aware of the problem
- Setting an intention to correct it
- Taking conscious action- reversing patterns
Becoming aware of negative self-talk
Being aware of the problem is the very first step to solving it. It includes not only knowing that the problem exists at the point you are already at while reading this article, but also identifying your self-talk patterns. Start noticing your behavior patterns of self-criticism, comparison, self-judgment, and self-doubting, in day-to-day life. Not necessarily all at once but gradually since it takes time to identify them all, and situations gradually reveal them.
Take particular notice, when
- you commit some mistake in general or at work
- you are with people or noticing or observing other people on social media
- are about to post on social media and thinking a lot about whether to post it or not
- you are a part of a discussion and say something that you feel people didn't like
- or you are hesitating a lot to give your opinion,
A general mistake, for instance, can be imagined as just getting up from the chair or the couch, your phone falling on the floor that you yourself placed at the edge doing something else. Immediately if some annoying thought rushes into your mind, just notice.
If you are able to observe your thoughts at these moments the first step is achieved.
Setting an intention to change
Once you are aware of your negative self-talk patterns, know that they won't alter right away and an effort is needed on your part. So willingness for a change and strong determination is needed. You need to consciously accept that those patterns are created by your mind over time and may take time to alter but I am willing to change and alter the pattern every time I observe that. I love myself and I choose to take responsibility for my life. If I attain a positive mindset instead only then a change is possible.
Bringing about a change- Taking conscious action
Whether it is about committing a mistake, your looks, status or your capacity just be accepting, forgiving and compassionate towards yourself. Being a human it is natural to commit a mistake and learn from it. Just accept this. And as human beings, we cannot expect ourselves to be perfect. A mistake occurs never on purpose. Even God forgives our sins. You are a child of God, a sovereign being, here on earth to learn and grow. And as far as your looks, status or abilities, you are enough and doing your best. Rather than criticizing accept and applaud yourself for who you are and what you can do and are doing. What others think of you matters little what matters the most is how you think of yourself.
The conscious action includes deliberately turning the negative thoughts into empowering statements
Instead of being defensive or self-criticizing, we can say kind and encouraging words to ourselves in the situations like
“That’s absolutely fine if I wasn’t able to make it on the first attempt, I understand that I cannot be perfect right away. I need time and practice.
“To err is human. I forgive myself and take the lesson”
“I am open to learning from my mistakes.”
Now let's also reverse the example statements above into empowering ones.
|Negative self-talk||Empowering inner statement|
‘Ah, look at her dress. My dress is crap compared to hers.
‘Wow, look at her dress. She looks great, I must give her a compliment.
It was so foolish of me to ask that question.
I cleared my doubt. And they have a right to disagree. I am open to learning even from others' differing opinions.
Not again! I am always stumbling around.
Well, let me be careful around here OR I need to be extra conscious while walking here/ around these chairs/table
How could I make that silly error?
Lol, I made that mistake?/ Now that’s funny (sometimes humor lightens the mood) let me see/let me correct it now OR I will be extra careful next time
augh! Aw! Oh! Etc.
Lol!, hahaha! wait! Oops!
Overall, be gentle and loving towards yourself as you are towards your loved ones.
Positive self-image affirmations and self-care
Along with eliminating the negative thought patterns, feeding the positive encouraging thoughts into your subconscious through affirmations at the same time can make the process of self-empowerment even faster. For this, you can explore YouTube or other similar platforms for, ‘The self-image affirmations’ or ‘I AM affirmations’. In addition, do consider a self-love and self-care routine including just a few gestures of love and respect for yourself on a day-to-day basis which strengthens your bond with yourself.
All in all, believing is being. What you believe you reflect. If it is about looks, remember that beauty of a person comes from within not from their outer appearance. A conceit and arrogant person with the best looks cannot attract as much love and appreciation as the one having countenance with average features but the joyous genuine smile on their face. If it is status you are comparing yourself with others, there may be a difference but you are doing your best and it deserves appreciation. And, your capability grows with experience. Be open to learning and try to be the best version of yourself, not a copy or modified copy of others.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Jas Kailey