GUEST POST BY: Karina Pardus from CuriousToCreative
Self-talk. It’s something that happens constantly.
The way we think about ourselves and our circumstances, dictates how we respond to them in the physical and emotional realms of our world. Our thoughts are extremely important, and yet, there are so many times that we allow ourselves to think and talk to ourselves in horrible ways. Negative self-talk becomes a habit and runs rampant in our brains.
It is impossible to be awesome at whatever you’re doing when there is someone constantly criticizing you for your efforts – even if it’s from you. My thoughts were stopping every effort I made to be better in parenting, business, my art, relationships, accepting my body, or any other ambition. It’s distracting, discouraging, and destructive. And for me, journaling changed all of it.
It doesn’t change right away, but it will change if you keep trying to change the process your mind uses to give personal feedback. Here are some steps you can take to give your brain new pathways to more positive self-talk.
Step 1: Recognize the thought,
and think, “Hey now, that’s not OK, and it’s not true.” Think about someone you love dearly. Now take the last horrible thing you thought about yourself, and imagine those words were coming out of their mouth. How would you react? When you realize the negative things you’re thinking to yourself, flip it around and imagine what your response would be to someone you love. (Pro tip: we should love ourselves, so this is a realistic situation!) Then go write it down.
Note: With every single one of these steps, writing it down is an essential part of the process. Don’t skip it!
Step 2: Seek for the Yay! moments.
I have a magnet that says, “Yay! Running!” on it. The slogan of the business for the Yay! magnets, is: “Yay! Life! Livin’ the Yay! Life! Yay! What’s your Yay! Thing?”
What is your Yay! thing? Focusing on one thing at a time. My first focus: enjoy motherhood. My Yay! mommy moments were things I was going to write down each day to remind myself why I liked being a mom. At the beginning it was really hard. But focusing on the good parts instead of lingering on the bad, made a bigger difference than I thought it would. I started waking up with not as much despair. My thoughts turned away from bashing my head in with negativity and were able to look for the good in me.
Step 3: Turn the thought around.
Focus on the power of “yet.” Instead of saying, “I can’t do this!” change it to say, “I can’t do this YET.” This is so important, to be able to change negative self talk to positive. It doesn’t go from, “I’m aweful” to, “I’m the best!” overnight. We’re not learning to fake good thoughts; we want honest, genuine change. If you’re thinking you’re a bad house-keeper, change it to, “I don’t do the dishes daily Yet.” Or if you think you’re bad at communicating, think, “I’m good at listening, but not explaining, Yet.” And write it down.
Step 4: Use positive affirmations.
When I’m not feeling very patient with my kids, I think, “I am a patient and positive parent, and I manifest love through my actions, words, and body language.” When I am not being positive about my art or business, I think, “I am a creative genius, and the world needs what I am creating now. My art makes a difference, and I will create it and distriute it effectively.” Find a thought that’s easy to say when you’re feeling discouraged to give you power. Then take a deep breath, and write it down.
Step 5: Visualization.
See what it will be like when all the negative thoughts are gone.
If possible, find a quiet place, or just a spot where you can be alone for 2 minutes. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and see the dark. Give a name to the emotions or thoughts that you want to go away, name them individually, and ask them to leave. “Fear, I don’t need you right now, please leave.” Visualize them opening a door, and walking out. After the last one shuts the door, imagine the brightest light inside you. I tend to see myself standing in a bright, white room with no shadows, but you can let yours take on it’s own picture. Write it down.
Step 6: Look through your past Yay! moments
and remember the positives you’ve already accomplished. It is never enough to just ignore the thought. You must replace the bad thought with a good one to truly overcome the negativity. This right here is why it’s important for you to write everything down, and I strongly suggest you find a spot where you can be consistent.
Maybe you have a white board on your fridge that you write them down on (be sure to have a date next to it also, so you can measure your progress!) and when the board gets full you take a picture and put it into a file on your computer. Or you could write it on a notecard and keep it organized in a photo album. For me, I keep them in a moleskin notebook. Looking back on what you’ve done is empowering, inspiring, and proves you can keep going.
Writing it all down changed my life. I couldn’t fake it because I was writing it for me and I held myself accountable to it. You deserve to feel good about yourself all the time, because you are good. We all make mistakes, but that doesn’t destroy our worth.
This perspective, and these actions have enabled me to not hate myself for my vulnerabilities or weaknesses in any aspect of my life. Instead, I can find the small nuggets of joy and peace and love. Now when the negative voices interrupt, I have the power to overcome. You have the power in you, too. Never doubt it.
If this post could add some value to how you react to negative Self-Talk go check out Karina Pardus Blog, you will find useful stuff about this and similar themes.
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