What is Self Talk?
We talk to ourselves all day long,
Whether we realize it or not. Our minds are constantly filled with the “I should do that…” “I should be this…” “I was so stupid when…” “If only I had done this better.”
We can unknowingly self-sabotage our way into a bad mood, or having a bad day.
Self-talk is a very over-looked, but extremely important topic.
For the most part, we are never taught how to talk to ourselves. We are taught to be polite to others, to use our manners, to do what we are told.
But when are we taught how to love ourselves?
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A Sad State of Mind
When we are little, we seek affirmation from our parents. We want their approval and acknowledgement to know that we are doing a good job.
The validation we receive (or don’t receive) leads to us later in life seeking it from our boss’s, friends, and eventually spouses.
Humans are made for community. We all want to know that we are doing something worth while, and to get that love and approval from others.
What happens when we either don’t grow up getting the kind of attention that we need, or if other judge us too harshly?
Kids that grow up with a narcissistic home-life can develop a tendency to turn everything on themselves.
They don’t get the kind of approval they need, so everything seems like it is their fault.
This can happen regardless of ones upbringing, but this type of thinking is often taught to us by the people we are supposed to be able to look up to.
A healthy mind begins with us.
Having a healthy mind is a lot of things, but knowing that we are as good as any other person, and have just as much value is so important.
I’d say that 80% of the time, when someone is tearing someone else down, it has more to do with how they feel about themselves than how they feel about the other person.
We need to realize that no matter how others feel, we get to choose how we feel and how we react.
Positive Self Talk
Developing healthy self-talk is the best way to start to defeat these negative thoughts and personalities. Positive self-talk says “I can…”, “I did…”, “I will…” all in a positive manner.
Say that something negative happened, something small like accidentally breaking a glass. The thoughts that may arise could be along the lines of, “I am so stupid, how could I do that?!”
I want you to think about this situation, but give yourself the grace you would want someone else to give you.
The thought process should look something like this: “Its unfortunate that that happened, I am glad that I didn’t get hurt, and no one else got hurt. Its okay.”
That feels a lot better doesn’t it?
There is no self hate in that second sentence.
Give yourself some grace.
When we give ourselves grace instead of pretending that we have to be perfect, we find the ability to love ourselves.
We are called to love ourselves first, and to love others as we love ourselves.
But that in turn means we have to love ourselves. We were not put on this earth to try to only make others happy. We are called to love, and be love, and love ourselves too.
Each time you start to think negatively about yourself, stop and think of some way you can be gracious to yourself.
Create the habit of using positive self talk.
In what ways did you not mess up? In what ways are you human and capable of change?
Create a habit of letting yourself feel the situation, and be okay. Do not put yourself down, but realize that you are human and capable of error just like anyone else.
Another good habit to create is giving yourself compliments, and meaning it.
Look in the mirror and say one nice thing about yourself.
This could be as simple as “My hair looks really nice today.” or “I am a kind soul, and I am doing a great job.”
Say to yourself the things you want to hear from others, and eventually, your mind will become a happier place.