Saying negative things about ourselves or giving in to toxic thinking is so destructive – and so easy! 😦
From my own experience I know how easy it is – for example being fairly new to social media I am often perplexed. I have to stop myself saying that I am never going to sort it out so that people enjoy what I do.
Research suggests that you believe the statements you say about yourself more than the statements from others. So, it is obviously important to say positive and realistic things about you!
We cannot always control the negative things others say to us or how they treat us – although I would suggest that you make every effort to surround yourself with people who support you, encourage you and give you positive, constructive feedback.
You can also train yourself to evaluate what people say to you:
- Was there some truth in it? Is so, what can you learn from it to help you in the future?
- Was it just someone having an off day? Then try just to let it go – we all have bad days so you can at the very least empathise with that.
- Did it come from someone who is generally negative? There is nothing you can do about people like that except learn to let what they say go and pray for them.
- Was the comment sparked by envy about something you have or have achieved? In a way it’s a backhanded compliment 🙂 Again, all you can do is try to let it go and pray for them.
Then there is the problem of negative self-talk.
For some of us this stems from our childhood or from others who have been excessively critical, judgemental or unkind. Often, even if we don’t see the people anymore, the power of their words remains with us for years, until we decide to deal with it. The tape keeps playing in our head, at either the conscious or unconscious level.
Negative self-talk can be overcome with determination and discipline. You have to practise listening to what you are saying or are about to say, and then cut it off. It will take some practice but eventually, you will be able to stop the thoughts before they are fully-formed and they will stop coming at all.
At the same time, start saying positive things about yourself. Start keeping a journal – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Sit down with a cup of tea and write out a list of all the things you can do and all your skills and talents.. Write out each statement in the first person :
- I am……..
- I can……..
- I have……
Then, read the list out loud, preferably while looking in a mirror. Do this ‘mirror talking’ at least once a day for a couple of weeks and you will notice a difference! After the two weeks, keep repeating the statements several times a week – and add to them if something new occurs to you.
It may seem strange or ridiculous at first, or like bragging. Just persevere. If you find yourself laughing, that’s only a good thing.
Also, at the end of each day, note down what you have accomplished that day in your journal – no matter how large or small. Get into the habit of celebrating your successes and achievements – they don’t have to be huge, just little things that you are pleased about. You could treat yourself to a long soak in the bath with lots of bubbles, or buy a bottle of wine or a pair of shoes or go the cinema. Whatever most appeals to you.
Find passages in the Bible that resonate with you, personalise them and speak them out loud. Think about them during the day.
Additionally, start a Gratitude section in your journal and on a daily basis note down all the things you are grateful for. Having an Attitude of Gratitude is beneficial in many ways, which I will cover in a later blog.
You can also control what you say about yourself and others. How many times a day do you mutter “I’m so stupid” or “That’s just typical of me” or something similar? Stop it right now! 🙂
Saying negative things about others has a negative impact on you as well. Avoid gossip or bitching about others.
If you have any queries about this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to join the new facebook page Successful Living with Mountain Movers 🙂