Bullies. They're intimidating, oppressive and domineering.
What if that bully is YOU
You're fat. You're ugly. You're such an idiot. Are these words you would say to someone you love? If you wouldn't say them to others then why would you say them to yourself? Oh, I know you SAY you love yourself but do you really? We often talk about how much we love others - our spouses, our children, our pets, jobs, homes etc. but where's the self-love? How much do you really love yourself?
Negative Self Talk (NST) is something that NEVER does a body good. Negative self talk can cause more damage and do it quicker + faster than anyone or anything else. Take a good look at your own self destructive negative thinking, what are you telling yourself? If someone else said these words to you, would they still be in your life? Would you think they even cared about you?
"I'm fat" "I'm ugly" "I'll never be able to do that" "I should just give up" "I'm not smart enough" "I'm such an idiot" "I won't succeed"
Sure, you may be overweight and you may think you can't do something but is it really ok to continue shaming yourself about it? Are these words even true? Are they factual?
Most of us would never think of calling someone at work an idiot (unless its in our head) telling our child he/she is stupid or yelling at the neighbour for being overweight so WHY do we think its ok to do it to ourselves?
We've come a long way in as a society in regards to bullying and what we will and won't continue to accept when it comes to how we speak to others. We are quick to point out and even put a stop to people hurting others, being mean to each other, name calling and so much more. We've all seen the online discussion boards, people on Facebook calling out bad behaviour but what about the way we behave towards ourselves? Body shaming is definitely out, animal abuse is no longer being tolerated and it's equality for all, as it should be. Abuse in any form is quickly becoming unacceptable, but hey as long as you're only abusing yourself its all good.
Thinking about ourselves in terms that describe our good qualities is something that is hard work but can be attained. Catching yourself is the first step.
It all starts with understanding what's running through your head on a daily basis. Start paying attention to what you're thinking the next time you're in your car, at a stop light or when you're eating dinner. What are you thinking about when you're doing those mundane tasks such as getting groceries or cleaning up at home? STOP. Start paying attention to the non-stop chatter and listen to what it's actually saying to you. Write it down so you can keep track of it and start to understand what's being said and what's happening.
By understanding what you're thinking you can begin to look at WHY you're having these thoughts and what your beliefs are behind those thoughts. Then you can begin to look at ways to change those thoughts because those are your core beliefs.
Core Beliefs If you start to pay attention to the negative self talk toward yourself, you'll start to notice a pattern: Those thoughts aren’t random and you’ll begin to see that they have a common theme.
These common themes are we call your "core beliefs." Core beliefs capture your fundamental view of other people, yourself and the world around you. They're what you believe to be true at your deepest level.
Based on your core beliefs, you can predict what types of thoughts you're going to have in any given situation. Core beliefs are kind of like a radio frequency in the way that you know what genre of music to expect: funk from a funk station, rock from a rock station, and so on. The songs may vary, but they're part of the same music family.
When you start to pay attention to your automatic thoughts, you can begin identifying your own core beliefs: "I'm fat" "I'm ugly" "I'll never be able to do that"
How to Minimize Your Negative Self-Talk
There are different ways to reduce the self-talk in your daily life.
1. Remember your thoughts are not always your reality
Thinking negative things about yourself may feel like true observations, but they are not always accurate. Your thoughts can be skewed like everyone else's, always ask…is this true? Is it factual?
2. Give your inner critic a silly nickname
When you think of your inner critic as a force outside of yourself it's easier to see that you don't have to agree and it becomes less threatening. It’s also easier to see how ridiculous some of your critical thoughts can be!
3. Contain it
While you’re working on controlling your negative self-talk, contain the damage by only allowing it to criticize certain things in your life, or only be negative for a certain amount of time.
4. Think like someone you care about
When your NST is at its worst, you can sound like your own worst enemy. You say things to yourself that you'd never say to a friend. When you catch yourself make it a point to imagine yourself saying this to someone you care about.
5. Say it out loud
Sometimes simply saying them aloud can help. Telling a trusted friend what you're thinking about can point out how ridiculous some of our negative self-talk can be. It can at least bring support. Even repeating those negative self-talk phrases under your breath can remind you how unrealistic they are, and remind you to cut yourself some slack.
6. Change negativity to neutrality
When engaging in negative self-talk, you may be able to catch yourself, but it can sometimes be difficult to force yourself to stop a train of thought in its tracks. It's often far easier to change the intensity of your language by reframing those thoughts.
7. Positive reframing
How you frame the events you experience, especially a child, determines a lot about how you view other people, yourself and the world around you. You can use positive framing to improve your resilience to a wide range of negative experiences.
Here are some examples of positive ways to reframe these thoughts.
Negative Thought - I'm a failure at everything.
Rational Thought - I haven't failed at every single thing I've done.
New Thought - I'm not always successful but I do have some great skills.
Negative Thought - I will never feel better.
Rational Thought - Never is a long time, I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow.
New Thought - Even though I feel bad right now, I won't always feel this way.
What are the needs you are trying to meet when you employ your negative self talk? Be curious about these needs. Why are they important to you? Why haven’t you been able to meet them? Have you ever been able to meet them? Why or why not? What beliefs do you have about yourself related to your negative self talk?
Listen, I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying you are worth it.
Kristina Le Claire is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist specializing in helping people find their inner light. Her Hypnotherapy and Clinical Practice are designed to empower, showing that anyone can change their life path, regardless of circumstances and to understand that the key in changing their lives is to believe anything is possible. To truly live the life of your dreams, contact the good light