So, the last few days I have felt like I had a problem (like a new one, not one of my standard issue problems). By telling you lovely people that I would do a follow up to last week’s piece on Negative Self Talk, I kind of wrote myself into a corner. I felt like I couldn’t go back on that assurance to you my dear readers, so I was determined to give you a great piece. Then I sat down to write this, and I realised I had spent the last few days telling myself I had no idea how to start talking about Positive self-talk. I kept telling myself “It’s really easy to talk about what you shouldn’t do to enjoy your life more, it’s a bit harder to talk about what you should do. Or at least it is for me.” Guess what I realised? I’d been doing exactly what I’d told you not to do. I was talking myself out of being able to write this piece, this time through a fear of letting you guys and gals down.
So, let’s see, Positive Self talk. As we talked about last week, the more you talk negatively about yourself, the neurons in your brain get better at transmitting negative thoughts, well the same goes for Positivity. The more regularly you talk to yourself positively about your life or who you are, the easier it becomes to talk to yourself positively.
This isn’t about being conceited or thinking you’re better than everyone else, but more about allowing yourself to take credit for your skills and achievements and giving yourself the kudos for the stuff you are good at. Sure, none of us are perfect, we all have areas of our lives we could improve, so what? It doesn’t mean that we are a total dumpster fire of a person just because we are carrying a little more weight than we’d like or that we haven’t achieved everything our contemporaries have. Give yourself a damn break already. I guarantee that given enough time you could think of at least 5 things you like about yourself. Hell, to give you an idea of how to do it, here is the five things I like the most about myself at the moment
- That I want to help people live happier, more fulfilling lives
- That I have the skills to write in a way that relates well to you fine people
- That I’m open to criticism and that my ego is in check enough that I can admit my mistakes and learn from them.
- That I am optimistic about life and have an innate ability to see the positive potential in almost all ideas.
- My sweet sweet style
And you know what I’ll give you a bonus one: My sense of humour
See not as hard as it seems. Ok, I get that a lot of you may not be quite ready to just bang out a list of 6 things you like about yourself in 2 minutes flat, but that’s cool. You’re not as experienced at this yet. And that’s the big thing you must remember, you cannot judge yourself by what other people are capable of. Maybe you need some practice. So, try this, before you head out for the day, think of something you like about yourself. It might be as small (or big depending your perspective) as your shirt is ironed today, or that your winged eyeliner is on point, or even that you only hit the snooze button once rather than 15 times. Start small but do it regularly.
If you catch yourself mentally bullying yourself, first thing to do is stop! Next thing to do is not slip into the trap of mentally berating yourself for being down on yourself. Remember the Hamster wheel of Doom from the last post? This is the point where you say no to tiny Hamster Devil and get the hell off the wheel (and yes pun very much intended). You are going to have slip ups as you retrain your brain to responding to the parts of your life and personality you don’t like as failings and treating them as opportunities for self-discovery and growth. It takes time, but as with everything, if you want to get good at it, you need to practice, practice, practice. If you are like I was when I started working on my own deep-seated feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness, it will take a long time, a lot of work and you won’t be proficient at it anytime soon. But, and this is a serious Sir Mixalot size but, the work will be worth it, and the more you do it, the easier it will get.
Sure, you’ll have days where it seems like you’ve been lying to yourself the whole time and everything you do blows up in your face, but those days will turn in to mere hours in time, and eventually into brief moments before you catch yourself and shift your perspective.
Because that’s what it comes down to, my friends. Shifting your perspective from “I’m not perfect, therefore I’m nothing” to “So what, I know I’m not perfect but I’m working on it, so props to me”
So, Go On,
Get Up, Get Out there and Get Awesome.
And stop being so damn hard on yourself.