If you stop and think about it, I’m willing to bet you have more conversations with yourself than anyone else during your day. Am I right? Now, let me ask, how many of these self-talks are uplifting, positive, motivating, inspirational, in gratitude, etc.? How many are more like: why did I do that, I don’t deserve that, I’m not good enough, I’m angry at myself & the world, I’ll never get that promotion, new job, nice car, and so forth? Stop! Girl, we don’t have time for this! (Note: This applies to the boys as well!)
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. — Robert Holden
What’s Up With the Negativity?
Many of our current day anxieties and feelings of unworthiness stem from some sort of stress or trauma. Whether it be from childhood or more recent, these traumatic events can do a damaging number on our minds. Emotional, financial, physical or sexual abuse that occurred against you or someone you love can lead to a form of self-sabotage or feelings of unworthiness. Parenthood, a job you can’t stand (or having no job), relationships, current world events, loneliness, mental & physical health issues may also be contributors. While momentary negativity is understandable, continually feeling this way does not help with healing the relationship with ourselves.
Being stuck in our minds and having these conversations with ourselves perpetuates negative energy. Negative energy may lead to negative actions. We may mask our feelings of low self-esteem, unworthiness, loneliness, etc. with drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, or sex. We may find ourselves staying in unhealthy relationships or venturing into something toxic just to fill a void. Girl, we don’t have time for this!
Check all your relationships. Some are not soul connections. They are attachments you created to fill a void in your soul left by low self-esteem, fear and loneliness. Not all relationships in your life belong there. Some are just replacing the love you haven’t been giving to yourself. — unknown
Where Has the Confidence & Self Esteem Gone?
Our self-esteem, worthiness, happiness, joy, confidence, self-love–they are our responsibility. Never put any of these things into the hands of others. Trust me, they will disappoint you every time. Here are some signs you are doing just this:
Saying “yes” to everything, negative self-criticism, backing down when others challenge you, being indecisive with simple decisions, fearing failure, taking constructive criticism personally, sweating the small stuff, afraid to share your opinions in a conversation, giving up too easily, negatively comparing yourself to others, not standing tall, fidgeting/anxiousness, buying things because others like them; not because you do, social withdrawal & excessive preoccupation with personal problems. Girl, we don’t have time for this! If any of this sounds familiar, how can you shift your mindset and perspective to move into healthy, positive conversations with your self? As Bobby Sommer stated, “Having a low opinion of yourself it not modesty, it’s self-destruction.”
Here Comes the Positivity
It all falls to us. Only we can change our mindset, our perspective and our self-talk. Here is where accountability and vulnerability meet in a lovely marriage of confidence, positivity and strong self-esteem.
First, it’s removing the mind clutter. Overthinking and being stuck in our minds for a long time can be dangerous. For more on this, check out Getting Out of Our Heads.
Next, write it down. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Post-It, a notebook or a fancy journal. Write it down. Doing so interrupts the cycle of worry by acknowledging your feelings.
Third, practice self-compassion. It’s okay that you made a mistake, we all do. Respond to yourself with kindness (throw in a little grace and mercy too). Now, you can work to correct the mistake, learn the lesson and move forward.
Shifting our mindset takes work, but wouldn’t you rather be surrounded by positive energy vs. negative? I’m willing to bet, again, that the answer is “yes”. Therefore, we need to stop striving for perfection; it’s most often unattainable. Release self-doubt. You are capable of way more than you give yourself credit for. Stop assuming the worst will happen. I mean, really how often does the worst thing actually happen? We must stop worrying so much; it changes nothing and causes harm to your mental and physical state. Finally, stop trying to control everything. We have control over very little and when there is an inevitable failure, you will only blame yourself. The only thing we can most often control is our reaction to the things going on around us.
There are a few other steps as well:
- Surround yourself with positive people; not the energy suckers
- Consciously smile more when you are around others–you can almost feel the energy shift
- Stop apologizing for things you didn’t do wrong
- Speak up when you have something to say; don’t worry about the opinions of others (you won’t always agree but that’s okay)
- Be conscious of your body language
- Recognize that people aren’t thinking of you all the time; learn how they see you (it’s probably better than you assume)
- Laugh, play, have fun–your mind has no time for the negativity then
- Embrace and accept ALL of you (includes all of your imperfections & vulnerabilities)
- Find daily, positive affirmations. Post them around your home and repeat them often
- Complete random acts of kindness
- Respect the differences of others
- Surround yourself with a few who support you no matter what
- Release the negative, toxic relationships and things you’re using to mask your confidence, self-esteem & worth
- Look in the mirror each day and say, “I Love You”
Finding the Positivity in the “I AM”
Girl, we don’t have time for this [negativity]. No more destructive self-talk. Shift the conversations in your head to those that are positive. Begin to today. Take baby steps or take a big leap. Each day, have a conversation with yourself that includes:
- I’m lovable & loving
- I’m worthy of abundance & good things
- I’m enough
- I’m strong
- I have the wisdom to make good decisions
- I’m brave
- I belong
- I own this
- I believe in me
- I’m resilient
- I will talk with myself like I would with a friend
- I matter, no matter what
- I am superior to negative thoughts
- I always do my best
- I choose to live in joy
- My possibilities are endless
- I’m taking the steps to live my best life
- I’m blessed and grateful
A doctor can heal you outwardly, a psychoanalyst can help you to be normal; to fit into society, but to go beyond that–which means to be really healthy, to be inwardly true, clear, wholly uncorrupted–that you alone can do, and no one else. I think that to heal oneself completely and surely is the greatest miracle. — Krishnamurti
Confidence begins when you finally realize that you matter and that it’s no longer acceptable for you to settle for less.
Confidence is the ability to feel beautiful without needing someone to tell you. — Mandy Hale
Brave girl, promise me you will never shrink yourself in order to make others feel comfortable. Girl, this we DO have time for!