We tend to be our own worst critics and our inner dialogue can be cruel and self-deprecating. This kind of thought process leads to myths about your own character and capabilities. A cruel inner dialogue often leads to feeling like you can’t achieve something or don’t deserve to. This will keep you from even trying; therefore, you don’t even have the opportunity to succeed. It often leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy where you find the “proof” of all your negative thoughts. The end result is you standing in your own way of creating the life you want. Don’t continue down this path, instead, change the conversation to a more positive inner dialogue! Start building yourself up rather than pulling yourself down.
HOW TO CHANGE THE CONVERSATION AND CREATE A MORE POSITIVE INNER DIALOGUE
- Create positive self-statements about who you are and your worth. Come up with words of encouragement and give yourself praise. Remind yourself that you are beautiful, smart, and strong. Know that you are worthy, deserving of love, and important in the world. Put your positive thoughts into a statement to say over and over to yourself, like mantras. It is important to repeat your mantra(s) multiple times a day.
- Change the negative myths about yourself. Challenge that voice that is cruel, negative, and critical. Don’t allow self-deprecating, harsh thoughts about yourself to be in control; change them to positive thoughts. Examples:
-I am stupid vs. I am a strong, smart, capable person
-I don’t deserve happiness vs. I deserve to be treated with respect
-I can never get anything right vs. I am not defined by my mistakes
-I am unlovable vs. I am worthy of being loved
-I am such a screw up vs. I am doing my best and that is enough
-I am so messed up, what’s wrong with me vs. I am human and no one is perfect.
- Challenge your interpretations and assumptions. We often find “proof” that our negative self-talk is accurate. We tend to interpret events in ways that reinforce the voice mentioned above. If you can start checking the facts and separating reality from your assumptions and interpretations, you can create more positivity in your mindset. What to ask yourself to challenge judgements:
- What actually happened? Stick to the facts, taking out emotions and personal perspectives.
- What are the interpretations and assumptions I put onto this event?
- What could be an alternate explanation or thought?
- Stop being consumed with what other people think. It is easy to get caught up in worrying that other people are judging you negatively. The problem with this is that you can never really know, and often our assumptions about other people’s thoughts and perspectives are inaccurate. This worry just lands you feeling negative about yourself and is another way that the inner critic gets reinforced.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. People often spend a lot of time comparing themselves to others. Comparing looks/ attractiveness, friends (both quantity and quality), personality, success, etc. This generally leads to feeling feel bad about yourself. When you find yourself comparing, tell yourself to stop and put the focus onto what you love about yourself. Repeating your mantra(s) in this case can be helpful.
Start creating a more positive inner dialogue right now! Make a list of 5-10 positive mantras. Make sure to keep this list in a place that you can regularly access. Identify what your myths are and flip them to positive statements. Think about a recent situation that hit a nerve and challenge your interpretations and assumptions. See how much of a difference that can make on the emotional intensity you are experiencing. Don’t push this off; take some time right now and start your journey to a more positive inner dialogue right now!