Monday, April 20, 2015

Stopping Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is a destructive habit I'm trying to break. Today on facebook, good ol' facebook, I read two posts on negative self-talk. One was the video where the women have to enter through either a door that says "Average," or "Beautiful."  If it makes you cringe to think of entering through the door marked, "Beautiful," you might be a victim of negative self-talk.

It's not the same as being humble. It's a constant dribble of background noise that says you don't measure up, you could have done it better. A constant examining, questioning, and judging yourself.

It's the complete opposite of conviction, instead has it's roots in condemnation. It brings fear, discouragement, unworthiness, and even shame.

The scary thing is that it's possible we don't realize how often we do this to ourselves. This type of talk is often quiet, running along in the back ground while we get ready for work, clean the house, talk with our friends, parent our children, and other daily activities. It's what compares us to others and proves how we have fallen short.

It rarely accomplishes anything to argue with negative self-talk, in fact it might encourage it more ie: "Why am I still battling this? How come I can't get over this? It's true anyway."

I have heard it said many times, "Fake it until you make it." I think one way to break this habit is to tell yourself the opposite, even if it doesn't feel true.

The way I personally battle it is with a thankful prayer. Sometimes I can't even say the opposite, but I can say, "You know God, I'm going to use this negative thought to remind me to pray for (whoever might be struggling at the time.) Just bless them God and let them know how special they are. Thank you for (making this incredible day, or whatever is around me at the moment I feel thankful for.) Thank you that I am changing every day. "  For some reason, praying for someone else really helps me to get out of my own head and negative feelings.

That might not work for everyone. I read that it can be helpful to write down every time you think negatively about yourself, just to bring an awareness to the habit. It might help others to use that moment to say, "I am good enough, even on my bad days."

If you ever battle with negative self-talk, you aren't alone. There isn't anything wrong with you. You are awesome and amazing and here for a purpose. It might take time to break that habit, but even in this bad habit, one day,  we have hope of seeing beauty for ashes.