An essential or crucial step to having more self-love is to pay attention to the quality of our self-talk.
For years, I’ve spent time in my head saying nasty things to myself— about my ability to earn a lot of money in my business, to help my clients, my body image, and other thoughts that weren’t helpful. These thoughts were always in the background, shaping my experience and the quality of my relationship with myself.
Can you relate? Maybe you’ve told yourself that your stomach isn’t flat enough, that you’re not as pretty as your friends, that you are not smart enough, that you’re not as successful as others your age, and so on. But in all honesty, many of our thoughts about ourselves are untrue. Thoughts are not facts. For example, the thought that you’re not pretty enough or as compared to your friends. That is just a thought; It’s not a fact, nor would 100% of people agree. So how can we find evidence and thoughts to create a proof of the opposite? We are not our thoughts; we are the ones observing our thoughts, and we need separation to become aware before we can change those negative thoughts. These three steps are essential to begin this process:
- Write down all the negative thoughts you have about yourself.
As painful and annoying as it sounds, write down those thoughts; it’s crucial to understand that you would never talk that way toward someone else with these same thoughts.
- Create distance and awareness from your self-talk. The more separation we have about our negative self-talk, the better.
It can be therapeutic to look at pictures of your younger self and even have them nearby. Connect to the fact that you are that version of you, but 40+ years older. Practice thoughts of “I am beautiful in my own way.” “I look distinguished with my gray hair.”
- Find evidence to the contrary.
Whatever your thought is, it is not a fact. If you feel like you’re unworthy, that’s not a fact. Try to practice the opposite thought or somewhere in the middle. If you’re going to view it in the realm of not true, you might as well play in a view that makes yourself feel better.
Once I started addressing and turning around this negative self-talk, my self-confidence improved dramatically. I want to do the same for you by offering a deep-dive session to help you unpack your thoughts. Please reach out here.
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.