Moving Past Negative Self Talk
For some, the words just swirl inside their head. The words are put-downs, but not of another, of oneself.
Those words generate feeling too, feelings of low self-worth and for some, even feelings of self-harm. Those words can imbed one in fear, depression and/or anxiety. They can immobilize. Those words, they are poison. They are the slow drip, drip, drip of a poison that undermines one’s wellbeing over time.
There is a likelihood that those words did not even originate with the person in whose head they swirl. Those words are the voices of unmet expectations, usually of others. Those words are the words of people who may have sought to control the person. Those words come from a place outside of oneself yet internalized as if oneself.
Resist. Reflect. Differentiate. Replace.
- Resist: The first step is to be mindful of when those words are swirling. Catch yourself. Literally stop yourself. Resist.
- Reflect: Notice how you felt before when the words were swirling and then after, as you stopped. Notice how active you had been to your own detriment, how hurtful those words were and notice how those feelings can dissipate, just by catching them and stopping them.
- Differentiate: Think about words that put one down versus words that inspire, words that are uplifting, words that encourage. In differentiating, find those positive words, those words that reflect well on your attributes, those words that reflect the good in you.
- Replace: Go ahead, talk to yourself. You already do, now it is just about the words you choose. Replace the old words with the new ones you developed through differentiation. Out with the old, in with the new. Strive to remember those words and when overcome with the words of old, use your new words to overcome, to lift and inspire.
Truth is, we all have words inside our head. The challenge is to attend to those words then enable our wellbeing. It is always bad enough if someone else wants to diminish our value, it is worse when we take that job on ourselves.
So go ahead, talk to yourself still.
Use your words.
Let them inspire or sooth or calm. Use them for good.