By: Sarah Baker, IATG ContributorJanuary 1, 2016
Image by IATG
It’s bad enough when others try to tear down our confidence and sense of worth but it’s worse when we allow our own negative self-talk, like a continuous recording, to demoralize us with negative thoughts and feelings. This negative mind chatter is counter-productive and can completely consume our lives. Viewing ourselves and our bodies in a negative light blocks all of the possibilities and good things that we really want in our life. It’s time to make a change!
I want to share some ways that we can start to shift our mindset away from constantly criticizing ourselves, to giving ourselves the self-love we need and deserve.
1: You Are Your Own Best Friend
The first thing to work on when you are struggling with negative self talk is your relationship with yourself. You are in control of your life and your emotions, and you can lift yourself up even if it's little by little. I’m a huge believer in practicing gratitude and appreciation. Try shifting your mindset and focusing on a blessing in your life, and how you WANT to feel vs. the negative feelings that are taking over your thoughts. How can you find abundance and happiness when you are only focusing on what is going wrong in your life?
At the end of the day, write down 3 things that you have accomplished. How do these accomplishments make you feel?
Cherish this feeling and know that you, as a human, can create your own accomplishments based on your smarts, personality, charisma, and wit. This is more important than what is on the outside!
2: Take a Social Media Detox:
You also need to step back and take a digital detox from social media. I think we all are guilty of getting caught up in how wonderful we think everyone else’s life is on Facebook and Instagram. Take a break from this and concentrate on face-to-face relationships and spending more time on the care and feeding of your mind and body. Think about the last time you were on social media, did you feel envious of anyone? How is this emotion helping you and your own growth as a young woman? It’s not. So set your phone aside and spend your free time with family, friends, sports, and hobbies. Be active!
3: When We Help Others, We Help Ourselves
You can act in the smallest way to create a massive impact on another life. Take this for example: Someone you know is getting bullied in school and online. Unfortunately, cyber bullying is HUGE. Consider reaching out to them online and sending them words of encouragement. Tell them that whoever is bullying them sucks and that you think they are a pretty awesome person. Your one simple message of encouragement and a reminder that they are great can make a massive positive impact. I know this for myself!
There was a time during my high school experience that I was bullied. A kind girl reached out to me to give me encouragement, and I still remember her ten years later. YOU can be that girl that is remembered. I think it’s amazing how much better a person can feel if they are contributing something positive by building up and supporting another human being.
4: Start One Actionable Shift Today
A simple way to accomplish goals is by taking baby steps. To boost your confidence and self-esteem, take a small actionable step forward, then another step, and then another. Today you might decide to start with changing how you view your body. The fashion magazines, especially, show women’s shapes unrealistically by photoshopping them to oblivion. It isn’t reality, so don’t make it your reality! Start your goal by making a list of steps to take to further your fit and healthy self based on how you want to FEEL vs. how you want to look. Healthy meals and getting exercise don’t have to be expensive.
List the actions you can take and list the help you’ll need from others if that’s the case. Take one step a day and just keep moving forward towards the self you want to be, and the rest will follow. Concentrate on what you want. The negatives of self-criticism, and constantly picking yourself apart, will give way to good feelings of worth and self-appreciation.
Try one of Sarah’s negative self-talk shifts and tell us what you discover below!
Sarah is the founder of BalancedBabe.com and the BeHealthful Retreat, a certified plant-based nutrition & health coach, TV & media personality, motivational speaker and holistic business consultant based in Chicago, Illinois.
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