Hello Everyone! Today I wanted to share with you all something that has been on my mind lately as I have witnessed so many people use the term “I am not…” in the last few weeks. Most times this phrase is thrown about nonchalantly with no intentional negative spin. In some cases an individual will feel that by stating a comment with “I am not..” is them being honest with themselves. However the truth of the matter is this, by using phrases that begin with “I am not..” we are actively participating in negative self talk because we are creating a negative judgement about ourselves. Now before you begin to roll your eyes at that statement I want you to think about the last phrase that you used that began with “I am not..” in the context of self labeling. Now I want you to ask yourself if you would use that same statement, but directed at someone you care about. Would a comment like that be hurtful or helpful to them? It is so easy to fall into this pattern of judgement, after all we live in a world that is so quick to demonize anything that is not considered “normal” and as humans we are hardwired to want to be “accepted into the pack”.
There is one big problem with this though. Our thoughts directly affects not only our self esteem but also our outlook on life. Take for example a girl from my high school growing up. She was always the first to pick something apart, she would critically judge the first thing that walked in front of her, and most importantly she waited around for happiness to just come her way. But here is the thing, as an adult these qualities are so deeply ingrained in her that she is bitter and angry at the world. Anyone who has something that she does not is “entitled” or “pretentious”, the patterns of behavior that she hated about her own parents are part of her M.O. and she is still waiting for the world to drop that package of sunshine and rainbows and joy into her lap without having to do any of the effort.
Negative self talk can come in many forms, here are just a few examples
- I am not girly enough for that guy to like me!
- I cant believe I ate that entire pizza by myself, I am so disgusting!
- I suck at drawing/writing/everything?
- Why cant I get my anxiety/depression under control?
- I should really learn to stop being so sensitive (This is a can of worms that I will be opening a bit later)
- Why do people even like me?
The reality of it is this, our words carry a tremendous amount of weight on the life that we have. As the popular motivational speaker Wayne W. Dyer put it “The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind”. When we begin to change the way that we talk to ourselves or about out environment we can begin to change our life for the better. This is not easy, it takes time and sometimes great effort to begin to change the way we respond or react to a given situation. Over the next few weeks I will be providing you with some tips and trick for creating healthier thinking habits. Remember that these types of changes do not happen overnight, but by taking small steps each day. For now though I want you to keep this in your mind as you go through out the day, are your current thoughts or actions helping you achieve the life that you want or preventing it?