3 Ways to Counter Negative Self-Talk
Do you find the idea of "humility" a confusing one? We know we should love and accept ourselves, but not be prideful. We know we should be humble, but not self-deprecating. Somewhere along the line it's gotten confusing for us. Should we love ourselves or hate ourselves? (Hint - the answer is always love!)
That's why some days I feel like running around yelling at women to just love themselves already. We were perfectly made by a God who has amazing plans for our lives and yet the constant commentary in our heads is disgusting. We think terrible thoughts about ourselves.
If you're feeling insecure and caught in negative thought patterns, your lack of confidence can be keeping you from living the life you deserve. If you don't feel good enough for a purpose, chances are you're not going to be looking for one!
This was a huge turning point for me. It happened gradually, but as I learned to think positively about myself, I began to love myself. And because I loved myself, I began to treat myself lovingly. This is when I started growing closer to God, pursing my passions, and building relationships with other people.
If you catch yourself saying or thinking negative thoughts about yourself all the time, it's time to change that!
Here are 3 ways to counter your negative self-talk:
1. Accept Compliments
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a compliment and been really uncomfortable, even trying to dismiss it? I had a situation the other day where I complimented a woman's shirt and she immediately explained that she hadn't worn it in a long time and wasn't sure if she should get rid of it and that she didn't have any shoes to match it but she wore it anyway. I insisted that she looked great! (PS if you're the woman I'm talking about right now I want you to know that you're so beautiful and you should never feel you need to downplay your beauty!)
Why do we feel we need to downplay our strengths or our beauty? The next time someone compliments you, say "thank you!" whether you believe it to be true or not.
2. Practice Positive Affirmations
This is something I haven't yet done myself but I know it has been helpful for many people, especially women. I see the benefit of it and would like to begin teaching my three daughters to do the same.
We often prefer to dwell on our flaws but it's important to focus on the things that make us beautiful, unique, and gifted. Make a list of all your physical attributes that you like about yourself. Write down every good quality about yourself, everything you're good at, and all of your strengths.
When you write them down, start with "I am..."
- I am kind
- I am smart
- I am beautiful
- I am a great writer
Put these in a place where you can see them often and make it a habit to say them out loud to yourself every day.
3. Give Thanks
In addition to being more aware of your own strengths, it is helpful to be more aware of your life. If you are negative about yourself, you are probably also negative about your environment, circumstances, or relationships.
If something doesn't go as planned and you immediately complain or blame, then you need to start practicing gratitude. Regularly focusing on being thankful for your life will significantly reduce the negative thought patterns.
To practice gratitude, start a journal and write down 5 things you are thankful for each day. Or you can download my free "Giving Thanks" printable.