As a teenager one phrase changed everything for me. I was sitting in church listening to a woman talk about negative self talk and she said, “When comparing ourselves to others we always compare our worst selves to someone else’s best.” Seriously it was mind blowing for me at that time because that was exactly what I was doing. I constantly told myself that I wasn’t as good as others and that I was worthless. Honestly it was dragging me down and I was incredibly depressed.
Now I’m not saying that I am perfect by any means in negative self talk. It’s hard to not judge ourselves even if we aren’t comparing to someone else. I will say that since that day I haven’t compared my failures to other’s successes. Instead I look at someone as an opportunity to learn and improve myself. My negative self talk is more when I screw up. It’s almost like my mother gets up in there and reminds me that I am better than that and that I need to step up and get myself back on track.
If you have never watched the video or read the book called The Secret you really should. Now I will admit that my first time that I tried I just laughed at it and couldn’t get through it but it talks about how we attract what we are putting out there. How not just our actions but our thoughts and emotions can change what comes our way. It makes sense.
Imagine that you woke up in a bad mood. You stubbed your toe getting out of bed, you were out of milk and are running late when you realize that you forgot to put gas in the car the night before so you are going to be even more late for work. Sounds familiar right? We’ve all had days like this. How does the rest of your day go? Even if good things happen often times you over look them or just don’t notice them because you are in such a bad mood. You literally can lose out on opportunities to improve your day and your life because you chose to stay in a bad mood.
OK so now I am sure you pry just reread that last sentence, if not go ahead… I can wait. Yes you read that right. I just said that you CHOSE your mood. You have full control over how you feel and what you do. How many times have we said, “They made me mad.” I know I have. If it’s possible for someone else to make us feel something then why do we correct children’s behaviors? How is it that some people are angry all of the time but others everything seems to roll right off of their back? Personally I HATE the idea of someone else having control over anything that I do.
So what does this have to do with negative self talk? Did you know that negative self talk is a learned behavior? It’s true! Yes everyone does it in one way or another but some use it to tear themselves down while others use it to evaluate things they did wrong and how to deal with it. More than likely if you are reading this post you are pry like many of us who tend to not do the second step. We don’t evaluate and decide what to do about it.
When I really started working on fixing my negative self talk after hearing that statement I learned about the S.O.S. technique. I technically knew that it was making things worse and that I felt like I was spiraling downward but I wasn’t sure what exactly to do. I wasn’t taking the extra steps to make a solution to what was going through my head. Using S.O.S was huge in helping me redirect and focus on what I can do to change.
When I was telling myself that I was too heavy I would ask myself what I had done that day to improve the situation. If the thoughts that I was a mess with my finances cross my mind I ask myself when the last time was that I actually wrote out my budget. When I think that I am not good enough I make myself think of at least 3 things that I am good at no matter how small they may seem.
Changing the process of my negative self talk has literally changed how things go in my life. I’m still a work in progress but I miss less good things in my life because of my attitude. I can actually enjoy the things that I am good at because I am not focusing on my flaws instead. Think of the possibilities if things went your way. Think of how different your life could be.