Negative self-talk can hold you back from so much of what life has to offer, often because of fear of what others will think. It's an ongoing practice to push yourself out of the fear of judgment and into the discomfort of change, but it's 100% worth it every time.
Case in point - today I went and got eyelash extensions. Part of me didn't want to do it because I was concerned that I might not be taken seriously in my professional work. I worried that people would think I'm ridiculous for wearing these big wispy lashes and maybe they'd assume I'm not smart.
But then I think about some of the women I know or follow on social media that rock long lashes, hair extensions or boob jobs and I think - they all look awesome. They're not ridiculous or stupid. So why do I put these labels on myself?
I am, in no uncertain terms, my own worst enemy. Truth is, I am smart. I'm not ridiculous and even though I don't take myself too seriously, my professional often do because I'm really good at what I do.
This is just one of those days where I have to make the conscious effort to get over myself and stop berating my choices because at the end of the day - they're just lashes..
How to Control Negative Self-Talk
The key to controlling negative self-talk is to be aware that it's happening. So often the crap that we tell ourselves is so subtle that it's hard to tell it's even happening. I can be thinking of picking up milk one minute, and the next I can be berating the size of my thighs or circles under my eyes, then jump right back into my mental grocery list without even realizing it.
Staying aware of your thoughts isn't easy, but it's manageable if you make mindfulness a priority. Have you ever noticed that people who meditate are so happy? That's because they're aware of their nasty self-talk and can stop it before it makes their inner child cry. It's not an immediate fix, but longer term, meditation over medication is a recipe for happier thoughts.
In the short term, the best thing you can do is crowd out your negative nelly with your positive voice. Yes, you do have one. Tell yourself you're having a good hair day or commend yourself when you do something nice for a friend. You are a good friend, you do have good hair days and yes, you're smart, too!
Pointing out your positive actions, behaviors, and attributes takes no more effort than pointing out the bad ones, but it's not automatic. You do have to remind yourself, so that's a good reason to put a reminder bell on your phone. Every time it goes off, you have to say something loving about yourself, to yourself.
Obviously, if your negative self-talk is crippling you, then the most loving action you can take is to seek out a therapist. We all have those days when the cruel inner voice doesn't seem to stop, but if that's every day, it's time to do something about it. Life is far too short and precious to be hating on yourself.
Struggling with negative thoughts? Here's 3 Books that Have Helped Me Combating Negative Self-Talk
PS - I can say with confidence that my husband will think they are 100% ridiculous but will love me nonetheless. So yes, there's always someone out there that won't like your choices, but oh well.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.