If a friend says to you, “You look so cute in that dress!” …what would your first thought be? “No I don’t..She’s lying.” “Why is she saying that? I must look fat.” Or do you say, “That was so nice of her to notice and point it out to me.” “Yea, I just saved up my babysitting money and finally was able to buy this dress I’ve been wanting for so long. I’m so glad she likes it too.”
When you make a mistake on a test do you say, “What’s wrong with me?” “That was so stupid of me!” “I’m gonna fail this class.” Or do you say, “It was only one mistake and I know the right answer for the next time.” “It was a careless error and doesn’t count too much towards my whole grade.”
When you yell at your son do you say to yourself, “How could I yell at him? I’m such a bad mom!” or do you say, “Everyone loses it once in a while. I can use it as a learning experience to talk with him after I cool down.”
Be careful about what you are saying to yourself because someone is listening (You!)
Most of the time there is a running dialogue inside everyone’s head. “What did she mean by that?”, “That dress is very cute on her but wouldn’t be on me,” “I am such a loser that I just failed that test,” “I’m a bad parent for yelling at my kid,” “No wonder why I have no friends..” These internal thoughts help create a person’s self-esteem.
We all talk to ourselves our whole lives and are mostly unaware of it and the affect it can have on how we feel about ourselves. It is helpful to be more aware of these negative thoughts and figure out a way to change the self talk.
Some suggestions to try would be to think of 5 negative self thoughts and then change them to positive ones. Send yourself a text every day with a new one, say one to yourself in the mirror in the morning when you wake up, send yourself a FB message or a snapchat picture with the message written out, use snail mail and write yourself a letter saying something positive, put a note on your pillow for when you get back at the end of the day. Try this for just one week and see how your self talk can become more positive and make you feel better about your new, more positive way of treating yourself!