(If you haven’t read part 1 of this series, please go back and read it from last week before reading today’s post.)
Creating awareness of your present thoughts is the first step to self-love. It’s common to have negative self-talk running in a loop in our habit brains. For many, it’s thoughts of, “I’m not worthy of love,” “I’m so stupid,” or some variation of a shame-inducing thought that keeps us down and wanting to focus on our futures instead of our present. We think we can work our way out of these thoughts and feelings, but it can’t happen. Worth and value can’t be earned. They have to accepted as a basic part of who we are. “I am worthy because I exist as a human on this planet.” Period.
I’ve seen women who punish themselves because of who they are in the present. “I can’t buy new clothes until I am a size smaller,” even though the clothes they have are worn or outdated. I’ve seen women who avoid any type of confrontation at work even though they are in management positions where conflict is expected and necessary. All of these behaviors are a result of not liking or being confident in who we are, and it is critical that we become present with our self-talk to determine what we think of ourselves in the present. There’s no amount of self-loathing that will move us forward and make us feel worthy, so identify your negative self-talk and vow to put an end to it for good.
Once you have an awareness of what you think of yourself in the present, you can begin to get a sense of what you need to correct to move forward. I read a blog the other day that suggested we just need to replace our negative self-talk with positive thoughts, just replace the bad thoughts with rainbows and daisies. I think this is where the concept of positive affirmations comes from, but there’s a BIG problem with moving directly from negative self-talk to positive thoughts… If we could just do that, would we be stuck in this loop in the first place?!?
The only way to move forward is to accept that the negative self-talk exists in your brain and NEUTRALIZE it. The way to accomplish this is to acknowledge the negative thought … “Oh, there I go thinking I’m not worthy of love. Just like always.” … and continue on with your day. Your brain thinks the negative thoughts it has because it’s trying to keep you safe from something. Maybe you don’t want to make yourself vulnerable in some way. Maybe you don’t want to feel a negative feeling like fear or shame or failure. But that negative feeling is the worst that can happen. Are your dreams worth a few negative feelings or being vulnerable? If they are, sign up for a free coaching session with me, and I’ll help you plan a way out of your negative self-talk and toward the life you deserve. Until then, much love!