The person under the most scrutiny from our judgmental, harsh human brains tends to be – our own selves. I am my toughest, most persistent critic and I’m sure many others can relate to this. How could we ever be happy and content with an overly critical voice constantly screaming insults throughout the day? It is difficult, that’s for certain.
What can we do about this critic from within? How can we silence it and create a new, more positive voice? Having a compassionate, benevolent voice in your own head takes practice, but it’s very possible if you take the time to reshape your thoughts.
1 – Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend.
Sometimes the way we speak to ourselves is absolutely cruel and unnecessary. Think of how you talk to a friend when he/she is in need versus the way you speak to yourself in difficult times. The responses are likely completely on opposite sides of the spectrum. Harsh words to yourself like, “You look ugly,” “You’re so stupid,” and “You should just give up,” are all too common. How often to do say this to a friend? Probably never. If you find yourself being overly-critical of the way you look, your habits, your words, etc., take a minute to calm down and talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. Say things like, “You look fine,” “You’re just having a rough day,” and, “You can do this.”
Would you personally hang out with a person who threw out degrading comments all day? If not, then you shouldn’t have to put up with it from yourself either. Make a conscious effort to swap up that inner self talk and add in tons of tenderhearted statements.
2 – Talk to yourself like you would talk to a child or a pet.
Here I’m referring that embarrassing, high pitched, baby-like talk that you give your kids and animals. We all have our own personal pet/child language, but they all have the same underlying message of “I love you with all my heart.” Go all in and spend five minutes in front of a mirror throwing out your most cheesy, childish compliments to yourself. “You’re so adorable, I love you, you are amazing and awesome, you’re so smart, I’m so glad you’re in my life!”
You deserve as much love as the cute kitty above. No holding back – it will feel terribly awkward and uncomfortable – but it will help you engrave more positive thoughts into your brain. And it will make you smile as well.
3 – Spend time with yourself.
Quality self-time is sure to open your eyes to the awesome person within. It’s great to be around others, but sometimes it’s necessary to hang out alone with your own thoughts. This quiet time alone is often something most people avoid – because it can be uncomfortable at first. In today’s world, we’re surrounded by stimulation to silence our inner voices. Social media, texting, talking with others, working too much – all of these serve as distractions from our thoughts. It can be scary to plan time away from the loudness.
Journal, take a long walk, go see a movie alone – the possibilities for a date with yourself are endless, and will not be as bad as you might think. Once you take the time to slow down and get to know who you really are, deep down, you will start to think, “Hey, I kind of like this person.” You also might surprise yourself.
4 – Say and repeat affirmations, in a mirror, at least twice per day.
Affirmations are awkward – it’s the truth. But they do grow less and less awkward with time and practice. And after awhile – you’ll even find yourself speaking those corny affirmations inside your head each time you see your own reflection. The first time I tried to speak a short list of affirmations in the mirror, I couldn’t. I stood there and stared at myself and started crying. I physically could not get the words to leave my throat. But I tried, everyday, morning and night. And then one day, one single affirmation came out. That’s all I managed that day, but it was a huge milestone for me. Work at it and create your own personal list of affirmations based on what your insecurities and sensitive spots are. Read that list out loud and in front of your reflection everyday and you will start to believe the words on the list.
Here are some of my personal affirmations as an example:
I’m a good person
I am enough
I am good enough
I’m proud of myself
I love my body
My body is strong
I am smart
I am creative
I am kind
My smile can make others smile
I love who I am
I am unique
If you are tired of talking to yourself with hatred and condemnation, please give the items in this post a try. Give it time, and your self talk will grow positive and uplifting. Thank you for reading this post and please know that you deserve to be treated with kindness from everyone – especially yourself.
Thank you for reading this post and I hope you are kind to yourself today.
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