Just think about it for a moment.
You’re having a really bad week. Your boyfriend broke up with you, your check engine light keeps coming on and you have to bring it to the shop, AGAIN. You woke up on time (finally) but find you’re out of coffee and you want to punch yourself for forgetting to buy some the day before. Your coworker got the promotion at work that you thought you had in the bag. Oh, and you forgot to pay your phone bill so now you’re going to have a late fee. Great.
These things happen to us all the time. Most of the time probably, because life is always full of those unexpected inconveniences. And it’s normal. There’s not much you can do about it. But what IS in your control is how you cope and deal with these negative everyday occurrences. For the person with low self-esteem, the self talk that had gone on during that terrible week may have gone something like this:
“I can’t believe he broke up with me. Well, of course he did because I’m a terrible person and I’m un-loveable and who can even blame him? I suck and I’m destined to be alone.”
“Are you even kidding me with this stupid car? This piece of junk has been nothing but trouble since I bought it. Now I have to put even more money into this stupid thing and I’ll be poor forever.”
“Of course there’s no coffee this morning. Of course. I can’t even remember something as simple as picking up some coffee? No wonder I didn’t get that damn promotion, I’m such an idiot!”
“Oh my god, I didn’t pay the phone bill? How did that even happen? Ugh, I’m worthless and I’m never getting anywhere in life.”
These may seem extreme to you, but you’d be surprised how common it is to talk down to yourself, and you may not even realize you’re doing it. A person with healthy self-talk would say, “Oh jeeze, forgot the coffee. That sucks. I’ll stop at the store on the way to work and grab a cup and then I’ll pick some up for the house later.”
When you have that negative dialogue playing in your mind all the time, you’re going to bring yourself further and further into a negative sink hole. The more negative thoughts you think, the more negative things will happen to you. If you truly feel that you suck, or are a bad person, everything that happens to you will become something ‘bad’, because that stupid tape recording in your mind is telling you so. And there’s usually a few recordings that get stuck on repeat, and they surface like an ugly rash that won’t go away and seeps into everything you do in your life.
If you keep telling yourself you’re not good enough and you’re emitting that negative energy, well, chances are even if a great opportunity comes along, you’re still going to tell yourself you’re not good enough, and you may pass it up because you don’t want to fail.
So how do you fix this?
It may seem strange to you, because the best way to make them work is to speak them out loud. Talking out loud to yourself about anything sometimes feels a little strange, but it’s important.
Here’s how it works.
Really think about the negative things you tell yourself and rewrite them.
Do you think you aren’t good enough? “I am capable and smart and I can do anything I set my mind on”.
Do you feel stupid? “I am a smart, intelligent, and intellectual wo(man)”
Worthless? “I am important and have great things to offer the world”
Find your nastiest self recordings and change them. Rewrite them. Be aware of the things you are saying throughout your day. When you catch yourself saying what an idiot you are, just STOP, take a breath, tell yourself it’s okay and start again. Say “I’m not an idiot. I made a mistake. I am smart and capable”. This simple act will start to rewire your brain, and eventually you will stop the negative self talk all together. And in time, you will feel better about yourself. You will start to notice the positive things that happen to you, where you weren’t able to see them before.
These positive affirmations will slowly overwrite the old negative ones, and when something bad happens to you, you’ll stop jumping to the harsh conclusion that you aren’t good enough.
Simple, isn’t it? It’s harder than it seems. Pick a few positive affirmations and say them to yourself 5 times in the morning before you even get out of bed. Say them throughout the day. And at night, right before you fall asleep, say them 5 more times to set up your unconscious mind for positive thoughts. You’ll wake up in a better mood and start your day off right.
Trust me, this will help you. What have you got to lose?