If you’ve been boot-scootin’ around my website, you more than likely saw one of my quotes that says, “How you think about yourself is how you treat yourself. So be nice.” (0h look, I put it down below in case you missed it). I didn’t mean that to be just some pithy saying; I really meant it. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say about themselves that they’re worthless, stupid, can’t do it, not good enough, not smart enough – the list goes on.
Now I get that we all feel inadequate or ridiculous at times, or we get embarrassed in a situation, but why should that equate to us being stupid, worthless, inept, and so on? There’s a danger to saying those things to ourselves because what we tell ourselves becomes a reality. It’s a psychological fact. It’s because our mind (not our brain) is so agreeable to whatever we say, it will cause us to act on what we say. For instance, I am not a fan of math (I mean, who is, really?). But I have gone so far as to say that I can’t do math. Whenever I say that, my mind instantly agrees with me (truth or not) and then tells my brain (mind and brain are separate entities), “Hey, we’re not good at math, so act accordingly,” to which my brain then causes me to struggle with math. But that negative self-talk is not valid. My problem was that I had teachers who didn’t teach math well, which made me frustrated, which caused me to struggle with math, and therefore, I determined that I am not good at math. Ergo, I don’t like doing math, and so I’m not fond of it. But if I changed my self-talk to say, “I am good at math,” my mind would tell my brain that, and I would start acting like I’m good at math. This is not a one-off approach. I have to keep telling myself I’m good at math even though I may still struggle with a formula or have to review some processes, but I would start to get it.
I like what Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” I get that many of us have had negative, hurtful words spoken at us, and we have believed them, and that’s sad. It’s not right, and I feel you. But you don’t have to live there. You don’t have to agree with and therefore live out what someone else said about you. Change the narrative. Start telling yourself, “I am good enough,” or “I am intelligent,” or “I am ________________ (you fill in the blank). But say it in the affirmative and present tense, “I am.” The more you do, the more your self-perception will change, and you will be unstoppable. So change your thinking, and start being kind to yourself.
P.S. If you struggle with negative self-talk and self-esteem issues, I would love to talk to you. Click below to schedule your first session with me, and together we can work through these challenges. I can’t wait to hear from you!