If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago. Cheri Huber, author of There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate
For the December issue of Vanity Fair, the British author Zadie Smith completed a questionnaire which asked: What do you dislike most about your appearance? “I like it all,” replied Smith, 41. “Self-hatred is for younger, prettier women.” I say self-hatred is for none of us!
Negative self-talk can be destructive not only to ourselves but to our relationships. Here are a few tips to help you tone-down the negative self-talk:
—Name the negative “person” in your head. I call mine the Gremlin. Talk back to the Gremlin, argue with him/her, challenge the Gremlin with the truth.
—Track when your Gremlin is speaking to you. One of the first steps to changing a habit is recognizing when it occurs. Journaling is a helpful way to do this or simply stop and make a mental note of unwarranted negativity.
—Affirm yourself. If your Gremlin is invading your space, affirm yourself. Gremlins hate affirmations because they take away their power. You may not rid yourself of the Gremlin but you can tame him.
Affirmation: I will tame my Gremlin.
Coaching questions: When does your Gremlin use negative self-talk on you? What does he/she say? What will you do the next time this happens to dispel the negative self-talk?
Photo by Andreas Avgousti on Unsplash
You can change your world by changing your words. Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue. Joel Osteen, pastor
Whether you’re speaking with others or to yourself, the words you use go a long way to shaping your experiences. In other words, we’re programmed by the words we speak and hear. This is one reason I include an affirmation with every blog. How we speak to yourselves, especially when we use the phrase, “I am,” goes a long way towards creating our reality.
Saying to ourself, “I’m exhausted” is disempowering. Whereas, “I’m ready for some down time” can empower you to get some rest. Also, check out words or phases you frequently use that may be limiting like “whatever” or “I don’t care.” You may be using these phrases simply because you don’t want to engage, be truthful, or confront. Learning to speak clearly and honestly with respect for yourself and others will go a long way towards helping you change your perception of yourself and your world.
Affirmation: I will speak with clarity and purpose.
Coaching questions: What limiting terms or phrases do you use? What will you do to limit negative self talk? What difference might changing some of your language make in your life?
Photo by Marina Vitale on Unsplash
It’s about the white spaces between the paragraphs, which I think are more important than any of the text. It allows you to think about what’s just been said. Fred Rogers, American television personality and much, much more
As a Life Coach, I was trained to recognize and encourage the white spaces during coaching sessions. The times when a question is asked and there is a long pause. I learned to be still, let the responder think, and perhaps become uncomfortable with the silence. The same is true in writing. Without paragraphs or chapters breaks the magnitude of words would overwhelm us. It’s about the white space.
I’ve designed the affirmation and coaching questions in this blog to add white space. Say the affirmation aloud, sit with it a moment. Consider the coaching questions. Do they apply to you? Read them and be still to see what resonates. Being quiet is an important aspect of mental health and personal growth. Allow your body, soul, mind, and God to speak to you. Be still and listen.
Affirmation: I honor the stillness.
Coaching question/request: How do you view the white spaces in your life? Take a moment right now and be still.
Changing your mindset can change everything. Jen Sinero, author of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
I include an affirmation with each blog post because I know they make a difference. Even if you don’t quite buy your affirming words, your brain believes them. For instance, Sinero, executive coach with the long book title above, suggests changing a message like, “I’m so nervous about this presentation” to “I’m so excited to be doing this.”
Affirm yourself with positive language. Not, “I hope I don’t get sick” but rather, “I am healthy.” Affirming yourself may sound hookey but, believe me, it will make a difference in your life because your brain is listening.
Affirmation: My brain is listening, I know how to change my mindset.
Coaching requests: Think of one thing you want to change or attract into your life. Now, write a positive statement about this. Post your message on the bathroom mirror and repeat it out loud to yourself twice a day for a week.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (July 8, 1926 – August 24, 2004), Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death, grief studies and author
- Have no secrets – tell the truth, talk about your experience, use real words, acknowledge reality
- Get outside of yourself – serve others, volunteer
- Use affirmations – affirm yourself and your progress, state what you want and how you want to be
- Connect to a community – find others (on line or in person) who have had a similar experience
- Seek therapy – don’t try to recover on your own if you’re struggling
- Be kind to yourself – honor your individual grief process, your anger, and your guilt
- Honor the person you have lost by working your way back to living life to the fullest
Affirmation: I have found my way out of the depths.
Coaching questions: If you’ve experienced loss, what tips might work for you? What will you do today to implement your choice? What difference might it make?
Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily. Tia Walker, American blogger and founder of A-List Diet and Fitness
Yesterday I received an email from a good friend that was an affirmation with enough “mental vitamins” in it to last me for several weeks. He wrote, “Just finished catching up with your blog. I’m always left speechless….and to write such beautiful and deeply meaningful prose.” I can’t bring myself to delete the email yet…his words give me additional energy to keep writing.
I give you, Dear Reader, a daily dose of mental vitamins because I’ve witnessed the power of affirmation. Whether the words come from you to you or from another to you, the power it there. In the climate of our world today, we all need our daily dose of mental vitamins, positive energy, more than ever before.
Affirmation: I have the power and will to affirm myself.
Coaching requests: Create one affirmation for yourself today…post it for a week. Send or speak an affirmation to another today.
Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face. George Eliot, pen name for Mary Anne Evans, English novelist, poet, leading writer of the Victorian era.
Sadness usually comes upon motherless daughters as Mother’s Day approaches. The day has always been a little sad for me too…even after all these years. These days, I’m doubly sad because I don’t get to spend time with my children or grandchildren on Mother’s Day.
However, one thing I’ve learned is that when I focus on what my mother meant to my life in the short time she was with me and how fortunate I was to have a wonderful father, my heart becomes lighter. When it’s less about what I lost and more about what I gained…yes, gained…by losing a mother at an early age my heart is lighter.
When I was growing up, our church had a Mother/Daughter Banquet. An elderly lady, Mrs. Pierce, always invited me to attend with her. What a loving thing to do. This week, I will remember her too.
The photo is my mom and me taken on vacation a few years before she died, circa 1950.
Affirmation: I am because we were.
Coaching question: What will help you feel less sad this week? How can you help a motherless daughter have a better day?