Do I look awful in this outfit?
Did I ask them enough questions?
Why did I say that? I am such an idiot.
I hate how my voice sounds.

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, thoughts like these are all too common of an occurrence with women of all ages, races, income levels, backgrounds and lifestyles. We constantly berate ourselves in our minds, picking apart everything we say or do. But the good news is…

We can shut off that voice in our heads!
Here are a few tips to get you started and get that negative Nancy that’s been shacking up in your brain to take a hike:

Ignore those thoughts.
Human beings have thousands of thoughts that pass through our brains every day, many of them on “autopilot.” So, we cannot and SHOULD not give every one of them our time and attention. Once you become aware of this negative voice in your head and realize that you don’t want it there anymore, you can choose to stop listening to it. The thoughts may still come, but you can recognize them at the moment and simply redirect your attention or let the thought go immediately.

Remember – thoughts DO NOT always equal truth.

Replace them with good things.
You can’t just will away the negative thoughts and then do nothing to fill in the empty space. Your brain has been chugging away for years thinking negative things about yourself. So, now you have to purposefully start filling it up with good things like:

I am good enough.
I am loved.
I am talented.
I am beautiful.

Whether you believe them at first, doesn’t really matter. And don’t be surprised if you feel resistance. Your brain is a stubborn thing and it will revolt a little at first because it’s going to say “this is not the program!” But you simply say, “Oh yes, it is” and you keep on going.

Shed the guilt and shame.
Feeling guilt or shame over a past event will not erase it. All it will actually do is keep you feeling miserable in the present moment.
So it’s important to let yourself process events from your past so you can finally let them go. You can speak to a counselor, pray, journal about it or all of the above, but take some time to actually face those demons, extract whatever lessons you need to learn from the situation(s) and then release it. For good.
Stop getting your worth from others.
Many of these self-berating thoughts are based on what others will think. It’s all focused on “them” except… who are “they” anyway? They’re just a bunch of other people who are concerned with what you think about them!

So, it’s time to stop worrying about them and remember that your worth comes from God. You were created to be the special, unique YOU that you are. No one else.

Be graceful with yourself.
Extend some grace and some compassion. If you have to, think about how you would act if it were a close friend or family member that was suffering and then treat yourself the same way. Or better yet, picture it is a child that is upset. You wouldn’t demean a child for something that they said or did, would you? So why do it to yourself?

Loving yourself and lifting yourself up is not selfish or in appropriate. It’s necessary.

So, stop the madness. Be aware. Be forgiving. Be kind. And tell that negative voice in your head once and for all… it’s time to GET OUT!

By Jenn of Live a FAST Life

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