“Happiness doesn’t start with a relationship, a vacation, a job, or with money.
It starts with your thinking and what you tell yourself everyday!” – Unknown
We get so sucked into the marketing hypes and Influencer’s posts that we start to compare how our lives look next to who we perceive as happy or successful, that we forget to value ourselves…
Well, maybe we don’t exactly forget to value ourselves, we just aren’t really aware that we ARE valuable, and that how we think of ourselves can either greatly add to or take away from our satisfaction with our lives!
I used to beat myself up terribly with horrible self-talk! I was very good at it, leaping to heap negativity on myself before anyone else could.
I had internalized the negative messages I had received from people throughout my life and had arrived at the inner conclusion that I must deserve the treatment. Why else would people treat me badly?
When I became aware of how my internal negative self-talk was fueling my anxieties and my depression, I set out to change how I spoke to myself.
This is no easy task!
If you’ve tried to change how you speak to yourself, you know what I’m talking about!
Why is it so difficult to change our self talk?
Like any bad habit, or any habitual behavior or thought pattern, our brains create Neural Pathways with each thought or action.
Repeat the thought or action often and each of the Pathways become overlaid, one over the other, so roadways, even wide highways are created, as short-cuts, allowing us to perform even complex tasks without much thought.
How can we change how we speak to ourselves?
Simply trying to force ourselves NOT to think a thought or to do an action just isn’t effective, as we end up fighting against the wiring of our brains!
Here’s the trick to change:
We need to create NEW Neural pathways!
We do this by CHOOSING to think new thoughts and to mindfully do new actions!
Repeat the new thoughts and actions often enough, these become our new go-to’s, and the old Neural Pathways gradually fade out from dis-use!
I learned that when I started to try to think new thoughts, they felt so alien to me. They felt so unnatural, that I struggled to believe them.
I turned to positive quotes
I searched for positive quotes I could believe at that point in my life.
As I got better at thinking positive thoughts, I found I related to different quotes which had previously challenged me!
I printed them out and taped them up on my walls in my office and my home!
I wrote them out when I journaled and did art therapy!
I repeated them to myself quietly when I felt blue or when I was slipping down old rabbit holes of thought!
It takes perseverance!
Simply trying a new thought or action a couple of times won’t be enough!
We need to persevere with repeating the process! This is the way we create new Neural Pathways and effectively rewire our brains!
The hardest quotes and thoughts to incorporate were the ones relating to my self worth.
When we change how we see ourselves, the way people treat us also changes!
I struggled to see myself as worthy or worthwhile, because I had internalized the treatment I had received from others.
As I worked on healing my spirit from the years of abuse, and as I worked on teaching myself to see my value, something imperceptible to me changed, and people started treating me differently!
Negative people are out there all the time!
Negative people instinctively know who will accept their negativity and who won’t.
As we become more positive, this becomes repulsive to them, as they don’t have someone to a) commiserate with or b) to unload or vent on!
As we become more positive, we are able to more easily recognize their negative behavior as being detrimental to our own mental health, so we’re able to keep them out of our inner bubble so we don’t get burdened with their negative thoughts!
It’s not our responsibility to help the negative people to grow and to change!
When we recognize the healthy boundaries between us and their negativity, we no longer feel the need to be MARTYRS in order to try to gain their approval!
Staying around the negative people to try to gain approval from them is a big waste of time, because in their current state of mind they’re incapable of it!
You will forever be chasing the wind, trying to capture it in a jar to boost your own sense of self!
When we take responsibility of our own sense of self-worth, our own happiness, give ourselves the approval we need, we find we’re able to wean ourselves off from feeling we need the approval they’re incapable of giving us!
This is a HUGE shift in our mindset, and is crucial for our happiness and mental health!
Here are a few affirmations to get the ball rolling:
I AM worthy!
I am capable of much more than I currently know I am!
I am stronger than I feel right now!
I will turn the poison in my life into medicine!
I am loved and cherished by the universe and by God for who I am, right now!
The universe has my back and is conspiring to help me!
I am open to learning more and to having teachers sent to me!
You can change your thoughts! It will take time and perseverance, so keep going!
If you’re ready to dig deeper into the issues which got you thinking so negatively about yourself, I recommend working through Developing Happiness When You Can’t Find It.
Here’s a few posts which explain in a little more detail how to start making some inner changes:
Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:
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