Every time I host a workshop with a new group of people, I ask them to write down 10 things they like about themselves. Have you ever done that?
Try it now. I'll give you a few minutes. (Insert Jeopardy music here...)
It's hard. Really, really hard for some of us.
But, what if I asked you to write down 10 things you didn't like about yourself? You've probably rattled off your top five in your head while reading this.
Why is that? Why are we so critical of ourselves?
Our brains are wired for that "fight or flight" response to a situation. For our safety and survival, our brains need to respond quickly. These negative thoughts and feelings cause our brain to respond as needed. (Think: Caveman being chased by a predator! RUN!) Positive thoughts and feelings tell our brain that "all is well." So, what I'm saying is that it's natural for these negative thoughts to pop into our heads. The problem is, most of our negative thoughts and feelings are NOT life threatening. We need to be aware of the negative and feed ourselves positive messages.
Sending positive messages to your brain takes a conscious effort. So, how do you do that?
...It's repeating a positive mantra, quote or verse.
...It's reminding yourself about all of the things you do well. (Writing a list and keeping it handy as a reminder works well, too.)
...It's looking for the silver lining.
...It's making a new plan when your original doesn't go the way you thought it would.
...It's writing down your goals and dreams.
...Creating a vision board is a fun way to keep your dreams awake, too!
...It's being open to a GROWTH MINDSET
And for the record, I do the TOP 10 EVERY TIME I ask a group to do it. I know it's coming, and I usually get stuck around 5-7 depending on my mood. So, even knowing all of this stuff about positive self talk, it still takes WORK and EFFORT.
But, you know what? It's worth it. It's part of my mental health maintenance. Consider making it part of yours. There are no magic wands in this life. There is conscious effort to do our best and always keep moving forward. Sometimes the steps are small. Sometimes, they are giant leaps. Just moving in the right direction. Offer yourself some grace. You're worth it.
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