You Are Enough:
Reprogramming Our Negative Self-Talk
From whom or where did we learn to think we are not enough?
I asked a friend, “If you’re having positive self-talk, what do you say to yourself?”
She instinctively replied, “Stop being a dumbass.”
“No,” I interjected, “that’s not positive!”
Then we laughed.
We laughed because it’s true. That’s what we do. We beat ourselves up. We’re tough on ourselves. Like, way more tough that we’d ever be with someone else we love.
Being tough can be good. I want my friends to call me out, put me in my place, give me perspective. But love is still part of it. Be lovingly tough, say it with kindness, not malice.
When we speak to ourselves, the love part is often missing. And, arguably, that’s when it’s most needed.
We should say to ourselves:
You look gooooood today!
You’ve got this.
Damn, you killed that presentation.
Instead, it’s often:
You’re so ugly.
You look terrible!
You’re not doing enough.
Stop being such an idiot.
Stop eating like a fat ass, get to the gym!
You should’ve gotten that job, that promotion, that deal.
From whom or where did we learn this?
When I ask my 3-year-old niece Noa whom she loves, in addition to “Mama and Mimi and Dada,” she says, “Noa.”
Is my niece’s self-love inherent and untaught? Is it a result of what my sister, brother-in-law, and our immediate family members are teaching her? Her teachers at the two schools she attends? Her young friends?
At what point do we allow self-doubt to destroy our self-love? When we’re exposed to mainstream media, the type that perpetuates a message that we are not enough? When we’re exposed to others who don’t love themselves and emit negativity to those all around?
If my parents had told me, “You’re stupid, incapable, and ugly,” that’s probably what my internal dialogue would look like. Instead, it’s mostly positive affirmations of my ability to do anything and everything. Of course there’s the occasional negative belief, of which I picked up as a teenager when my body and mind were rapidly changing, mostly awkwardly, and media and others were .
It’s on us to individually work incredibly hard to own and replace those destructive beliefs. Most days I do, some days I don’t succeed.
I wanted to ask, Is it on us to self discover and figure out what’s happening inside and then adjust to return to that childlike state of happiness? But I know it is. How do we gather all the noise around us and lovingly set aside that which does not serve us while holding closer that which does?
I want us to step back and really acknowledge how much power we have to influence others and ourselves, to either inspire love or hate.
We must take ownership of the power of our words and thoughts.
What are you doing right now to manifest more self love?
Instead of “I should’ve done this,” empower, “I did this!”
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