I’ve been touching on and talking about comparing ourselves to others, self-criticism and the viciousness we allow ourselves to describe..ourselves; negative self-talk. It’s really kind of cathartic for me. It doesn’t mean I have it all figured out. It doesn’t mean that I’m pointing my finger away from myself because I’m so past all of this. Sometimes, when I use the pronoun ‘You’, I’m being one of those weird people that talks to themselves in the Third-Person, but I’ve taken it to a whole new level – talking to myself in the Second-Person.
You should know that. *wink*… *wink back*
What I haven’t talked about is how to stop living with the constant drone of negativity, sometimes not even expressed with word-thoughts, but as an underlying feeling or sense of shame and failure. That brings us to the three “R”s. (I love threes!). Recognize, Realize, Revise.
Recognize when you say something or think something negative about yourself. This, for me is one of the hardest parts because it happens so naturally. It’s so comfortable to hate on myself and I’ve been doing it for so long, it happens automatically. BUT – when you make an effort or create some mental trigger to be on the lookout for your own negative self-talk, you actually will catch a few of the more obvious ones. You’ll be surprised when you realize a thought you never noticed before, but it will be this familiar thing that you have been doing all along. There it is, and you never recognized it. Practice that!
Realize that you can call that thought out for being negative. Even if it seems true or is true in part or whole, defend yourself. Don’t make excuses, either own it and get ready for the third “R” or smash it outright for being utter nonsense and just plain meanness. More often than not, it’s a bully-you running that you use to beat yourself up with – punish yourself with – so you either avoid doing something you said you didn’t want to do, or to get yourself to do something you said you did want to do. But most importantly, REALIZE that the way you are feeling is the result of the thoughts you are having, and the thoughts you are having are based on a choice you are making. You ARE in control and you get to decide what you think, how you think, and why you’re going to think it. You are not the victim, you are not the victimizer – you are an adult.
Revise. Change. Make the choice. Stick to it. Forgive yourself.
Did I say any of this would be easy? This.. this is the foundation for every great or small thing you will ever do in life. This is something you will practice for the rest of your life. You will fail, you will succeed, you will forget and remember, you will resolve, you will fall away – just don’t quit.