You know what I think of when I think of today’s featured blogger? Someone who knows who she is and blogs from a very honest place. Please welcome Molly from A Day in Mollywood. Someone I absolutely cannot wait to hug at Blissdom later this month!
I have this problem. Maybe you have it. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you have it but you don’t even know you have it. As was the case with me.
My problem is called negative self-talk.
I became aware of this life-altering, tragic habit only after seeing the same therapist for an entire year. What? Everyone has a therapist, right? Or is that just me? Okay, moving along . . .
She told me that I beat myself up too much. That I have a terrible case of negative self-talk. I was shocked when she said it.
“No I don’t,” I argued.
Later that night I thought long and hard about her words. The conversation in my head went a bit like this.
Who does she think she is? Telling me I beat myself up too much. I don’t beat myself up. I just have high standards. And I don’t meet most of the standards. I am far behind my standards. I can’t do anything right. God, I really suck at life. I have to go to therapy. That right there is a sign that I suck. Man, I’m really worthless.
Do you see what happened there? Yeah, me too. Look how mean I was being to myself!
Negative self-talk is when your inner voice tells you very bad things. The voice talks so quickly that most people don’t even know it’s happening.
The next time I saw my therapist I told her about my little light bulb moment.
“You’re right,” I said with a smirk, “I hate on myself and I didn’t even know it.”
She looked me in the eye and said, “Now that you know you have the power to stop it.”
POWER. Now there is a word that should be in every person’s vocabulary.
After 30 years, I had perfected the art of negative self-talk. Only now is it clear how severely this terrible little voice inside has affected my physical and mental well-being.
Think about it this way – if there were someone standing in front of you telling you horrible, no-good things multiple times a day, well, you’d be a mess, right? It’s the same with negative self-talk.
But it’s not easy to stop. First comes awareness but then comes the hard part. Stopping the talk before you start. You have to learn to catch yourself before you attack. I’m not always great at catching it. Sometimes I have to stop mid-sentence.
Ugh, look at this laundry piling up. I hate laundry. Maybe if I were more organized it wouldn’t pile up like this . . . oops. There I go again. You’re not a bad person for not doing the laundry. You’re a tired mom and it happens to everyone.
Do you see how I changed my self-talk? I literally talked myself out of the bad thought I was having.
Now that you know about negative self-talk, I’ll give you a challenge. Listen to yourself. No, really. Listen carefully to that unspoken dialogue taking place within you. Are you being nice to yourself?
Because you should be.