Your mind has more influence over you than any person or situation. Your thoughts guide you in ways you might never be aware of. And we aren’t just talking about how you think about other people or situations, your thoughts have a direct impact on how you perceive yourself.
How you think about yourself and the words you use to talk about yourself dictate how you act. If you are constantly asking yourself how you got your job and telling yourself you have no idea what you are doing and that there’s no way you’ll ever be able to advance because you aren’t talented enough, you will start to embody those words. After hearing them enough, you will start to act like it. You’ll never be confident in the actions you take at work, and you won’t get that promotion. Your thoughts feed your reality.
Once you’ve drawn a conclusion about yourself you start looking for evidence to back it up and you discount anything that shows the contrary.
One common example of this is those who constantly view themselves as a failure, and when they do find success they chalk it up to luck because they aren’t possibly good enough to have something positive happen to them on purpose.
Negative thoughts can create a very dark mental pattern that gets harder to escape the longer it goes on. Spending years thinking poorly of yourself isn’t impossible to reverse, but it will take some time.
If you want to start living your best life, feeling good and having a positive relationship with yourself there are a few simple things you can do to constructively direct your thoughts in a positive way.
Before you can start changing your negative thought pattern you first must be able to recognize it. Throughout your day when your inner voice pipes up and starts offering an opinion, take a moment to think about what you’re telling yourself. Is what you are saying helpful or constructive? Is it motivating or demeaning?
Take stock of the labels you’ve put on yourself and remember that you aren’t confined to them.
Once you’ve been able to recognize your inner chatter, you must then listen to what you are saying to yourself.
Consider the words you are telling yourself and imaging saying those things to a friend. If you cringe at the idea of voicing those words to a friend, chances are you shouldn’t be using them to address yourself either.
Give yourself time at the beginning or end of each day for reflection. Take note of all the things you said to yourself and start to recognize what makes you critical or fearful and in turn, what makes you positive and appreciate of yourself?
Once you understand what events trigger positive and negative language, you can stop yourself during those trigger moments when you are about to turn and be negative. You can stop negative thoughts and instead think about them in a more positive and constructive way.
While it isn’t realistic to be in a good, positive mood all the time, you can start being regularly mindful of your thoughts. Be intentional with your inner dialogue and work on making positive, reaffirming comments. This will help retrain your brain to send positive signals instead of negative ones and eventually making your default inner language a positive one.