Turning the Negative Self-Talk Around
It is funny how fast time flies by, isn’t it? Here we are almost done with January and I am just now writing a post. Can I let you in on a little secret? This part of “failing” to not meet my posting goals at one time would have completely derailed me. Yep, I would have spent hours and hours worrying about not doing what I wanted to do, not meeting my expectations for myself and beating myself up for not completing what I had planned. In the past, I would have (and did), decided to just give up and think I was not meant for this whole blogging thing and just move on with my life. I would have then let those ideas of failure fester in my head and would long to be a blogger, but because I “failed” I no longer should even try.
Wow, super negative, huh? This is how I used to be. Sometimes I still let that stinkin’ thinkin’ creep in, (I am a human, you know.) but honestly I have learned over the last few years how to shift my mindset and look at my failures as a stepping stone toward better. I now see the “failures” I make actually drive me forward and I get to use them as fuel to be better and grow more.
Over the last year I have listened to quite a few books helping me see the benefits of looking at things above the line or with the glass half full. There are so many books and podcasts I can recommend for this type of personal growth, and I have mentioned some of them in previous posts. For instance, this one here and this one too.
I have had a lot of life go on the last month or so since I wrote. My son came home from college for his Christmas break, we had Christmas and New Year and all the festivities that come along with that, we took a mini trip to Columbus with the family, (I do wish I would have written about that, it was a great trip. Who knows, maybe I will still?), funerals for friends, cheer competition and basketball games and then getting back into the swing of the new year! Man, we live fulfilling lives, don’t we? Now, I didn’t write all of that as an excuse, but to let you know that it is okay to let go of good things to make time for great things sometimes.
I know, if I always choose to do things that take me away from my goals, I would not have posts to share with you. However, in this instance, I know it was what was best for myself and my family. One of the many things that has changed in me is that I don’t feel guilty anymore. I no longer look at choices as selfishness, failures or not having what it takes. Now I look at the choices I make daily as stepping stones toward the better. I am chasing better one day at a time.
What about you? Do you constantly bad talk yourself and put yourself down when you don’t meet the expectations you put on yourself? I learned many years ago, even before my health journey began, that I had a very high expectation for myself. Extreme high standards were set for me to meet in order to feel like I was worthy. I would never expect anyone else to meet the standards I had for myself. If I heard a friend of mine speak of herself the way I did, I would tell her to stop. My actions would include breaking apart everything I did and see if it measured up to the standard I envisioned. I would compare myself with everyone I knew, and think I had to be more just to be worthy to be considered a successful woman. Yeah, I had high expectations of myself.
Can you relate to any of this? Do you put standards up for yourself that nobody in the world can actually meet them all? Do you constantly look at yourself as a failure as a mom, wife, friend, employee and so on? If so, I do hope this will help you.
Do this exercise with me, would you?
- Write it all down – Write everything down that you think you are. Jot down what you think you should be, and what you think others expect of you. Write it all down. Do this like a brain dump. Don’t take time to think through it, just write it all down. This is not a time for thinking through what you are writing down, just jot it down.
- Read this passage of scripture: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18, 23,24 You can read it here.
- Write down what you learn about who you are in Christ from this passage. Again, write it all down without thinking too much, just write what you learn.
- Ok, now go back to the first list you wrote down. Take a good look at the list and now look at it through the eyes of how God sees you. How does this list look different to you? What can you learn about yourself after comparing the two? It is pretty hard to be down on yourself when you read how much love was put in about your before you were even born. Isn’t it?
Now, I know that one exercise isn’t going to change all the negative self talk you do to yourself, but the next time you start a “should” or I “failed” enter your thoughts, I hope the words of Psalm 139 would echo in your mind. It takes lots of practice to build healthy habits for your mind. I encourage you to find ways to put healthy thoughts into your mind daily. Listen to a podcast or a good book. Read Scripture daily and journal what you learn. Write down a few things you are grateful for each morning and even write down some of your own aspirations you can review daily.
I created a printable of the passage in Psalm 139 we read today. Print it out and post it in places where your mind wanders or where you do your time of quiet each day. You can find it here. If you are wanting to learn more about how to change your mindset, let’s chat. I would love to have a chat on the phone, video on zoom or if we are close enough, maybe grab a cup of coffee and talk.
I hope you have a wonderful day and remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made!