By Jess Fraser
Replacing our negative self talk is a process which takes time and intentional effort. Let’s explore three easy steps to focus on in replacing your negative self talk with positive.
1. Create Awareness: Start paying attention to the things that you say to yourself. Some examples could be when you are looking at yourself in the mirror or forget something.Those moments when you feel uncomfortable or doing something new.Another one I hear from my clients is when celebrating or accepting compliments. They have a hard time with this and usually downplay or prevent these good moments from happening.
Activity 1: Take a quick note of these thoughts/verbiage in a journal or your phone as you go throughout your day. Note the positive and negative thoughts and chatter.
2. Stop Yourself: Start getting curious with your triggers and why you are saying this to yourself. Start getting to the root of these moments. It was in this phase that I focused on taking those words back and telling myself that what was said is not true. What are the facts? Stick to those not the judgment.
Activity 2: Start taking note of the different moments, people and places that foster the good and bad self talk. Are there any patterns you need to be mindful of? What can be done about these patterns? Where does positive self talk already work for you? Perhaps you can pull some ideas or support from there for the below step.
3. Replace It: Change that negative chatter that is no longer serving you with something positive, nurturing and kind. We can be the hardest on ourselves passing judgement which we would not push on anyone else, so why subject yourself to such meanness?
Activity 3: This is where your notes come in handy. Carve out some time to go through the negative talk (Activity 1) and your triggers (Activity 2). Knowing how you are triggered can also help you prepare better as we know you cannot always eliminate these. This process can be a part of managing your triggers. Write down what you would prefer to say instead. You may find 2 or 3 phrases may cover you for many of your negative thoughts. Remember if you have times where this is already working for you, do not recreate the wheel, see if there is a way to harness that positivity and adapt it.
This does take some time and will not be perfect so celebrate progress and the imperfections as you work through this. Remember small steps really do add up over time. The importance is consistency and a whole lot of kindness. Trust the process, it has worked for others, and trust yourself.
Bonus: Buddy up with someone and do this together, sharing your findings as you go. You will find a lot to talk about and can help one another stick to the change you are wanting to make. If you need me to help you with this, I would always love to hear from you firstname.lastname@example.org .
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