If you know me outside of my writing, or even just from my writing, you would know that most people would tend to disagree that I am a “Negative Nelly”. My friends and family would likely say that I am supportive and positive. That would likely say, that I have motivated them in one way or another or that I am strong and inspirational.
Wow, that might sound that I am a bit conceited or full of myself, but honestly, that is far from true. While I am usually labelled the cheerleader among my friends, colleagues and family, I tend to be my own worst enemy. If I were coronated Queen of something, it would likely be the Queen of negative self talk.
I am the first one to harshly criticize everything I do from how I look to whether or not I have offended someone with something I have said. I will play over, in my mind, the things I could’ve, would’ve and should’ve. Each and every single day I have to mindfully practice how to peak to myself kindly. I have read varying reports on how many words we say to ourselves everyday and it varies from 30,000 to 70,000. So, lets imagine for a minute that that majority of those words are negative. The impact on our day to day living, our self esteem, our productivity, our anxieties, and our complete mental health, would be astounding. It IS astounding.
I am not a psychologist, a therapist, or a researcher of any sort in this field. But from a personal point of view, here are a few things I have learned about my personal journey, of practicing positive self talk.
1. When I am in a positive frame of mind, I am more productive and more successful in reaching my goals. I can stick to my nutrition and fitness goals; I can reach new heights at work; and I can find a clearer path to reaching new challenges I set out for myself.
2. When I use a positive inner dialogue, I am in a better mood. Hands down. I am a better friend, partner and parent.
3. When I focus on the negatives, they snowball. For instance, if I think I haven’t had a perfect day on my nutrition and fitness plan, and I call my self a failure, I let one day of “imperfection” turn into a week or a month. Its like an “All or Nothing” spiral.
4. When I am feeling positive, the intricacies and challenges of parenting seem manageable. When, I am in a negative headspace, I am impatient, emotional and less consistent.
As a self identified, Negative Nelly, I feel it important to tell you that just by “trying” to have a more positive inner dialogue, it isn’t enough. It is an exercise, a daily practice. Practice makes perfect right? Well no-one is perfect, but practicing these tools like gratitude and positive self talk, do take repetition and effort. Sometimes, I don’t quite get there. But each day, I show up and I TRY. The worst part is that when I do get into these negative zones, it like quitting the gym. Its so hard to get back there but once you do, your body remembers what to do, and you can get strong again.
The BEST part is that when you are in a good routine of being positive, it too snowballs. Inner positivity grows and radiates outward and spills in to every facet of regular day to day living. And guys, here’s the thing I think I love the most, when you have a moment of slipping back into the negativity, it is OK, so long as you don’t stay there. Having positive and negatives (healthy ones) in our lives definitely creates balance, but naturally, that balance may occasionally get out of whack. Getting back to a routine of training our minds (like we train our bodies) to practice positive self talk, can only serve to have an over all propituous effect on our confidence and successes.
Next time you’re having a conversation with yourself, check in with how it’s making you feel. If you’re feeling like you’re failing; if you feel like you’re anxious or disappointed, reframe what you’re saying. I started my journey but literally searching Google for positive self talk mantras.
If you’re feeling positive, watch that positivity snowball into gratitude and wait for it, MORE POSITIVITY. Its true, I promise!
Some of my favourite positive self talk mantras include:
“I am enough”. “I am worth it”.
“I am capable of anything I put my mind to”.
“I am strong”.
“I choose happiness”.
It can be uncomfortable at times, to be your own cheerleader and say kind things to yourself, but it does get easier. The coolest thing that I have found is, if you are kind to yourself, you start to believe that you are worth it. You start to believe these mantras and positive things you affirm to yourself. The outcome, well thats the icing on the cake. The outcome is confidence, positive experiences and for me, even lessened anxiety.
In case you aren’t ready to say these things to yourself yet, I am here to say them to you and I hope that you start to believe them. “You are enough, You are worth it! You are capable of anything you put your mind to. You are strong, and You will achieve happiness”.
Cheers to you! You are AMAZING!