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CONCEALED BEAUTY #01/2023
Negative Self-Talk and why we need to work on ourselves
Self-talk is the way we communicate with ourselves. It is the internal dialogue we have that shapes our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. However, most of us tend to be harsher with ourselves than we would ever be with a friend. We criticize, judge, and put ourselves down, even for the smallest mistakes. So why do we talk and think so badly about ourselves? And why don't we extend the same kindness and understanding to ourselves that we would to a friend?
One reason why we are so critical of ourselves is that we have high expectations. We set high standards for ourselves and when we fail to meet them, we see it as a personal failure. We feel inadequate, flawed, and imperfect. We may believe that we are not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. This negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, leading to a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.
Another reason why we are so hard on ourselves is that we compare ourselves to others. We live in a culture that values success, achievement, and status. We constantly compare ourselves to others who we perceive to be more successful, more attractive, or more talented than ourselves. This can lead to feelings of jealousy, insecurity, and self-doubt.
We also tend to be more forgiving and compassionate towards our friends than we are towards ourselves. When a friend makes a mistake, we offer comfort, reassurance, and encouragement. We don't judge them harshly or hold them to impossible standards. We accept them for who they are, flaws and all. However, when we make a mistake, we often beat ourselves up, berating ourselves for our shortcomings and failures. We don't offer ourselves the same compassion and understanding that we would offer a friend.
So, what can we do to change our negative self-talk? Firstly, we need to become aware of our thoughts and the impact they have on our emotions and behavior. We need to recognize when we are being overly critical of ourselves and challenge those negative thoughts. Instead of thinking "I'm a failure," we can reframe our thinking to "I made a mistake, but that doesn't define who I am."
Secondly, we can practice self-compassion. We can treat ourselves with the same kindness, understanding, and support that we would offer a friend. We can acknowledge our imperfections and accept them without judgment. We can offer ourselves words of encouragement and comfort, just as we would for a friend going through a difficult time.
Finally, we can focus on our strengths and achievements. We tend to focus on our shortcomings and failures, which can lead to a negative self-image. Instead, we can focus on our strengths and achievements, which can boost our self-esteem and confidence. We can celebrate our successes, no matter how small, and acknowledge the progress we have made.
In conclusion, we talk and think so badly about ourselves because we have high expectations, compare ourselves to others, and are harsher with ourselves than we would be with a friend. However, we can change our negative self-talk by becoming aware of our thoughts, practicing self-compassion, and focusing on our strengths and achievements. By treating ourselves with kindness and understanding, we can improve our self-esteem, boost our confidence, and live a happier, more fulfilling life.
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