Do you ever put much thought to the inner dialogue you walk around with? They say to change your life (feelings, habits, etc) you need to start by changing your thoughts. And the first step toward change is acknowledgement.
Recently, I have become increasingly aware of my inner dialogue. It’s not exactly filled with positive affirmation, that’s for sure. Sometimes my false inner dialogue (the negative voices in my head) becomes so “normal” that I actually hear myself saying things out loud: “oh, you dummy!” “sorry, I’m always in the way”. What kinds of negative inner dialogue do you live with?
I had a conversation with a friend today who was inquiring of my opinion about what causes us to feel the way we do? Where does the epidemic of “unworthiness” come from? How do we get to feeling so low that we make choices that are actually contradictory to our very being? What determines whether we feel “worthy” or not?
Personally, I think it begins with an intrinsic locus of control. In other words, it’s an inside job. The more we are confident in ourselves, who we are and what we are capable of, the less we require external affirmation. Everything our society does to foster the concept of “following the status quo” contradicts our ability to think for ourselves or believe in/be confident in our individuality.
So…what do I do about it? I spend time in reflection, I try to objectify the situation (identify the negative thinking) and I remind myself of the many great things I know about myself (to contradict the negativity). Tonight I am journaling and while doing so I came up with the following list of false statements that seem to be running around in my head, contributing to my feeling awful.
“I’m too fat”
“I’m not strong/mobile enough”
“I’m too tired/run-down”
“I’m too easily overwhelmed”
“I’m too emotional”
“I’m not smart enough”
“I’m not sociable (cool) enough”
“I’m not quiet enough”
“I’m not attentive enough”
“I have no style”
“I’m not interesting”
“I’m not talented enough”
“I’m always in the way”
…and my favourite…
“No wonder you don’t have any friends” (And, yes, someone actually said that to me a couple days ago).
Each of these negative self-statements indirectly contribute to my overall lack of self confidence and my inability to act authentically. To combat their effects, I have actually compiled a list of affirmations which I like to review every once in a while just to remind myself that I am who I am and I have intrinsic worth simply by being. As well, I try to surround myself with positive people and I follow encouraging blog accounts and social network feeds.
I hope these personal insights can be of encouragement to others out there who struggle with identifying your personal worth. Read and re-read these personal affirmation statements to remind yourself.
I am beautiful.
I am lovable.
I am proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished.
What I do & what I hope matter.
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
I can do this.
I am unique and have something to offer the world.
I. AM. ENOUGH.
…this is my life…