Be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening – Lisa M Hayes, US Author and Relationship Coach
Why do I automatically think I’m a failure if I don’t have my weight under control? And why do I care about what others think and say about how I look?
In trying to see where my destructive feelings have stemmed from, I realised it is not just because I’m the author of two best-selling diet books and feel I should know better.
On refection I’ve been engaging in negative self-talk, especially about my body, all my life and my weight has been a barometer of those emotions.
At my biggest I reached a Size 22 and in addition to carrying around the extra physical weight equivalent to a second person, I was weighed down even heavier by loads of self-loathing and shame.
These self-deprecating inner conversations taking place in my head were leading me down a path of self-loathing which led to self-doubt, which ultimately led to depression.
How can someone with confidence, drive and determination be so out of control with their own body?
Offensive comments from well-meaning friends and family or barbs from strangers further compounded my feelings of failure.
To make matters worse, I was sabotaging myself by finding great comfort in eating unhealthy fat and sugar laden processed foods that filled me with the ‘feel good’ chemicals that briefly calm my mind.
This would invariably add extra kilos to my already bourgeoning frame, compounding the problem and fuelling the negative self-criticism that was consuming my brain.
It’s very easy to wallow in self-pity when you feel undesirable and to give up and retreat from society, which can add loneliness to the growing list of detrimental emotions swirling around in my head.
Breaking that cycle is the first and hardest step to take on the road to recovery. I believe, to succeed it needs to be tackled on two fronts; what we allow ourselves to put in our stomach and what we allow ourselves to put in our brain.
There is no doubt that once I stopped consuming lots of sugar and bad fats, I started to feel better both physically and mentally.
This newsletter is filled with lots of great advice and tips from the talented AMC Nutritionists about changing your eating habits and the ideal foods to consume.
One of the key factors that helped me was to increase my ‘endorphin inducing’ exercises that not only helped reduce my size and shape but more importantly it helped fill my brain with the right ‘feel-good’ chemicals, which in turn helped me change my adverse internal monologue.
What you tell yourself everyday will either lift you up or tear you down – Anon
Tips to help purge negative self-talk.
- Change your inner dialogue
While it’s healthy to have our ego in check and not have an over-inflated opinion of ourselves and our abilities, it’s very unhealthy to have our inner critic constantly telling you what we can’t do and poisoning our self-belief even if we believe we’re just saying these self-depreciating comments in jest.
How often have you called yourself stupid when you’ve made a mistake? Do you find yourself saying, ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I’m no good to anyone’ or ‘I can never do anything right’? If you tell yourself often enough that you can’t do something, then you won’t even bother trying.
Often this negative self-talk can start when we are really young, and we don’t even realise we have been doing it for years. This can easily become an ingrained habit and because it’s our own internal soliloquy and we don’t always verbalise it then we’re generally the only ones who hear it.
Before we know it, our mind is filled with disbelief in our own abilities, lowering our opportunities, which in turn, prevents us from reaching our true potential.
You’ve been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked, try approving of yourself and see what happens – Louise L. Hay, US Author You Can Heal Your Life
Elizabeth Scott MS is a Wellness Coach, Health Educator and Author of 8 Keys to Stress Management, in which she suggests we give our inner critic a foolish nickname like Debbie Downer or Negative Nellie or in my case Silly Susie.
Ms Scott explains that when you think of your inner critic as a force outside of yourself and even give it a goofy nickname, it’s not only easier to realise that you don’t have to agree, but it becomes less threatening and easier to see how ridiculous some of your critical thoughts can be.
Instead of putting up a mental roadblock with negative words, be mindful of your choice of phrase and try softening your tone by substituting words like ‘I hate’ to ‘I dislike’ or ‘it’s too hard’ to ‘this will test me’.
Never say anything about yourself that you do not want to come true – Brian Tracy Canadian Author and Public Speaker
Think about the words you say to yourself and ask yourself if you’d ever say the same words to close friends or children. Also think about the emotional impact it would have on them to hear those words from you. These are the same upsetting feelings you experience when you say them to yourself.
Likewise, how would you react if a good friend said the same negative things to you that you keep saying to yourself? Would you put up with it or with them, like you do to yourself?
Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love – Professor Brené Brown US lecturer and author
If you’re not conscious of when you’re using these negative words about yourself, try enlisting a trusted friend or someone in the family, who will point it out whenever it happens.
- Swap Negative with Positive Self-Talk.
Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny ― Gandhi
Swapping our negative self-talk for positive self-talk is vital if we want to succeed in our endeavours.
One of the common denominators I’ve observed in every highly successful athlete I’ve interviewed over my media career, is their self-belief and their ability to constantly reinforce to themselves that they can win.
The more positive notions we can put in our head, the less room there will be for negativity to live there rent-free.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results – Willie Nelson US musician, actor and activist
You might find it helpful to collect a series of positive mantras that suit your circumstances and start repeating them out loud. This works well with most of our bad habits like replacing unhealthy food with healthy food and before you know it you have developed a new positive routine and you aren’t making the same poor choices anymore. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Stop negative self-talk. Replace ‘I am good for nothing’ with ‘I am someone and I can do something’…and then do that something – Nevy
- Seek Professional Help
Negative self-talk can cloud our judgement and weigh heavily on us; impacting on our mood, increasing our anxiety and altering the way we interact with others in the work place or in our personal life.
If you can’t seem to shift your negative self-talk then it might be time to seek professional help and the best place to start is to have a chat with your GP.
No one is you and THAT is your super power – Elyse Santilli, US life coach and manifestation teacher
- Be Kind to Yourself
Make sure that you believe you deserve every kind and encouraging word you say to yourself – Karen R. Koenig M.Ed., LCSW.US psychotherapist, educator, international author, and an expert on the psychology of eating
Working on loving yourself, warts and all, and nurturing your affirmative inner thoughts will help you think more positively about yourself, help build your confidence and empower you.
You’ll never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head, be kind to yourself – Anon
Stay Strong and safe cheers susie
Susie Elelman AM
Author, TV & Radio Broadcaster