Have you ever heard the saying "If you hear something often enough, you'll start to believe it"?
As a therapist, I hear some of the things that clients say to themselves and it really makes me sad that people are so hard on themselves, almost becoming victims of harassment and bullying by their own mind.
How we speak to ourselves plays a huge role in our self belief, yet we hardly seem to notice it. We do it quietly, in our minds mostly. That constant stream of thoughts that drifts through our mind affects how we feel about ourselves.
Can you imagine saying to someone else "You can't do that, you're not good enough, everyone will laugh at you"? Probably not I'm guessing. So why is it OK to speak to ourselves so negatively & why do we do it?
Self doubt is natural - it helps us decide what our limits are, but if it gets out of hand and we experience it too often it becomes harmful. If you say negative things to yourself every day it has to impact how you feel about yourself and therefore how you behave. It becomes a vicious circle where you feel bad, so you try less, so you berate yourself, so you feel bad...
Thinking about your mind as a plant, it does what it's supposed to but sometimes could it benefit from some TLC? Weeds may need pulling up now & again, it needs water, sunshine, nutrients & protection from pests. How different a plant is after a little nurturing is a bit like how we are after some self development. With fewer weeds or pests we can really flourish!
We speak to young children in a nurturing way because we want them to develop confidence & healthy self belief. If you were a bit kinder to yourself, would you be more likely to achieve what you wanted than if you carry on beating yourself up?
If you aren't keen on loud positive affirmations, I understand that saying "I love myself" in the mirror every day might be a step too far! But could you perhaps give yourself a break? Maybe notice what you're saying to yourself more & question it? Is that negative chatter in need of an update?
Thinking of something positive to say to yourself like "I'm making an effort, I'm pleased with myself" can make a difference.
If you decide to nurture and encourage yourself and be kinder, you'll notice a difference.
If you want to start now, write down some positive traits that you have and add some more
to it over the next week - see how many negative thoughts you can challenge and add some nicer ones to your stream.