photo by: Faith Danielle Photography
The saying, “You’re your own worst critic,” couldn’t be more true and unfortunately it means our self-worth is attacked by our thoughts daily. Think about it for a second. Stop reading this and ask yourself, “What is the last nice thing I said to myself?” If you’re hearing crickets after that question you certainly aren’t alone. Unless you’re doing daily affirmations and have habits in place to combat negative thoughts about yourself, then you’re most likely in the same negative self-talk boat as the rest of us. Get in, we’re going shopping! JK, we’re going to talk about self-worth and five ways you can help realize how amazing you truly are.
- Stop the jokes at your own expense. We’re so negative about ourselves that sometimes our brains even disguise insults as “just jokes.” Saying things like,”I’m such a mess. I’m so stupid, I can’t believe I forgot that. Ugh, I’m the worst. lol” are all just negative self-talk sentences in disguise. Your brain doesn’t know you’re “just joking,” because it’s so used to hearing these things that it actually believes them to be true. I used to love self-deprecating humor until I realized how detrimental it is for our self-esteem. Here is what I like to go by: If you wouldn’t say it about the nicest person you know, then you shouldn’t be saying it about yourself.
- Compliment yourself & use positive affirmations. News flash: Complimenting yourself doesn’t make you self-centered. I’m convinced whoever started that ridiculous notion was projecting and probably had the lowest self-esteem of them all. Girl, you look good and there’s nothing wrong with telling yourself that. It’s called confidence. You’re not being shallow or vain for recognizing qualities, physical or otherwise, that you like about yourself. You’re actually a rare gem and the world could use more people like you- you self-loving goddess. You can find tons of self-worth affirmations on Pinterest.
- Stop believing the negative things people say about you. It’s a sad day when you realize that not everyone has your best interest in mind. Unfortunately, it’s the reality. People will say untrue things behind your back, confrontational people may even say them to your face. Some people may be aware they’re spreading lies, while others believe the statements to be true. Either way and no matter the delivery, it doesn’t make them true. Read that again: It doesn’t make them true. Next time you hear something said negatively about you ask yourself, “Is this true?” Then, look at the facts. Super basic example: You cancel plans with friends and they say something like, “You never go out. You’re so lame for not coming. You never do anything.” Is that the truth though? Probably not. I know that’s what they said, but let’s look at the facts. The truth is: You probably do go out, but are selective with how you spend your precious time on this Earth and may be tired. You are not lame for respecting yourself in that way and for protecting your energy. Furthermore, if you were truly lame, they wouldn’t be asking you to come out. See how it works? Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true.
- Stop the negative thoughts about yourself. This one’s hard. It takes practice and that’s because you’re breaking a habit. Looking in the mirror, it is second nature to start picking yourself apart, at least sadly it is for me anyway. We notice how big our pores are, the dark circles under our eyes or maybe how our stomach isn’t as flat as it once was. Whatever the perceived flaws, chances are your thoughts about them are not conducive to a positive self-esteem. The key is to start paying attention to your thoughts and stop them before they spiral into 10-minutes of you self-loathing in the mirror before work or going out. It is way easier said than done, but the first step to stopping the habit is acknowledging that you do it. Once you catch yourself being not-so-kind, that’s when you start the compliments (see #2 above). If you struggle with being self-aware and acknowledging your thoughts, meditation helps. You can find meditations on YouTube or in apps like headspace or Calm.
- Practice giving yourself grace. Be kind and gentle with yourself when you don’t meet your own expectations. You burn dinner: That doesn’t make you an awful cook- it means you’re learning new cooking skills and tried your best. You didn’t have a productive day: That’s okay, tomorrow is a fresh start and restful days are just as important as busy ones. You didn’t make it to the gym today…and that makes it 7 years straight lol: Whatever! Moral of the story: You’re not going to knock every single day out of the park and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. Remember, on the 7th day even God rested. [Genesis 2:2-4]