We’ve all heard of the “Golden Rule”: treat others how you would like to be treated. But have you ever considered how you treat yourself? So much of how we view ourselves--our self-confidence, self-esteem--starts with the way we carry on an internal dialogue with ourselves.
Put more simply, your internal dialogue is your personal thoughts. Think of the way you narrate your everyday life and the reactions that pop up in your head, adding commentary in your thoughts throughout every situation you encounter. All of that is part of your internal conversation with yourself. Most of the time you may not be aware of your internal dialogue. However, pausing to reflect on how you’re communicating with yourself will encourage you to notice the role it plays in your life.
As you start to become more mindful of your thoughts, consider this -- are those thoughts influencing your outward behavior in a positive way or a negative way? If the latter, your internal dialogue might affect you and your actions, for example, by making you become hesitant about pursuing something you want because of what you’re telling yourself subconsciously. Those are manipulative thoughts that can hold you back from being the best you can be.
Internal dialogue can be a very powerful force, as it’s good at reinforcing feelings of anxiousness, defeat, or whatever is weighing on our minds and our hearts. It can create quite the vicious cycle of self-criticism. So how do you break the cycle of being your own biggest critic?! As much as healthy habits and activities that put us in a good mood can certainly help, for an internal dialogue to have a major attitude shift, it may require that you develop a new relationship with yourself. Start by treating yourself with some self-compassion: give yourself a break, because nobody is perfect, and no one is asking you to be!
Next, flood your mind with positive affirmations -- in moments of doubt, and as a daily ritual! Even when it feels like you only have negative thoughts to hold on to, force yourself to pick one thing that you see is positive about yourself and the situation you’re in. Then, find another… and another… until your mind is filled only with these positive affirmations. Doing so will allow the good to defeat the bad in your mind.
Ready to take it a step further? Challenge the “I can’t” mentally you’re telling yourself. For example, if you’re thinking, “I can’t apply for that job. I won’t get it.” Face that mentality by questioning the possibility of a positive outcome: “But what if you do? What if you do get that job, and it opens up doors for you you never even dreamed of walking through?” Give yourself permission to explore those hopes and desires. In fact, dream as big as you can about the potential positive outcomes!
Bringing more consistent positivity into the perspective of your internal dialogue will improve your emotional health by encouraging you to have more sustained periods of positivity. You may be surprised to find that those positive thoughts can be infectious and that others around you will definitely start to feel positivity in your presence.
Yes, how people speak to you is extremely meaningful to self-worth. But even more important is how we speak to ourselves. Choose your words carefully, and become your own biggest cheerleader. And for the moments when you’re struggling to find your own positive thoughts, lean on SheFactor for some extra support. We got you, babe!