Have you ever stopped and listened to the way you think to yourself? Are your thoughts negative or positive? When you observed your thoughts, are you criticizing or lifting yourself up? Scientist estimate that we have between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. That is a lot of thoughts! Can you image if the majority of those thoughts are negative?
Here are some examples of thoughts that we use when we do self-criticism:
- I can’t believe I did that, how stupid am I?
- I look horrible!
- Look how fat I am!
- What was I thinking when I …?
- Nobody ever is going to want me.
- Why did I say that? I should have said…
- I’ll never be able to do any of my dreams.
Please stop saying those things to yourself. I remember back in 1989 when I realized how bad my self-talk was, I said to a former spiritual mentor, “It is like I am taking a huge metal pipe and hitting myself in the head!” That was a huge turning point for me, today (for the most part), it is like I am hitting myself over the head with a feather when I have negative thinking. I cannot tolerate negative thinking for too long because it makes me feel ill.
So how do you stop the negative self-talk? You need to make a conscious choice to start to be aware of your thoughts. The following are some tips on how to begin:
- Pray and/or ask God, the angels, or your guides to help you become aware of your critical and negative thoughts.
- You can ask a trusted friend to point out when you are NOT speaking in a positive manner. Remember what we talk about is often what we think about.
- When you catch yourself having negative thoughts, say to yourself – you lie, cancel, cancel, or erase. Replace it with a positive thought right away.
- Another thing you can do upon catching yourself with a critical thought is to put a dollar in a special jar. The money that you collect is to be used for a cause that you totally dislike! If you are a vegan, you must give the money to a butcher, or give the money to someone you can’t stand. That will help you to start to think positive!
What happens if the above suggestion does not work? This exercise should help you get to the root cause, find a pad of paper, or use a computer or mobile phone. Start journaling to yourself in the manner that you see below.
Critical Thoughts – I can’t believe I said that to him, he must think that I am dumb.
Positive Thoughts – Erase, you are not dumb. You are very smart, look how you find a solution to that other problem. He will understand that you are human.
Critical Thoughts – No he won’t! Now he will never like me! He is just too good for me.
Positive Thoughts – If he doesn’t like you for who you are, that is his lost! You are beautiful and smart. There is a man that will accept you no matter what you say or do. That man will love you for you with all your assets and not so great qualities.
I hope you can see how the above exercise helps you get into the root of the problem. The lady above root was that she felt she wasn’t good enough for this man. Her positive thoughts helped her remind herself that she deserved to be loved for who she was.
The getting to the root cause exercise can be used time and time again for any critical and negative thoughts you have regarding any issues. You may need to fill pages and pages to clear out those thoughts to get to the root and replace it with a positive thought. If you find that you can’t do this on your own, I would highly suggest seeking help from a coach or some type of professional.
May you have plenty of happy, positive thoughts! ~ This article is from Off the Cuff E-zine