I want to dedicate this post to an issue that is pretty rampant with most people, but no one really talks about it. Not sure why that is, exactly. Perhaps it’s because no one wants to admit how they really treat themselves in their head. Using judgment and language so harsh and unreasonable. Words they would never speak to another loved one.
It’s so common, in fact, that there is a legit term for it: negative self talk.
It’s not a new term by any means, but it’s something that we all do constantly without even noticing it. I try to catch it with myself, and this week it has been hitting me hard.
I recently had engagement photos taken. It was a beautiful setting in the lake country of Minnesota. The weather was perfect, my fiancé was stunning, and the photographer was top notch. It was so much fun, and I couldn’t wait to see the finished photos.
Before I had the files, the photographer put them up on her website and on social media for all to see. By the time I got to them, there were so many likes and loving comments, but all I could hear was that loud voice in my head pointing out all of my flaws.
The photo for this post is a photo from that session. It’s a lovely photo for the most part, but all I can see is my gummy smile. A smile that I’m so insecure about. In other photos its that my hair looks oily, or that you can see a little muffin top, or why did I choose that shirt, or I hate my hips in those jeans, or why don’t I look as good as what’s-her-bucket in her engagement photos.
Seriously, my negative self-talk could not shut up. It clouded the entire experience.
It was keeping me from embracing the good and moving forward in our joyous celebration that we are planning.
I bring this up because as we embark on a self-care journey, it will invite us to really listen to how we are doing. We will have to listen to the stories that we have with our pain, with our lifestyles, with our lack of time.
And the negative self-talk is usually louder than the positive. It can alter the truth. It can keep us from moving forward with the joyous journey of feeling better.
So my self-care challenge for you is to start noticing your self-talk patterns. Approach that inner chatter from a gentle space and ask it to leave. Start changing that conversation with loving and confrontational baby steps.
Take your time with this change. Let it be like building a new muscle. For it will be a valuable tool for you as you tune in more and more.