We are so freaking hard on ourselves.
Any time I talk to anyone about anything, but especially the women in my life, I hear all of the negativity they put on themselves. Sometimes, I even hear it as a response to a compliment. Which is like a double whammy. Not only are you not letting me (or anyone) build you up, but then you're cutting yourself down immediately.
Me: "Your skin looks great today!"
Her: "Thanks my skin has been so gross lately I had to get a facial."
Me: "I love those shoes!"
Her: "Thank you, they're really old and they're falling apart."
Me: "That color looks great on you!"
Her: "Thanks, but my hair is a wreck today."
The reason I bring this up is because this self doubt and self negativity holds up back from even trying things that we can totally do. This negative dialogue we have with ourselves affects EVERY aspect of our lives. Of course your day is going to be shit if you wake up thinking "ugh, this day is going to be shit". If affects your confidence and self esteem. How can you expect to feel beautiful and sexy if you're constantly focusing on all of the things you don't like about yourself? And let me tell you that your body is strong and amazing and it brings you through your entire life without you even having to think about it. Don't worry, I'll get into body positivity and self confidence in a later blog post.
Now, I hear a lot of this when I talk about yoga. "I'm not flexible." Bruh, I'm not flexible either, but I've been practicing for years. It turns out when you practice something, you may get a little better at it. Just like yoga, or anything you want to get better at, you need to practice being kind to yourself.
I vividly remember the day I became my number one fan. I was in high school, I think sophomore year. I stood in front of the mirror in my bathroom staring at myself. I remember saying something along the lines of "I'm beautiful. I'm smart. I'm funny. I'm awesome. And if anyone doesn't think so then f*** 'em." I decided that I wasn't going to let any of that insecurity or teenage drama get me down. I gave up feeling bad about being myself. I knew I would never spend more time with anyone than I would spend with myself and why wouldn't I want to hang out with my biggest fan? This is the day I became a self proclaimed "confidence monster".
I love me, and I'm a badass.
This doesn't mean I don't have self doubt. I catch myself saying stupid things like "I can't..." or "If I just..." all of the time. But I notice these thoughts and I don't let myself get away with them. This is where the practice comes in. Pay attention to the way you're talking to yourself, and if it isn't kind then change it.
Yeah, yeah.. but how? One of the most profound things I've ever heard about this came from Roksana, the owner of The Yoga Tree Okinawa, in a Solar Plexus Chakra workshop. She had us write down some of our self doubts. While I didn't have much to say (Confidence Monster); I definitely found some not so stellar things to say about myself. Then, she said to imagine saying those things to a child.
I could not imagine ever letting my students say those things about themselves. I would NEVER let them say that. I would never let my friends say that about themselves either. I would so quickly jump into a speech about why they are so great. But it broke my heart to think about any my young students saying "I'm not good enough". So why did I let myself say those things about myself?
I'm the only one in control of how I feel about myself. No one else on this planet or in this universe can shake the unconditional love I have for myself. The way I talk to myself reflects that. I love me. I'm so cute. I'm so funny. I'm great. I'm so cool. I'm strong. My body is banging. I'm a great teacher. I'm so kind and caring. I'm confident. And I could go on forever. I would be lying if I said it didn't take 15 years of constantly talking myself up. It is totally cool if you don't think that I'm any of those things because, frankly, I don't care. It's not about you. This is about how I feel about me.
I am sick and tired of badass women (and men) putting themselves down. Do you know how many things had to go exactly right just so you could exist? You're the literal product of the universe and you have the audacity to make yourself smaller than you actually are. Don't dim your light. Don't shy away from something because you think you're not ready. Don't avoid starting something until you (insert lame excuse here (have more time, lose some weight, have more money, finish XYZ first)). Stop holding yourself back from being the greatest you can be. Talk to yourself like you're the most precious child in the world and you have endless possibilities at your fingertips... because it is true.
You are prefect. So start acting like it.
Here are some of my favorite ways to encourage positive self talk:
Daily Affirmations - I love affirmations. You'll find these on my instagram and facebook stories everyday. I started writing these in a small notebook when I first got back from India. My intention was to simply write one sentence and read them all each day. Some days more than one would come to me and they would go in the book. It is actually really astonishing to me right now to read the affirmations that I started with. I can tell how much healing and growth I've done over two short months. The first affirmations were exactly what I needed at the time. So be patient and aware that you may actually notice your shifts.
Five things - Lookin the the mirror and notice five things you love about yourself. It doesn't matter what it is. Nothing is too big or too small here. I love my hair. I love my skin. I love my face. I love my boobs. I love my butt. I love my long legs. I love my long torso. I love that even though I have long legs and a long torso I am somehow still a short person. It doesn't matter what it is, but notice it. And say it out loud.
Call yourself out - Notice when your inner voice says something unkind and call it out. I'll say something in my mind like "oh I'm a little chubby today". Then out loud, I'll be like "what? Am I crazy? I'm banging". Then I proceed to take a ton of selfies in my underwear because it makes me feel confident and empowered. Underwear selfies are totally optional, but you should do something that reminds you how badass you are.
Talk to yourself - I love journaling. I just recently started journaling and it has become my favorite, and most consistent part of my morning ritual. I have no structure when it comes to journaling. I always start with a greeting "good morning" and then write whatever I feel like. Sometimes I talk about how excited I am about something, and others I just write about how situations made me feel bad. I always feel better after writing. It feels like I acknowledged and spent time with my soul. No one reads my journals. I rarely even flip back through them.
Gratitude lists - My mentor, Annie Peguero, once said, "When we give gratitude, we make space." I loved that. It feels so good to be grateful! Thinking about all the things that bring you joy and noticing all of the abundance that you have in your life is the quickest way to quiet down that negative self talk. It really is hard to say crappy things when you're thinking about all that is awesome in your life. So write it down. All of it. Talk about the stupid can of whipped cream in your fridge that you put on your coffee every morning and how happy it makes you to drink a "fancy" coffee in the middle of a pandemic.
Obviously, these are not the only ways to promote a positive inner dialogue. These are just a few of the ways I like to do it. I would love to hear of any other ways that help you talk to yourself in a positive way. I hope this brings some awareness to the way you talk to yourself and I hope it helps you be a little kinder with your words.
With all the light and love,