>I believe that negative self-talk can completely derail our plans for change. Years ago, I was really good about not engaging in that kind of behavior…but lately, I’ve realized that I have been doing a lot of negative self-talk.
My self-esteem has suffered a bit in the last 3 years. I don’t know where or when or how it happened but my self-esteem is at an all time low. I really believe low self-esteem is a huge deterrent to reaching our goals.
So…how to boost self-esteem so that I can stay on track?
Look at negative self-talk. Try to be mindful of the times you are saying things that are not supporting your goals. This is really insideous so you are going to have to pay attention.
This morning, I was on the treadmill…do I need to go into how many times I tried to talk myself out of it?…I first woke up at 6:11am and had two thoughts, “oh, I slept good!” and “oh, there’s still time to sleep!”
I was happy that I’d slept soundly (this is rare as I often wake up and toss and turn for a couple of hours) and I wanted more of it. But when my head hit the pillow, I had another thought, “I need to get up and get on the treadmill.”
My response to that was less than positive.
I tried to go back to sleep but after arguing with myself, I finally got out of bed at 6:40. I went downstairs and into the kitchen. Instead of coffee, I made myself a cup of tea. Caught up on some email. And then put on my shoes just in time to step on my treadmill at the planned workout time.
As I’m typing this, I realize that I did something that changed this morning’s outcome. As soon as I got out of bed, I put on my workout clothes!
And then, at 7:25, I had a positive thought, “If I don’t do this now, I won’t do it later. It’s now or never.” I put on my shoes and got on the treadmill.
1:58 seconds into it Negative Self -Talk sasheyed into the room. “Oh shit. I’m tired. I’m bored.”
10:00 minutes into it, there she is again. “Only 10 minutes?? This is hard!”
But this time I responded with, “There’s only 20 minutes left. I can do anything.”
And a few minutes later, I added, “I can do anything. I can do anything I put my mind to.”
Negative Self-talk said, “Yeah, you used to believe that but, not so much, anymore…”
I responded, “I can do anything.”
Then it was just walking, walking, walking…
20 minutes into it, she was back, “Oh man, I am tired. 20 minutes is good, maybe we can be done now? You don’t have to go crazy, you’re just getting back into it…”
I cut her off, “There’s only 10 more minutes. I can do anything.”
This realization feels like a shift for me…a shift in perspective…that part of changing your mind to change your life thinking…
There’s an exercise I read about that I wanted to share (p.54). It’s an exercise called “At My Best…”. The idea is to think about a time when you were at a healthy weight or were exercising regularly. Then you just complete the sentence/make a list, “At my best, here’s how I am…”
So I thought I would share that list here.
At my best, here’s how I am:
- full of energy, positive, smiley
- fun to be around, laugh a lot
- feel great, have energy all day, sleep soundly
- grounded, centered, relaxed and calm
- accomplish alot at work, enjoy good working relationships
- eat healthy and to meet nutrional needs
- am more connected to my partner, affectionate, supportive
- feel connected spiritually
- engage in daily yoga/meditation practice
The other self-esteem boosting exercise that I want to share is about listing out your strengths (p. 67). Basically, just make another list…
My strengths: What I am even if I don’t always believe it or do it
Physical Attributes – nice hair, good feet, nice hands, pretty eyes, strong, healthy, energetic
Skills & Abilities – creative, smart, quick learner, multiple skill sets, writer, graphic designer, event planner, marketing strategy, teacher, artist, photographer, cook, gardener, quick thinker, organized
Personality Traits – kind, positive, compassionate, loyal friend, thoughtful, fun, easy to be with, strong, assertive
Okay…so talk about feeling like I’m being self-indulgent. I feel like it’s important to talk about these things and actually do these things to change things…
If you’re reading this and want to share your own lists, please do! We can take inspiration from each other.