Another smile Uploaded on September 12, 2006 by Ferdinand Reus
Many of us have an ongoing problem with negative self-talk. We criticism and belittle ourselves, getting upset at broken promises, harsh words, and errors and mistakes. We hold ourselves to a high standard, often much higher than what we expect of others. Often this habit is unconscious, as when you’re trying skiing for the first time and tell yourself “You can’t do this, you’ll fall,” or “Aren’t you too old to be learning this?”
So in an effort to stop our negative thinking, let’s replace it with something else. Start keeping track of everything you’re doing right. Every bill paid on time, every day you exercise, eat well and get enough sleep. The money you put into savings, the renovating you’ve done to your home, every time you’re nice to someone for no reason.
Write it down and keep a journal. Mentally give yourself a “Good job!” Make a pact with your partner or best friend to recognize and congratulate each other for the good things you’ve done. At the same time, each time your negative thoughts pop up, mentally tell yourself “No!” or “Stop it.” Look at your growing list and be proud of all you have accomplished.
Sure, some of you might say – “But we need to do pay the bills and eat healthy, it’s our job as mature adults.” That may be true, but this isn’t really a list of right or wrong. This is simply one technique to get rid of a bad habit. Repeated negative self-talk wears us down and makes it harder for us to be enthusiastic and positive. It can blind us to our strengths and make us grouchy and irritated.
We may not be able to control whether we have to work overtime, what the traffic is like or another person’s attitude. Why not do something about what we can change. Making a simple effort to notice what we do right will not only help us feel better about ourselves, but also make us more aware of the positive things others do. We will be more compassionate and forgiving, of ourselves and our friends. Why not give it a try for a month and see what happens?