(image by Zara)
Positive self-talk is important in so many ways. Do you catch yourself criticizing your body, your thoughts, your words, or your actions on a regular basis? Stop it!
Everyone has things they don’t like about themselves. There are always things on which you can improve and of course you should strive for self improvement and reaching your goals. There is no excuse, however, for beating yourself up along the way. I think it’s unfortunate that women are so hard on themselves, particularly their bodies. Too often we notice the things we don’t like. Big calves, small breasts, freckles, acne, frizzy hair, whatever it is. There are a few things we don’t realize when we do this though.
1) What you see as a flaw, others may not. You might hate your freckles but that may well be one of the things that your significant other loves about you. You might wish you didn’t have a crooked nose but every time your mother looks at you, it reminds her of her mother and makes her smile. You might wish you had double D’s while your double D friends are wishing they had your B cups. Your big frizzy mess of curls? I want those! And I bet some of you curly-headed gals want my straight hair. See? We don’t see ourselves the way others do. So ask. Find out what others love about you. You might be surprised!
2) We are our own worst critics. Women stare at themselves in mirrors multiple times a day. We see everything under harsh bathroom lights. We dissect our appearance and we nitpick. No one else does that! People rarely examine each other for flaws. The majorities probably don’t even notice the things that you dislike and the ones that do are less likely than you think to judge you on it. When you see someone with a few pimples do you think “eww, gross, get away from me!”? I doubt it. They aren’t thinking that of you either. Studies have even shown that men rarely notice specific details about a woman; they take in everything as a whole. So relax. No one else is staring at your pores and thinking they’re too big. You shouldn’t be either!
3) We ignore the good and focus on the bad. Our bodies do amazing things for us every day. They keep us focused and ready, allowing us to get things done and react appropriately. For active people their bodies carry them through all kinds of workouts, games, and events. They’re powerful machines and we should treat them as such! Instead of thinking about what is wrong with it, try thinking of everything your body allows you to do. Did it allow you to take care of or play with your kids today? Did it allow you to help a friend in need? Did it get your through a big presentation at work or a marathon? Thinking about those things and say thank you. It’ll take the focus off what you consider flaws and leave you feeling more amiable towards your body.
Self esteem is such a tricky thing. It’s easy for some and terribly hard for others. Changing your self-talk to the positive instead of the negative is a key step towards being happier with who you are. That will create confidence and believe me, the world will take notice!
So keep all this in mind when you look at yourself in the mirror. Focus on the good. Focus on what you are capable of doing. See yourself the way the people who love you do. They’re not wrong about you! When you find things you like or are proud of, say them out loud. When you find yourself thinking or saying negative things about yourself, stop and realize that you’re doing it. Then try to change your self-talk. It will take discipline at first to quiet that critical voice in your head, but the more you do this the easier it will become. And the healthier and happier you’ll be!
What has helped you be less critical of yourself?