Do you have conversations with yourself in your mind? What tone of voice are you using?
Often, self-doubts and low self-esteem can cause us to really talk to ourselves in a negative and judgemental way. This, very often, makes us see ourselves in a much worse light than necessary and fuels the self-doubt thus creating a vicious circle.
So how do you change the way in which you talk to yourself?
It’s not easy to change a behaviour and it takes time and practise to do but if it can make you feel better about yourself it is very worthwhile.
Think for a moment about the aspect of your life that is bothering you (refer to the Wheel of Life if it helps <link>)
When you think about that aspect of your life what are you saying to yourself? For example, Louise felt she was disgusting to look at because she had put on some weight and her skin was spotty and red.
We asked Louise to write down things that her friends would say if they were to sit around a table and talk about her without her there. These are the comments she wrote:
“Louise is so ugly and spotty.” “I’m shocked at how fat Louise has got” “She sticks out in a crowd because her skin is so bad”
We then asked Louise to write down what she would have liked her friends to say. She wrote:
“I love being with Louise, she’s such a great friend” “Louise looks really well” “she’s so pretty and bubbly”
That was how she wanted to feel about herself.
We asked Louise to look at what she had written and put them into bullet points about her feelings about herself with the left-hand side being where she is and the right, where she wants to be:
- Feeling ugly and low self-esteem Feeling confident
- Anxious about appearance Not worried about appearance
- An embarrassment to be with A great friend and bubbly to be with
This gave us a starting point and goals. We could, of course make practical suggestions about weight and skin but, until we had addressed the way in which she spoke to herself, this wouldn’t be sustainable. So, we went on work on the mindset to change the voice in Louise’s head from negative to positive.
If you would like more information on the methods and techniques used to help improve mindset and change that voice in your head, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org