The Voice in Your Head
There is an adage that most of us have heard at some point while we were growing up. It states, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” I think, in general, that’s a great rule to live by. However, realistically, if you don’t have anything nice to say, you are probably not thinking hard enough. In my last blog (about improving self-worth), I wrote: Teach your inner voice to be more polite.
Most of our internal dialogue is comprised of things we would never dare to say to another person. So why do we think it is okay to berate ourselves? The truth is most of us can’t even remember when our inner voice changed from a positive one to a negative one, however it likely had to do with the critics in our daily lives.
The reality is that most children inherently love themselves, until they are taught not to do so during interactions with others. If you ask a young, happy child what they would change about themselves, generally they either respond with “nothing” or they come up with something extraordinary like, “I would give myself wings or a tail.” So why then, as adults, do we tend to feel so negatively about ourselves?
The answer: Because society tells us we are not perfect.
The key to loving oneself is to learn to appreciate all of the wonderful things that make us unique. Reframing the negative thoughts is the first step in appreciating all the characteristics that make us one of a kind. More often than not the things that we don’t necessarily love about ourselves are the very things that other people may feel really make us special. The trick is to recognize these special traits and to train our inner voice to be more polite to them. If we could look at ourselves through another person’s eyes, it would be amazing what we might see.
Learning to reframe negative thoughts may be easier said than done. However, if we can learn to love ourselves, and improve our own self-worth, the changes that will occur can be extraordinary. If you would like to speak to an experienced, licensed mental health counselor in Orlando about ways to increase your own self-esteem and self-worth, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.