Change the Pattern of Negative Self-Talk


Are you your biggest fan or biggest critic?

Words can make you smile, laugh, cry, and scream. They have changed lives and will continue to do so forever. Words can build up and tear down relationships.

Words have power.

So what about the words in our minds: our thoughts. They have a lot of power too. Words come from our thoughts which come from our hearts. Our thoughts affect our whole lives. How are your thoughts affecting your life? Are you your biggest fan or your biggest critic? What are the things that go through your mind on a daily basis about yourself? How positive are the thoughts you have about yourself?

Here's a crazy truth for you: not all of your thoughts are true.

If you were to think I am the president of the United States, doesn't mean it is true. Just the same, thinking that you are unworthy of being loved does not mean that you actually are unworthy of love. For most of us, the negative self-talk continually creeping through our brains is a lie. Sometimes lies come into our thoughts and take hold until we eventually forget reality. These messages can take root for so long. They can affect our self-esteem and the way we live our lives. It may be the words of others spoken over us, messages from the society around us, or even ourselves.

One example is a sentence that was said to me in a past relationship. I wish you were taller and tanner and had bigger boobs. One, that is not a nice thing to say to anyone...ever. Two, these are all qualities about me that I cannot change. This translated into my brain as, I'm not good enough or attractive enough and I never will be.

I know this is a crazy jump, but I don't think I'm the only one who has made those leaps. I embraced it as truth, and it affected the way that I saw myself. It was a throw-away sentence on their behalf, but it shook my confidence in the relationship and other areas of my life. With this "I'm not good enough idea" floating through my head, it was easy to see the things that validated that thought and to disregard all the good things about myself.

So how do we change the patterns of negative thinking?

I have been learning to sift through my thoughts and really evaluate where they are all coming from. One of the most freeing things I have done is to break off the lies that have taken hold and replace them with the truth about who I am. When I think about where some of these ideas in my head have come from, it seems crazy that I ever let them come into my brain at all. There are a lot of really awesome things about me! There are also a lot of really great people that love and support me. These are the things I want to focus on instead of the things that have been said by the people who have hurt me.

My hope for you is that you can distinguish truth from the lies.

If there are any lies that you have turned into truth, I hope you will dig deep and cut them out. It might hurt a little to talk about them and deal with them but you will be able to move forward. Replace the lies and see the truth.
Write out some positive true words about you to help replace any lies you have believed.

Write them on your mirror, put them on sticky notes around your house, and build others up with them because the world needs some more encouragement.

Now go out and live your life with these running through your brain and I bet some things will start to change for the better.

Brigid is a Texas girl living in Nashville, TN, who loves laughing, Instagram, nachos and adventure. She is a volunteer and blogger. LIVEmpowered’s goal is for you to know that you are LOVED, VALUED, and EMPOWERED to make choices that lead to a life of joy and purpose. 

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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