One of the biggest obstacles to healthy living can be overcoming negative self-talk. Whether it’s because we don’t like what we see in the mirror, or we’re disappointed in our efforts, or we live under the assumption that other people are judging us. The negativity can become bigger than we are and before we know it, we accept it as the truth.
My husband opened my eyes to this truth about myself about a year ago. He wrote a blog with some ways he tries to help me battle the negativity, or as he calls her the evil twin, in my life.
And he continues to be true to:
- Providing unconditional love
- Giving non-stop compliments
- Focusing on me with intention and
- Showing the Schindlings that I am a priority
Over the last several months it’s been a journey for me to stare the negative truth in the face and change it. You see the things he does to counteract my evil twin are the same things I need to do for myself.
I had to ask myself, why is it that you can forgive others but you have a hard time forgiving yourself? Instead of learning from the things I did ‘wrong,’ and moving on, I spent too much time rehashing my mistakes and how I could have done better.
The truth is I am human. I’m going to make bad decisions, I’m going to let my impulses take over, I’m going to fail. I have to accept that. But I then also have to own those decisions and commit to make better choices. I have to learn to check my impulses with rational thoughts and actions. And I have to accept failure as a part of growth.
Giving Non-Stop Compliments
I’m definitely not one to take a compliment well. If you compliment my top, I’ll tell you how I got it on mega-clearance, if you compliment my hair, I’ll say thanks and credit my stylist (who is awesome by the way!), if you compliment my body I’ll look at you in disbelief and say, ‘Really?’
I realized I needed to change that. I’m learning to say thank you for the compliment and stop discrediting it. I’m learning to look in the mirror and tell myself positive things, rather than focusing on what I don’t like.
Because compliments made me uncomfortable I wasn’t great about giving them either. So lately I’ve been trying to share compliments when I feel it is genuine.
Focusing on Me with Intention
This one is hard. It’s hard to find time for ourselves. I get that. I recently wrote about my own struggles with finding time. But it’s not impossible.
At the beginning of each week I set my goals and intentions for the week. Every day I remind myself of them. Sometimes I don’t succeed. Other times I do. Either way I am stronger for the effort and what I am learning about myself.
Take a few minutes and set some intentional goals for yourself. You’re worth it.
Showing the Schindlings that I am a Priority
I adore my children. I will do anything for them. But I am also committed to raising them to be independent and confident. This is kind of a two part process…
First, by taking the time to take care of me, I am modeling for them how to live a balanced life. It’s okay for me to say no to them if their desire conflicts with my need.
Second, I require them to do certain tasks for themselves. While they get paid a commission for completing these tasks, I see it more of them learning life skills. I’m not always going to be there to do everything, so the more time I have to guide them through the process while they are under my roof the more successful they will be.
I’m not saying the evil twin is gone, but I’m taking the steps to living a more positive life.
I’d like to close with this thought. I was fortunate enough to meet up with some friends for coffee this morning.
As we chatted and laughed about life I was struck by a phrase that I’ve recently had made into business cards,
‘Don’t say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say about your best friend.’
I can’t imagine ever saying to them any of the things I sometimes tell myself. Why am I willing to hurt myself when the thought of hurting someone else with those untruths makes my heart ache.