A powerful self-love practice we can implement in our lives is to start monitoring our self-talk. Very often the ways in which we think, feel and speak about ourselves is unconscious. We aren’t aware of just how self-hating we’ve become. Sometimes a concerned loved one will tell us to stop talking about ourselves in such cruel, unforgiving ways. We usually don’t heed their advice, though, because we’ve developed such strong ties to our self-hate. Our insecurity and low self-esteem become our comfort zone, what we’re most familiar and comfortable with. We think it would be much harder to push ourselves to do the work to start loving and accepting ourselves, and we’re afraid.
In order to become more conscious of our self-talk, let’s start to take more notice of how we speak about ourselves internally. Listen for that voice, the one that’s often super critical of your mistakes, the one that wakes you up in the morning with the thoughts you’re most anxious about. We’re going to start to become more aware of our self-talk that we usually allow to continue unchecked with our lack of awareness. You might want to write down some of your internal dialogue so that you can really process it and face it head on. Is your self-talk disparaging, unkind, critical? Do you focus on your regrets more than your accomplishments? Do you give yourself a hard time more than you praise yourself? Do you struggle to think of positive things about yourself? When someone pays you a compliment, do you immediately reject it as untrue?
Turn your self-talk around and for everything negative it says, come up with a positive counterpart. Practice this new self-talk by repeating affirmations. Soon you will create an outlook on yourself that is more uplifting and encouraging. If you’re telling yourself you’re a failure, start saying “I am destined for success.” When you beat yourself up for mistakes you’ve made, tell yourself “My mistakes are part of my growing process. I have so much to learn, and I’m grateful for every learning experience I’m given.” If you’re quick to point out your flaws and dwell on your imperfections, say to yourself, “You are beautiful. You are perfect just as you are. You are a manifestation of your higher power. You are full of strength, courage, power and potential. Life is full of promise and possibility.” If it feels unnatural at first, keep practicing. With time and repetition, soon you’ll be living with the voice of your biggest supporter in your mind rather than your harshest critic.
The community at Riverside Recovery consists of people in recovery. We have a personal understanding of how difficult it can be to love ourselves. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.