Issue 35. August 11, 2023 ✨ Higher Power Coaching & Consulting ✨
Just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true! That’s why you want to talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself.
Your negative self-talk is like poison in the well of your mind. When you stop the negative self-talk, that well becomes purified. But if you want to accelerate the purification of the well, start by saying affirmations.
If you’re going to say affirmations, it’s important to say them consistently. If you think affirmations are bullshit, I hear that. But I’ve got too much evidence in my own life, and I’ve seen too many people in recovery who have used affirmations to turn their lives around to dismiss them.
Another thing about affirmations – you don’t have to believe them for them to work! At least not in the beginning. Even if you don’t believe them, it’s better than the heinous shit you’ve been telling yourself for decades! If you say them long enough, you’ll eventually believe them.
Something else many of us do is make things mean things that they don’t. Maybe someone doesn’t return a text from you within 24 hours, and you make it mean that you’re not important to them, or they don’t care about you. Meanwhile, they just wrecked their car and took on a new position at work, so they’ve got other priorities at the moment.
That happened to me once. Someone texted me about five days after I texted them and said something like, “Oh what a nice message, thank you! I needed that” with a heart emoji. I thought, “There I go again, making things mean things that they don’t.”
Stop deciding “this is what this means” and start asking people “what did you mean by that?” or “just following up to make sure you got my message the other day.”
Before recovery, I believed the shit in my head about others and their motives, and I’d make the person “pay” for my thoughts by acting as if my thoughts were true! I did this either by being an asshole to them or building a case against them (in my mind, of course). This built walls between me and others because I was acting as if shitty things were happening in our relationship. Meanwhile, all those shitty things were only in my head!
You don’t have to live at whim of the audio that’s playing in the background of your mind. You can push pause, push stop or fast forward to a new audio that you’ve purposefully chosen. When you say affirmations and purposely choose your thoughts, you’re being an actor rather than a REactor in your life. It’s a way of taking control of your life. When you don’t, you’re acting like a victim of your own thoughts.
Something else I’ve done that helped immensely in cleaning up the negativity in my mind is mirror work. This is where you look at yourself in the mirror and say loving things to yourself. When I first started it, it was extremely difficult. Even though I liked myself and had high self-esteem, I cried when it was doing it. It was so fucking uncomfortable! But I did it anyway because I really wanted to change how my life was going.
While looking right into my eyes, I said, “I love you just the way you are Barb.” That meant I loved myself even as I was resisting looking in the mirror, even while I was crying (for “no reason” as my dad would say when I was growing up). I was willing to try something new.
Since I got into recovery in 2015, there’s been a dramatic shift in my thought life. And of course that has spilled out into my real life, it has to.
As you think, you become. So think good thoughts. You’re worth it!
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