Challenging Your Negative Thoughts

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When it comes to confidence and self-esteem, everyone struggles. Some are brought down by comments from others, and almost everyone struggles with negative thoughts of their own. They come up so casually and frequently that we tend not to even notice them. The truth of it is this: people will always have little nagging voices in their head saying that they can't do things, they aren't good enough, and something about them is wrong. Our self-deprecating ways of thinking can change when we put intention into thinking another way. 

Learn from Repetition

Just like when we learned how to read when we were growing up, human minds learn best from making habits. Habits are difficult to create, but they have an enormous impact on day-to-day life. 

  • When you wake up in the morning and go through your routine, add an extra step. Look in the mirror soon after you've gotten out of bed and list three positive things about yourself. There are no limits to what you like about yourself. If you're struggling to come up with anything, try picking a part of your face, part of your style, and part of the way you talk to other people. 

  • Practice using positive language. Instead of apologizing for being late, thank your friends for waiting for you. Instead of denying yourself a treat because it's unhealthy, try choosing something that will make your body feel good and thank yourself for it. 

Understand that Your Thoughts Might Not be Yours

The things that pop into our heads first are often a product of what we are used to, not a reflection of who we truly are. If you surround yourself with critical and harsh people, your thoughts might be a little more harsh and critical to the world around you. 

  • Train your thoughts about others to be kinder. When you see someone in an outfit that you don't like or eating food that you think is gross, don't criticize them for it in your head. Think about how fascinating and beautiful it is that all people from all walks of life have different tastes and preferences and try to admire the world from that standpoint. 

  • Appreciate other people. While you don't need to thank those who are close to you constantly, having positive thoughts about the people and things around you will keep you in the habit of it and lead to thinking more positive things about yourself. 

Know that You Control Yourself

Even if your negative thoughts are rampant, that isn't the only part of you in your mind. You can respond to yourself as though the nasty things you may say about yourself are coming from another person altogether. 

  • Acknowledge the thought and don't let it slow you down. After you have a mean thought about yourself, recognize that you had it, thank it for the opinion, and continue with what you were about to do. You can replace it with something positive if you'd like. 

  • Take yourself a little less seriously. It's incredible to be hard-working and in control of the aspects of your life, but negative thoughts could be stemming from stress. Appreciate yourself for what you do, and be mindful of your actions. 

At the end of the day, you are with yourself every day of every year. People say that you are your own worst critic, and it's true, but you can be your own peppiest cheerleader and your own inspiration too. 

Jennifer Silvershein