Feeling confident in our own abilities (and even looks) can be a real struggle sometimes. How many times during the day do we hear our mind spouting the negative self-talk? How many times do you want to say to that little mean creature 'sit down and shut up'? How often is it the same set of negative mantras we repeat to ourselves day in and day out? It's exhausting, right?
The source for most of this negative self-talk comes from the comparison syndrome. TV, social media, magazines, news, and even friends and family unknowingly show us what we COULD be or SHOULD be based on an ideal 'life' we've pictured. It is so woven into our culture that we are can't seem to get away from our feeling of 'lack'.
We feel like we have not accomplished, committed, changed, or have been born with the 'things' that others may have. This 'lack' can rear its ugly head in all areas of our life. Check out the examples below and you can see where this 'lack' can fester in every nook and cranny of our lives.
Material Lack - A neighbor bought a brand new fully equipped SUV last week. It's exactly what you would want if you had the money to afford such a vehicle. Meanwhile you're driving a 10 year old compact sedan without a working radio. Your mind starts out at 5 mph (no pun intended) as you tell yourself that you don't have a good enough job to purchase said vehicle. It then accelerates into "I am such a loser and I'll never have a well paying job".
Physical Lack - A commercial comes on TV for a makeup company. The model has beautiful blue eyes, with long lashes and are perfectly shaped. You start telling yourself that you wish you had those amazing blue eyes and lashes. By the time your mind gets finished with you, your mind has convinced you that you are just plain ugly and that there is no hope for you.
Mindset Lack - A friend started jogging daily a few months ago, remained committed and eventually ran a half marathon. You admire her persistence and wish you did too. The negative self talk starts at a slow jog (sorry no pun intended) and then picks up speed into a full out sprint. When it's finally over you feel worthless and feel like you haven't accomplished anything as good as that.
These are just three examples of thousands of conversations we have with ourselves.
But do you know what?
Comparison is the thief of joy.
So what's the answer? We need to stay in our lane! We don't have to put blinders on but we need to be grateful for what we DO have and what we HAVE accomplished. We all have accomplished so much in our lives and we don't give ourselves credit where credit is due. We are also amazing human beings, each with our own positive traits and abilities.
How do we stop the negative self-talk?
How do we boost our self-esteem?
That is easy, sort of! Reflect and identify each accomplishment in your life, big and small.
I highly recommend dedicating a journal or notebook for this exercise. Take 5 minutes every morning or evening and start writing down your accomplishments. Jot down anything that comes to mind. Do this DAILY! These accomplishments can be super small so don't discriminate. Need some ideas to jog your memory? Check out some great categories below to get you started or unstuck!
Schooling or Certifications
Job Related - ex. promotions, work ethic and teamwork
Charity participation and/or contributions
Certificates or Awards
Mindset/Personality Qualities - ex. persistence, sense of humor, kindness
Health Transformations - i.e. lost 50 pounds and kept it off
Exercise Milestones - ex. ran a 1/2 marathon or actually started walking daily
Discovering and finding time to incorporate a passion into your life
Hobbies - ex. learned to cook, became an expert knitter
Family Moments - ex. Senior graduated from high school, fixed a relationship
Overcoming Obstacles - ex. losing your job, the 'terrible twos'
Little daily wins - ex. got out of bed in the morning for work 😁
This little exercise can really make a difference in your outlook on life. It will increase your confidence which in turn energizes you to move forward with your dreams and goals and just maybe live a little bit happier life. So give yourself a boost! Minimize or get rid of the 'lack' mentality!
Need a little bit more help with this? Below is a link to a meditation that will guide you through the identification process, recreate the feelings associated with that accomplishment and affirm what you knew all along. You are awesome!