I often hear my Santa Barbara therapy clients talk about themselves in very negative terms! I hear them say something similar to, “I am just so stupid. I can’t do anything right.” If they’re saying it in session, I can’t help but wonder how often they say it otherwise — and how much it’s coloring their sense-of-self.
I always stop them, and ask if they realize what they’ve just said. Nine times out of ten, they have no idea what I’m talking about. They are so used to putting themselves down that they have no conscious awareness of it anymore.
Emotional abuse leaves scars, whether it’s coming from someone else or from ourselves. These types of messages are usually “old tapes.” At some point in our lives, we’ve been put down by someone close to us on a regular basis. We’ve internalized those messages, and now we say them to ourselves.
Please stop and think about the put-downs you use day after day in your self-talk! It harms you in so many ways. Life can be challenging at times, and we need to build ourselves up — not tear ourselves down — if we want to overcome our challenges.
Start with building awareness of how you speak to yourself. When you become aware of negativity, begin to change your messages to be supportive of yourself and your efforts. Encourage yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. Be patient. Change takes time, but it’s so worth it! You’re worth it!
Until next time,