Much of the world’s attention focuses on building fulfilling relationships with other people, whether it is with a significant other, business partners, friends, or family members. One search on google will yield many results on how to keep these bonds intact and healthy. Rarely do we hear about the most fundamental relationship a person must nurture: the one with ourselves.
How you treat yourself determines how you interact with other people and the environment. If you don’t have a good relationship with yourself and care for your needs, you won’t be able to have the energy to take care of others. As an example, imagine yourself as a hospital trying to meet the demands of your patients. Without the proper facilities and physician staffing, the hospital won’t be able to function well. Everyone will be run ragged to the ground, and the quality of healthcare will suffer. The same is true if you focus too much on others without considering yourself. You’ll get burned out sooner than later.
One of the primary methods of having a healthy relationship with yourself is improving your self-talk. That inner dialogue can make or break one’s confidence in achieving success and enacting change. It can also lead to increased chances of depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and a weakened immune system. Thankfully, people can train themselves to minimize negative self-talk, and the first step is to become aware of one’s favorites. Do you find yourself guilty of these common phrases?
“I’m not good enough.”
Feeling inadequate is a typical human experience. Even the best athletes and the most successful people are not exempted from low self-worth. They just managed not to dwell with these negative thoughts and do their best to pursue their goals. There are many reasons why people feel they are not good enough, usually stemming from negative experiences from childhood. Being bullied, criticized, and neglected will form core beliefs that you don’t have what it takes to be successful, loved, and appreciated. Your inner voice will always be critical and judgmental if that’s the only thing you’re used to hearing.
“I have to be perfect.”
Expecting to be perfect all the time is an unhealthy way of thinking. You become critical of yourself and your work even if others like it. Sometimes, you won’t try or start things in fear of failure. The popularity of social media certainly hasn’t helped curbed this expectation of becoming perfect. People’s news feeds are filled with pictures of success, achieving goals, and traveling to beautiful places. It’s easy to think that everything in that person’s life is perfect. However, those public pronouncements can be exaggerated and overblown. The painstaking effort done by the person to reach their goals is also not shown.
“It’s my fault.”
Part of growth is taking personal responsibility for one’s decisions and actions. However, accepting one’s fault becomes toxic if you believe that you are also accountable for the actions of others. This kind of negative thinking is called personalization. You take things personally, thinking that you are the cause of something wrong happening even if it’s an external event outside of your control. Self-talk like this happens when other people are always blaming you for their mistakes and mishaps. The truth of the matter is that others are also responsible for their actions and reactions.
A person’s inner dialogue plays a significant part in how they relate to the world and others. Being mindful of one’s self-talk will help boost confidence and improve mental health.