Last week I wrote to you about the single most impactful thing that you can do in developing self-love:
Loving Self Talk!
After talking about how very important loving self-talk is, I promised that this week I would write to you about practical & actionable ways that you can create a habit of loving self-talk. Because I know it's not enough to tell you how much it would benefit you to do it. I want to share with you ways that you can practice and actually develop the habit.
Like anything else we are wanting to change about how we operate, we simply need to repeat new patterns to develop a new habit. Learning to have loving self-talk is no different.
Here are some actionable steps you can take:
I want to suggest that for any of the below actions, a great way to dedicate a practice to them is to commit to daily journaling for a period of time. (7 days, 30 days, or whatever you would like to commit to) If you take even just a few minutes throughout the day or at the end of your day to write down examples of how you incorporated these actions into your day, this will keep your mind actively focused on the work, keeping it in the forefront of your mind, while allowing you to process & integrate the work.
1) Stop speaking critical or negative words about yourself out loud. When/if you catch yourself being critical of yourself when talking, stop yourself in the moment and find a way to be more gentle & loving. Start over from scratch in what you were saying if you need to. Something that sounds like " I can't believe how badly I messed that up! I'm terrible!" can easily be turned into "Wow, I'm going to do myself a favor & think about what went wrong so that I'm sure to handle that differently next time. Humans....we are so imperfect. I guess I'm not excluded."
You can also tell the people closest to you in your life that you would like some support in developing this habit. Ask them to gently call you out & remind you when they hear you speaking poorly of yourself. Use this as your cue to find a new way to speak out how you are feeling in a more loving way.
2) Turn your inner critic into an inner cheerleader. Start being more present & listening to what your inner voice sounds like. Does it sound like you have your own worst critic living in your head? If so, know that you are not alone. Also, know that you can change the critic into a cheerleader with practice. Every time you catch yourself internally being hard on ourself, stop & flip the script. Think about how you would encourage someone in your life that you love rather than criticize them and change the thought to something more supportive, encouraging, & loving. It can sometimes help to think about someone young in your life that you feel very supportive of & consider how you would speak to them. Flip the script in your mind on the spot.
3) Practice Mirror Work: Once daily take private time in front of the mirror for positive self-talk. Take some time to stare into your own eyes. Look at yourself and repeat the compliments you receive and can give yourself. Focus on the things you love. Use positive self talk with yourself regarding your body. Create mantras. Tell yourself, “I love you”. This may seem really weird at first but will be very effective if you follow through. I promise! This could also be a focus on self-forgiveness, repeating mantras of self-forgiveness if this is something you are working on.
4) Write out what you love about yourself. Make some lists! Creating lists of things that you love about yourself, things you are proud of, and things that you have accomplished can be a great way of practicing to have loving self-talk. Utilize "I Am" statements. You could also start a "Love Jar" where you drop these things written on a piece of paper in a jar as you think about them. Occasionally when you feel like you need a boost, get all of these papers of praise out & read them!
5) Create positive affirmations or mantras for yourself. Think about what you most need to talk to yourself more lovingly around and create something based on that. Example: "I am deserving & worthy of all good things, and I love & accept myself just as I am" You can repeat these mantras in meditation daily, keep notes with them written in areas that you will remember to say them, and you could utilize these in mirror work.
6) Pay attention to how others talk about themselves. Do you catch others either praising themselves or cutting themselves down when they are talking? Sometimes it can be easier to catch others in these moments than ourselves. When you hear someone cutting themselves down in their speech, take a moment to correct them. Be their cheerleader. This will help you to develop the habit as well! If you hear others praising themselves - take note of it! The more that you pay attention to what others have to say about themselves, the more often you will be aware of your own self-talk & know when you need to correct it.
I highly recommend committing to a practice for a period of time. Pick one or two of the above to work with that you feel most drawn to. If you doubt that you will follow through with 30 days, then start with 7. Doubt you will follow through with 7? Start with 3. Set yourself up for success. Journal for the days that you dedicate your practice to support yourself in it. See what a difference even a little dedication can do!
Lift yourself up with your words rather than tear yourself down.
Wishing you a beautiful rest of your week!