Create a Kinder Mind: How to Stop Your Mean, Hurtful Self-Talk

Posted by on October 25, 2015 in Conscious Living, Happiness & Humor, Thrive with 4 Comments

Vanessa Heuser | Tiny Buddha

Self Love Mirror Image

“You have been criticising yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens!” ~Louise Hay

In my quest to learn to love myself I did therapy, read plenty of self-help books, and took personal development courses, hoping I could learn to love myself like I could learn accounting.

This was all helpful; however, when I reached the self-talk stage my progress came to a standstill.

Before then, I hadn’t consciously realized that I used powerfully negative words when speaking to or about myself. I was the first to put myself down, the first to criticize and chastise myself, and my own harshest critic.

Related Article: Stop Negative Self-Talk – Guided Meditation

While this helped me push through some physical and mental barriers and, therefore, achieve things that I never thought possible—such as completing an Ironman triathlon and running ultramarathons—these moments were the exception, not the rule.

I hid behind the excuse that it motivated me in order to justify being mean to myself, perpetuating the cycle. My so-called valid reasons were holding me back from changing my life and loving myself so that I could be happier and more fulfilled.

I recognized that I spoke so terribly to and about myself because I suffered from incredibly low self-esteem.

I was trying to measure up to my own high, unrealistic standards of who I thought I needed to be in order to be loved, approved, and accepted. But these destructive and critical habits were actually in conflict with what I really needed, as they didn’t allow me to give myself love.

I needed to change the way I spoke about myself, and I needed to do it quickly!

I realized I’d formed these habits as a result of both conscious and unconscious decisions I’d made in the past. And if my thoughts about myself came from decisions I had made in the past, I had the same power today to make different decisions to shape the person that I would be in the future.

Related Article: 7 Signs of Good Self-Esteem (and How to Improve It!)

These are some of the tricks and tools that I’ve used to overcome my self-esteem issues and begin speaking to myself more kindly:

1. Journaling.

Before I began changing my self-talk, I had used my diary to vent what I was feeling. It was painful to read what I had written. Among the negative thoughts and feelings were momentous and joyous events, but the painful memories and thoughts overshadowed them.

When I purchased a new journal I decided to focus instead on what I did or said for and about myself that demonstrated love and kindness.

So for instance, if I felt fat and was beating myself up about my thighs being too big, I would write that I was grateful that my big thighs were strong enough to help me run marathons.

You too will find that after a few days of consistently doing this you will be able to catch mean thoughts before they spiral into something bigger.

Related Article: 53 Inspiring Self-Esteem and Self-Love Quotes

2. Eliminating the words should/must do/have to.

I have stopped using these words and replaced them with kinder words such as “I choose to,” as I found that “should,” “must do,” and “have to” were causing me to feel unnecessary guilt.

As an example, when I set my alarm clock at night instead of saying that “I should wake up early and exercise,” I now say to myself, “I choose to wake up early and exercise.”

Stop ‘shoulding’ all over yourself and you too will feel much better about yourself.


Tags: , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

4 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1.' Revolution de Mind says:

    Thanks 🙂

  2.' Summer Smiley says:

    I started crying one time because I knew I hurt Holy Spirit…when I talked down about myself. It was the beginning of feeling self worth.

  3.' Summer Smiley says:

    In other words to Love yourself is loving the Holy Spirit. I don’t word things right sometimes to people. I’m great at explaining myself in a song though.Lol

  4.' Jon Andre says:

    But in order to rebuild oneself, we have to be torn down slapped and yelled at back in the day, all the while told I had to be torn down in order to be built back up again….
    Hmm..interesting… don’t know if this is doable for me, once I start seeing a therapist again, I’ll try to remember to ask

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.

Send this to a friend