Why is it that we say and think so many negative things towards ourselves? You know, those mean, nasty little things we say to ourselves all day? The inner dialogue about looks, something we said, or out perceived failures? Imagine yourself saying that to your best friend. Would you tell your friend that they’re worthless? Would you want your child to hear all of these negative comments? I didn’t think so. If it’s not acceptable to say it to someone else, why is it okay to say it to ourselves?
I think the problem within our society is that we have normalized the act of tearing ourselves down. Feel free to challenge me on this, but take what I’m about to say into consideration. Self-deprecating jokes have become extremely common in society today. As long as it’s said with enough humor, just about anything can be said. It has become normal for people to feel unhappy or unsatisfied with some part of themselves. Rather than talking about things in a healthy way, we have learned to make fun of it. These jokes come from lack of confidence and low self-esteem. We have somehow trained ourselves that saying positive things about ourselves is a bad thing. We may be able to think good things, but saying them out loud is often seen as boasting or being too proud.
Every time we tear ourselves down, we chip away a piece of our self-confidence. One day, our self-esteems will crumble. We will reach a day when nothing we do will help us to regain this vital piece of us. There is only so much verbal abuse that a person can take before it sinks in – even if it comes from you.
Of course we have flaws, that’s what makes us human. However, those flaws should not be the focus of a conversation with or about ourselves. Instead, we should be recognizing the good parts about ourselves. For example, where you may find yourself focusing on a negative thing you did in the past, redirect your focus and say “I am stronger and wiser now and it is time to move on.” As a society, we need to understand and accept that no person is perfect and, while there are ways we all can improve, there are so many ways that we thrive and make the world better because of what we put into it. These are the things we need to start focusing on.
We need to start choosing to be kind to ourselves. Recognize the unique, positive pieces of you. Choose to show yourself love and respect. As a society, we need to work together to bring people up rather than tearing them apart. This change can only happen if each of us, individually, decides to focus on the good we see inside ourselves. So find your talents, your loves, your passions. Focus on the fact that, today, you know more than you did yesterday and that in itself is a major accomplishment. Remind yourself that mistakes are a part of life – give yourself permission to make them. Share your successes with others so they can celebrate with you. Finally, always remember that you are human and that, those negative thoughts do not and cannot define who you truly are.