“Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents.” says Elizabeth Gilbert author of Big Magic. In other words, ” if I am not creating something, then I’m actively destroying something”.
We hear this often in our society under varying contexts. We send our children to after school programs so they don’t get into trouble. We are encouraged to set goals so that we are always growing instead of remaining static in life.
It’s interesting and fun to think of this through the lens of living the ultimate expression of our lives. Being productive with our time and energy vs. destructive. Finding ways to enlighten instead darken our beings. Supporting growth initiatives that we believe in as opposed to being a couch potato. Literally living life to the fullest as opposed to mopping around wish life was different.
This also applies to our relationship with our mindset. If we are not actively and consciously feeding positive self-talk then negativity becomes our default context.
The words we use to speak to ourselves have more power than any words any person, book or website will ever share. ‘I love you’ and ‘I accept you unconditionally’ must be believed in your own heart and soul about yourself before it can be accepted by another.
Why is negative self-talk so destructive?
- It lowers your set point to achieve anything in life
- It plants the notion of doubt in your abilities
- It pushes people who love you away
- It establishes unwanted behaviours towards food, money, sex or drugs
Hmmmm…that doesn’t sound like a very appealing situation to surround yourself in. While this all lives on a spectrum the flip side would be positive self-talk where possibilities are endless, attempts at achievements are often, people of like minds surround you and your body is regarded with respect and love.
Having personally been on both sides of this spectrum I can say with confidence, positive self-talk was the first step in moving towards creative living. It opens the doors in your mind to new possibilities and releases the desires to numb yourself out of life.
The challenge is how to move pass negative self talk that runs on repeat all day every day?
One of the practices I began was to send myself an email with all the thoughts I had about myself in a given 10 minute period. The email might go something like this:
I feel fat today. I hate the way my clothes fit. I never look as good as the other girls on their way to work. I think I’m failing as a parent. I can lose my temper and it makes me feel like I can’t live up to this Pinterest worthy world. Every time I go to the gym I look around and see my perfect body on everyone else. Why does it come so easy to them and so hard for me?…
Yuck…that is not very inspiring. In fact it’s downright depressing. Most of us speak to ourselves in a similar tone. The next step I did was to think about how I would respond if it was my best friend or my daughter sending me that email. What thoughts would I fill her with? What love could I send her? How could I help her reframe her point of view?
Most of the time what we say to ourselves we wouldn’t dream of saying to anyone else. Let’s collectively reset the tone of our internal thoughts to be more positive.
Please give this activity a try, and comment below on how it helped you.