4 steps to change the conversations you have with yourself

Change Your Internal Dialogue

How do you talk to yourself?

Do you continuously tear yourself down? I can't do this. I'm worthless. I'm ugly/fat/<insert negative adjective here>. 

Or do you build yourself up like the Little Engine That Could? I've got this. I can do this. I'm beautiful. I'm so grateful for _________. 

Perhaps you haven't even considered it. If that's the case, this challenge will be especially helpful for you.

Follow these four steps. I suggest taking it slowly — follow step one today, step two tomorrow, etc. Or perhaps spend one week on each step. Do what feels right. Don't make this overwhelming. Treat it more like a fun little experiment — you are the subject.

1. Notice

Observe the way you talk to yourself. Being mindful of your internal dialogue is the first step toward self love. You might be surprised by how mean you are to yourself.  

2. Replace "I" or "me" with a loved one's name

This helps put things into context for me. If you find yourself saying, for example: I'm unlovable, place your loved one's name by saying _______ is unlovable. It feels harsh, mean and unkind. Offensive, even. You would never say such a thing about that person. So why are you saying it about yourself? 

3. Neutralize it

It's challenging to go from negative to positive. Maybe you can't change the I'm unlovable conversation to I am so amazing and beautiful and worthy and deserving of love immediately, but you can neutralize it. How? By stopping. If you notice you're being a meany pants to yourself, just stop. End the conversation and walk away.

4. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your loved one

Once you get used to neutralizing the situation, you can start reframing your conversations. Treat yourself with the same love, care and respect you do your loved ones. I am beautiful. I am strong. I can do this. I deserve this. I am worthy. Say it in your head. Say it out loud in the mirror. Say it on your way to work. Yes, it feels silly at first. But eventually, it won't feel silly. In fact, it will become habitual. And more importantly — you'll believe the words you're saying.

It makes me sad to hear people tearing themselves down. I'm guilty of it, too. I think we all are. Often times, our own worst enemy is between our two ears. If you start to realize this is true, you're already on your way to changing that internal dialogue, because being mindful (step one) is often the biggest hurdle.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
— Buddha