Why You Must Be So Careful About Your Self-Talk

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Why you must be so careful about your negative self talk

How do you talk to your body? What you don’t think you talk to it? I can bet that you do. We have conversations with ourselves all the time and sadly, most women have negative conversations with their body the majority of the time.    What are the common things your body hears you say?

  • You’re fat
  • You’re ugly
  • You’ve got a huge nose
  • You’ve got a big bum
  • You’ve got thunder thighs
  • Your arms are flabby
  • Your stomach is enormous
  • You look old and wrinkled
  • Your lips are too thin

and we go on and on and on in such a negative fashion.

Why do we do it to ourselves?

Does it help us?  No

Does it make us feel better or more empowered?  No!

Often it boils down to not feeling right or worthy or valuable.  Not having the perfect body (and I can tell you that nobody has that, even the genetically blessed supermodels are photoshopped).

Maybe someone once said something to us about our body that gave us a complex.  That older brother who was just wanting to be mean commented on your thighs, yet you’ve taken it to heart as fact, not his opinion (and maybe he was just saying it to get a reaction from you).

Why do we take a criticism to heart, even though it may have been said once, and was just one person’s opinion, yet we don’t take compliments as facts?

If we want our children to grow up with healthy body images (and I know we all do), then we need to be careful about what we say about our own bodies, otherwise they won’t believe what we have to say.

If we don’t value who we are as a person and how amazing our body is (and if you haven’t written a letter to your body, please do this today) and what it has done for us during out life so far, then it’s hard not to let that negative self-talk not take hold.   So often women say to me that they’d love to come and see me for a consultation, but they won’t until they lose weight, as if they have no value and are not worth spending any money on right now, at whatever weight they are.

Kids learn by imitation, if you want your children to have a healthy body image, you need to model the behaviour.  Taking some time for your own self-care rituals is important, it says you are important and you value yourself.  Taking the time to exercise, to eat well and nourish yourself is also something your kids will pick up on.  You’re not being selfish, you’re showing them how to have self-respect and to care for themselves.

Improve your body image and embrace your style

Learn to say to your body “I love you and you are perfect just the way you are”  say it in the mirror to yourself.  Say it every day.  Say it when you’re naked before you hop in the shower.  Say it out loud.

Many women find this exercise excruciating as they have spent their entire life dismissing themselves as not beautiful or important.  You are the most important person in the world to you and should be your number 1 priority.  As a friend’s psychiatrist once said to her after a breakdown, “if you’re not working, and you’re not looking after yourself, how can you look after your family?

Be kind to yourself, appreciate that the media puts out unattainable images of women.  Appreciate that these images are an art form, but they are not real and should not be what you’re trying to achieve.

Take some time to discover who you are, maybe you’ve lost your style over time through lack of time and caring (that’s what my Evolve Your Style program is here to help you do).  Maybe you’ve tried to conform to someone else’s mold rather than express your unique personality in the way Rosina did.    Taking the time to discover who you are, and your personality will help you find the clothes that feel like “you” that make  you feel great.  If you’re dressing day to day in a uniform of sorts (it may be self-imposed but it doesn’t make  you happy) then it may be time to break out and really delve into who you are today and if your shell (clothes) are still relevant in expressing that.    Many women hide behind unflattering clothes because they have a negative body image, believe they are not worth spending the time, energy or money on, and also feel lost and have no idea how to find their style (and I’ve written lots about personality style here on the blog as well as having tools to discover yours in my 7 Steps to Style program).

But most importantly, every time you hear a negative thought about your body enter your mind, stop it.  If you hear yourself start to speak those words, stop them.  Instead say to yourself: “I love you and you are perfect just the way you are”. 

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I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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11 Comments

  • SO true.
    Its difficult sometimes to let things go, specially if you come from a family that criticises everything and everyone. It does take a toll on you.

  • This is such an important topic for discussion. I know I am guilty of bad mouthing myself and comparing myself to others. However, I try to be very mindful of when this happens and to nip this very dangerous negative self-talk as soon as possible. It is such a shame that women are held to such impossibly high images of perfection. We see it in how severely we judge aging women. When they have “too much work done” they are ridiculed and when they have “too little work done” they are condemned as giving up and lazy.

    • That’s so true. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You’re either mutton dressed up as lamb or trying to hard or trying to get attention or if you give up, you are whispered about as being lazy or careless. Tell you something though, its generally not men who say these things, they’re always more accepting and calm about it all. I can hear my mother saying: “father will you look at that mutton dressed up as lamb” and the same day saying: “old ma hayes never dresses nicely” she never had many friends, poor mum. She prided herself on being natural “oh you girls: I never waxed or plucked my eyebrows or dyed my hair and I never wore makeup” good old Mum. Why can we never allow others the freedom to exercise their own will and desires without intervening?

  • Yes, it’s strange, I say things to myself that I’d need dream of saying to other people…. Need to stop that, really x

  • Someone once sent me a post.
    An old lady they knew was 80 something. Every morning she would get up, get dressed and do her makeup by 8am. Then she would look in the mirror and say to herself, “today is going to be a good day.” This was a habit she had acquired and kept for most of her lifetime. I guess she had a wise mother. I was amazed that she was still so positive when I bet her mirror showed an ageing body and face. Yet, she was! I can’t say since reading it that I have followed suit, even though I was impressed, but it does show the power of habit and how our habits can lead to negativity or postivites.
    On the other hand I know a woman personally who had a mental breakdown from criticism. She is now a powerful public speaker in her late 80’s and traveling the globe counseling. She tells how criticism broke her until she was a blithering wreck and ended up in a mental institution. Constant mental anguish from being told she was not good enough. Now fully recovered and aware how dangerous it is, she speaks world wide about positive self talk and having nothing to do with negative, destructive thoughts or those that pedal them.
    As women we need to be so careful because many times of the month can bring us down and we can bloat and hate what we see or the dressing room with its 3 mirrors can show us things out bathroom mirror did not… but then again… I recently turned 49 and my friend said to me that the receptionist at work was also turning 60, and he’d asked her if she was stressed about it. “Not at all, my girlfriend has 3 weeks to live with a brain tumour and she would be glad to have any birthday and any age.” Boy did that turn my thoughts around just 2 days prior. Suddenly a short sentence or two had turned a negative into a positive. How blessed I was! Interestingly I heard my 25 year old daughter say, “Mums seems pretty chill about her birthday.”
    Being positive and seeing the blessings we have makes all the difference. And if you see that from an ageing and wrinkled face, or from blue, brown, green eyes a short or tall frame, large or slim it makes no difference, as long as you can see it. And if you want to change things by diet and exercise, you still have the time to do it.
    We wouldn’t sell our breasts or our eyes or our legs or our feet for any amount of money. They are so valuable. We just need to realize it, like I did.
    I was once called to sing at a Resort celebrating its 20th year, in Qld. I was flown up there and heard story after story about miraculous events and lives being saved. It was incredible. The Manager related a story about his staff taking many sick days and he was wondering how it could be happening when this was a health resort that had saved many,literally, from the grave. He was pondering it when he saw the caretaker and asked how he was. “Excellent,” he replied. He wondered why every time he saw this hunchbacked old man he was always excellent, so he asked him. “Tell me how is it you are always excellent?” The old man replied. When I don’t feel well, I always tell others I am excellent and the effect makes me feel better and as the day goes on I am much better. So the Manager thought on this for a few days and then called a staff meeting. At the meeting he related the story and instructed his staff that whenever anyone asks how you are I want you all to respond, “I am excellent thank you.” Within the briefest time, he said, sick days vanished and the attitude of the staff changed incredibly.
    The power of positive thinking is amazing. And as God puts it in the bible, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. He also says: “By beholding we become changed”
    So what we see changes us and what we think changes us.
    This article is very valid, Imogen and I am glad I read it this morning. Thank you.

    (Living Valley Springs – Sunshine Coast Qld. http://www.lvs.com.au/ )
    For anyone who needs revitalizing.

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