When we set limits for ourselves with negative self-talk, we inadvertently set limits for others. What may seem like a small comment becomes a larger issue. Self-deprecating comments have a ripple effect, and the negativity lives longer than we care to believe.
There is more to being healthy than eating well and getting exercise. Just as we eat food to fuel our bodies, we must feed our minds. If the mind is being fed negative thoughts there will be suffering. To find an internal balance we must curate our minds with constructive thoughts.
It’s imperative that we begin to normalize the practice of being kind to ourselves. Counteract the negative thought or comment with a positive one; gift ourselves with time to breathe and clear our minds, so that we may better handle the stresses that come our way. These aren’t easy to do at first. But neither was the initial attempt at riding a bike: we had to practice.
An internal kindness filter is worth ruminating on. We can contemplate what we are about to share with the world by asking:
- Is the comment I’m about to offer rooted in kindness?
- Is the way I’m about to speak going to help the situation, or serve my ego alone?
- Is the comment or thought worth it? Is it necessary? Does it serve a purpose? (Big ones for me)
If the answer is no to any of them, stop. Give it some time. You do not have to live according to your ego’s time-frame alone.
It comes down to ownership, an idea many reject, particularly when a negative interaction occurs. It feels safer for us to blame others rather than own our contribution to a situation. But what if we tried focusing on giving ourselves permission to own the positive things we bring to the table? Just like accepting a compliment, what if we practiced accepting the fact that we contribute great things to the world by being us? I think it would make for a great starting point.
When we begin to celebrate ourselves, we begin the process of building a belief system without limits. Those are the kinds of ripples we can openly welcome.