What’s the most important relationship you have in this world?
Before you start listing off your partner, dog, or college bestie, stop and reexamine who’s doing the thinking… What about that person that you’re with 24/7? The one that is with you through all the ups and downs, who is often judgy, sometimes kind, but oh-so-familiar…
That’s right, what about your relationship with yourself?
I know. For many of us, that relationship status might be some version of “it’s complicated…”, and then you change the subject. But the reality is, our relationship with ourselves and specifically, how we treat and value ourselves manifests in our self-talk.
I’m writing this because I struggle with self-talk. I’m not the nicest person to myself. In fact, I’m usually the opposite. Kinda bi*chy. Super judgy. I put down more than I build up. And when you’re trying to be a productivity maven, or give it your all at work, with family, in community and pursue a life outside of those arenas, welp, having a nagging voice in your head saying:
You just finished that workout, but I can still see rolls on your stomach, try harder.
Why didn’t you get out of bed two hours earlier like planned?
Ughh, you’re so behind, why didn’t you finish those articles over the weekend? They’ll probably be crummy anyway.
Doesn’t leave you feeling super motivated and inspired, does it?
Just writing down what the inner critic says: the regret, emotional abuse, and should-ing is both powerful and heartrending. I didn’t realize how hurtful some of those statements are until I recorded them and can see the deflating words and themes staring back at me.
But if self-talk, this constant tape replays in our heads and etches itself in our sub-conscious, how do we go about changing that? It takes a full paradigm shift because these repeated thoughts become engrained patterns. Deconstructing all the discouraging talk takes an even greater level of effort than the unconscious forces that created it. But replacing it with a more uplifted alternative is possible. Revamping your self-talk takes a deep commitment to doing the inner work and getting real with yourself on a soul level.
Here’s a simple tool for changing harmful self-talk and starting the shift:
Draw a line down the middle of a blank page.
List out all those limiting beliefs (you know, the ones that say you’re not enough, not worthy, blah, blah, blah).
Now for each thought, find a way to flip it. Take it from restriction to a limitless belief.
a. What’s the opposite of this thought?
b. How can you be expansive?
c. How can you open up to and embrace potential?
You see, how we talk to ourselves is a reflection of what we think about ourselves. So instead of letting your inner mean girl control the conversation, what about taking back the power and having that encouraging, knowing best friend voice take the reins? You know, the one that sees you fully and completely, the one that’s proud of you and has complete faith in your ability to crush life and make it your own.
This work is a process. Dismantling deep-rooted belief systems to make space for a kinder, more empowering one, is not easy work. But your thoughts aren’t fixed forever- you have the ability to change your mindset. With this move to gentler thoughts, you reshape your relationship with yourself, with others, and show up in the world differently, more fully. Self-care goes beyond face masks or a staycation (although those are lovely ways to treat yourself too!). Consider yourself like the deserving, worthy individual you are, and watch as this love, expansion and abundance spreads to all areas of your life. You’ve got this!
Lia Hulit is a life and career coach who helps stuck and frustrated individuals build meaningful careers and align with their purpose. With 10 years in education, nonprofits and social entrepreneurship, Lia brings her diverse experiences, yoga training, business credentials, and a solid sense of humor, to all that she does. Lia’s blend of encouragement combined with focused strategy and practical tools ensures positive outcomes for people motivated to transform their work lives, get unstuck, and start making a bigger impact in the world. Through her supportive one-on-one coaching and motivating workshops, Lia’s creative approach inspires clients to get clear on what they really want and equips them with the resources and confidence to move those goals forward.
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