“I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself,” said Mae West.
People tend to be too harsh on themselves, thus subconsciously fostering a negative self-image.
Many of us have that little, nagging voice in our head saying “You’re not good enough!” or “You’re never going to make it.”
These seemingly harmless insecurities slowly erode our self-esteem and confidence which can have a serious impact on the way we perceive things and cope with life’s challenges.
If you want to be happier and live a more satisfied life, cut yourself some slack.
Start being kinder to yourself.
And stop telling yourself these 7 things.
1. I’m So Stupid!
OK, there are times when the things you do turn out to not exactly be a good idea.
An inappropriate remark you made about a colleague?
Spending your last cent on those expensive, fancy shoes?
Making a really dumb business move?
Been there, done that.
You can legitimately ask yourself after any of those incidents “What the heck was I thinking?”
It’s true that certain things you do qualify as stupid, but that doesn’t mean that you are too.
And this tiny difference puts things into perspective and helps you avoid the trap of internalizing the situations in which you act daft.
In other words, you need to understand that acting stupid and being stupid are two completely different things.
This doesn’t absolve you of the blame and responsibility for your actions and give you a free pass to do whatever you please not thinking about the consequences however.
So, whenever you’re compelled to exclaim that you’re stupid for doing this or that, mind your language and say “I did something stupid.”
2. I Hate My Body
This is one of the worst things you can tell yourself.
Social media, TV and print commercials and the fashion industry are constantly raising the bar and setting unrealistic expectations when it comes to beauty standards, and it’s hard not to compare yourself to all those impossibly and yet effortlessly slender and attractive models and celebrities.
Many people are increasingly sensitive to their physical appearance, and at the same time, they’re too judgmental when it comes to their perceived imperfections.
It’s OK to strive to become the best version of yourself, but negative self-talk won’t get you very far.
Obsessing about your weight, nose, or teeth is something that can have some serious consequences on your self-esteem, so instead of standing in front of the mirror analyzing your “flabby stomach”, “big nose”, or “yellow, crooked teeth”, focus on what you like about your looks.
The trick is to take care of your body, train, eat clean, and try to improve what you can, but avoid negative qualifications.
Also, change your point of view and recognize every positive change that you notice as that will motivate you to persist.
3. I Can’t Do It
The thing is that you’re more capable than you realize.
You are most probably just too insecure and afraid of failure. And it’s this crippling fear that paralyzes you mentally and prevents you from trying.
As this belief is deeply rooted in your mind, you need to become aware of it and try to summon all your willpower in order to change it.
One way out of this blind alley is embracing failure. Once you realize that the world won’t end if you try and not succeed, a huge burden will fall off your chest, and it will be much easier to apply for that job you used to think was out of your league or ask for a raise.
Another useful thing to do is change your narrative – tell yourself “I can do it!”
At first, you’ll have to fake that sense of self-confidence, but with every seemingly impossible thing you achieve (or even fail to achieve), you’ll be able to dispel that dark cloud of fear, doubt, and insecurity.
4. My Life Sucks
Life isn’t always fair.
And this applies to everybody, not just you, even though Instagram might claim otherwise.
When you look at snaps of all those shining, happy people who don’t seem to have a single care in the world and who spend their days having fun with their equally cool friends, traveling around the globe and dining at Michelin-Star restaurants, you feel as if you’re the biggest loser ever.
Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side, and even psychology recognizes the detrimental effect social media has on our lives. Recent studies have shown that there’s a link between using social media and depression, as well as other mental health issues.
Again, focusing on the good things in your life and coming to terms that not everything can be as we’ve planned can help you break that vicious circle of despair and dissatisfaction.
It’s also a good idea to cut down on your social media time and do something that will make you feel better, such as taking a walk or going for a drink with your friends.
5. Nobody Loves Me
Whenever you feel compelled to say this to yourself, remember that it can’t be further from the truth, because there’s always you.
And you love yourself, right?
This is something that most of us say when we’re consumed by self-pity and when we’re feeling down.
But the problem is that if you keep on telling yourself that you’re not worthy of love, you subconsciously start behaving in a manner that prevents you from meeting that someone special.
You stop going out and attending parties, not to mention that you refuse your friends’ attempts to introduce you to new people.
On top of it all, the feeling that you’re in a dark place affects your demeanor which means that you’ll be off Mr/Mrs Right’s radar.
6. I Give Up
We’re all sick and tired of everything, and that’s OK.
But if you keep on repeating these three words to yourself, they will be stuck in your head, and you’ll start believing that it’s the only option you’ve got.
Life is full of hurdles, but it’s what makes it exciting and dynamic.
Whenever you’re on the verge of waving the white flag, take a break and try to remember the times when you felt the same and when you faced a seemingly insurmountable problem.
Ask yourself how things panned out back then and you’ll realize that you managed to overcome numerous roadblocks over the course of your life.
And this one is no different, but overthinking gets the better of you.
What you should do is get some rest and take your mind off the problem for a while.
7. This Can Only Happen to Me!
Or as Adrian Mole succinctly puts it “Just my luck!”
By blaming that invisible, supernatural entity whose main task is to make your life miserable for everything bad that happens in your life, you actually give up control over your destiny and let yourself go with the flow.
Again, that fear of being responsible for a potential failure rears its ugly head and turns you into a passive observer of your own life.
But, what you need to understand is that you’re an agent of change and that you don’t have to take a backseat.
Things you say to yourself cut deeper than other people’s words, and you need to change your tune for the sake of your well-being. Remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Rebecca is a freelance translator passionate about her work, and grateful for the travels it has taken her on. She has recently started writing about some of her experiences at RoughDraft.
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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.