Society has this tendency to reduce people to a single aspect about them instead of embracing their wholesomeness. We’ve all done it, and when it’s about us, we may have even bought into the idea that that’s all there is to us.
Self-esteem is a person’s confidence in their own worth/value, beliefs and capabilities. However, despite the fact that it should come from within, self-esteem is often marred by other people’s perceptions of us. Low self-esteem could be the result of events in a person’s life that left them feeling down and may include failure, abuse or an upbringing in an environment devoid of nurturing and instillation of confidence. It has nothing to do with actual capabilities – even people who are great at something still end up feeling like they’re not good enough.
Internal dialogue is perhaps the most important tool there is for improving self-esteem. From the moment we wake up every day, an internal dialogue stirs in our minds. We make plans for the day, and review events and conversations. In the age of social media, we are constantly bombarded with stimuli, majority of which is negative.You have probably caught yourself, on more than one occasion, imagining yourself in a situation you’ve seen or read about online and re-enacting it in your mind over and over. When you’ve had a disagreement with someone, your mind keeps reviewing the argument, saying the things you wished you’d said or initiating a physical fight that never happened. Sometimes it’s a case of talking yourself out of something and this goes on for hours, consuming all your energy. You keep thinking, I’m not good at this kind of thing or it won’t be good enough.
If you realize that you have been doing this, become aware of your thoughts. When you’re listening to what you’re thinking, then you can change your internal dialogue to say positive things about yourself. I can do this or I’m good enough or I’ll try again tomorrow. Your thoughts become your reality, and thus you must strive to be aware of what you’re thinking about every day.
The best way to free yourself from this incessant chatter is to step back and view it objectively. Just view the voice as a vocalizing mechanism that is capable of making it appear like someone is in there talking to you. Don’t think about it; just notice it. No matter what the voice is saying, it’s all the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s saying nice things or mean things, worldly things or spiritual things. It doesn’t matter because it’s still just a voice talking inside your head. In fact, the only way to get your distance from this voice is to stop differentiating what it’s saying. Stop feeling that one thing it says is you and the other thing it says is not you. If you’re hearing it talk, it’s obviously not you. You are the one who hears the voice. You are the one who notices that it’s talking.
Michael A. Singer
Don’t be dismayed if you catch yourself falling back to old, destructive thought patterns. It is normal, and the process of forming new habits takes time and willpower. Allow yourself that time, and assess the impact your new thoughts have on your life. Do you feel better about yourself? More confident? Less stressed? Observing these changes will encourage you to keep at it and soon, positive internal dialogue will become second nature to you.