This is one of my favourite skills I learnt from my eating disorder recovery.
Mainly because when I first heard it I thought “what is this bullshit?!” Then I tried it…and it didn’t do anything (we aren’t in a fairytale here, things don’t get better overnight). But I kept at it, and slowly (my least favourite length of time) I saw a change.
Now I always use it.
What is positive self-talk?
Okay, so you know that voice inside your head that says “put the cupcake down fatty, you’ve had one, you don’t need another?” ….Yeah.
Most of the time, that voice was intended for good things, like:
“Move away from that fast speeding car silly, you’re not The Hulk.”
“Don’t touch that red glowing thing, red usually means danger.”
But sadly, society taught us over the years to take that voice and rather than using it to protect us, to use it to hurt us (to sell more life-changing products *eye roll*).
So now the voice is telling you that you aren’t good enough, that you suck, that it and everyone else hates you. And because the voice comes from inside, we believe it. We believe it more than any other voice internal or external – and it hurts.
Now, I’m about to teach you about a new voice, a nice voice. A voice that cares. The way I imagine it, just think of your Fairy Queen/King (non-gender specific, kay!)
The self-talk skill
My Fairy Queen-Mother is a gorgeous talk dark-skinned angel, with the sass of Bianca Del Rio and the looks of Kat Dennings and the charm of Michelle Obama. She’s the one. She know’s her shit and she won’t take shit.
When I hear that society-fuelled-evil voice that tells me that yet again I need to ‘shut up because no-one cares what I have to say and maybe I should lose weight cos have you seen your ass’, I hear it. And then I bring out my Fairy-Queen-Mother. And I tell myself something nice.
Sounds simple right? It can be anything:
- I have great teeth
- I am kind
- My hair looks nice
- My legs take you from A to B
- My organs are working as intended
But….it has to be true, you have to acknowledge and repeat it.
The point is that your inner voice has become so loud and strong that it won’t let you believe anything else you hear. By taking your time to repeat a nice fact after the berating (which is what it is) you are giving your mind a new skill.
It won’t work straight away, you won’t suddenly feel like Bey and be a self-confident goddess/god. However, it will take a nice new step towards drowning out that voice.
You don’t need to do it every time either. There’s a nice variation where you say 1 nice thing to yourself in the morning (maybe when you brush your teeth or do your shower singing) and 1 different nice thing at night in the mirror.
I never got down with that, because mirrors are for pouting and full-body selfies only….but it might work for you!
All I ask is give it a try, give it time and see if it helps.