Negative Self-Talk Building Blocks

Are you your own worst critic? Many of us are, sometimes to the point of believing we have few, if any, redeeming characteristics. This negative outlook comes from all the negative messages we tell ourselves every day.
When asked where they first heard the negative message, most people indicate the message has come from themselves. The reality is that all negative messages are taught to us by another person or situation. We are actually born with no negative messages. All negative messages are lies that may have a small, twisted piece of truth attached to them. The power behind these negative messages is so great that it can be difficult to believe the truth: that we are good and have many fine qualities that our Higher Power has given us.
We are taught to believe these negative messages by things we have been told directly or indirectly, with words, body language, facial expressions, or looks. Some of the messages we have taken on may never have been what the other person intended, yet our perception of their negativity made them our reality. Since all our negative messages have been taught to us in some fashion or another, they can also be untaught.
To unlearn these negative messages, it is important to understand their origins and the feelings that drive them. It is equally important to be willing to follow through with change, even if it feels uncomfortable or unfamiliar. Every negative message has at least some level of guilt and shame associated with it, which is also common with any addiction.
While there can be many different underlying themes associated with negative messages, the most common are associated with intelligence, looks, behaviors, inadequacies, and blame.
When we are ready to explore and work through these negative messages that cause us to do many things we regret, it is important to understand where we first heard these messages. The purpose of gaining this understanding is not to find someone to blame, because when we blame someone, we remain stuck. Rather, when we find the origins, we are able to connect more deeply with the underlying feelings to embrace, feel, work through, and let go of them. When we are able to work through the feelings so they no longer negatively affect our lives, we have the freedom to move forward without the negative self-talk.
One major obstacle to working on and through these negative messages is the payoff we receive by continuing to use the negative self-talk. Many people question the validity of any payoff because they are able to see how hurtful the negative messages have been for them. They don’t see anything that could be considered a benefit, even a twisted or negative one. Some of the payoff is associated with the inability to do anything differently in their lives and not seeing how it could be better. Another payoff is being able to stay in what is familiar, even if we do not like what we are familiar with. Continuing to use our negative messages is also a way to embrace our fear or anger and feel justified.
While there are many payoffs in embracing our negative messages, there are many losses as well. Poor communication, failed relationships, lost opportunities, and even the lack of fun are a few losses that occur when we embrace the negative messages.
Unless the pain from the losses becomes great enough, most people continue to embrace and believe the lies associated with the negative messages because it is familiar and requires no work. Letting go of our negative messages does require a willingness to do the difficult work of change. Yet it frees us to embrace our many positive qualities and enjoy living as our true selves.

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