It’s been said that our internal monologue is tied to a person’s sense of self. If you stopped and took a moment to think about your internal speech, how you talk to yourself and the attitude of your thoughts, are they positive? Or are you being a meanie?
It’s something I thought about at the end of last year and it’s safe to say that in doing so, I became so much more aware at how hard I was being. I was constantly doubting myself, challenging my decisions and over thinking evvvverrrrrything. I’m not sure when it started or where it suddenly came from. Overall I found it difficult to find clarity and felt my confidence in completing things just wasn’t where it should have been. But since I’ve been paying attention and changing my tune (so to speak) it’s made the most incredible difference! So here are my doubt-busting tools that can help you too.
By the way, I’ve been really touched by all your kind messages about the poem I posted on my Instagram the other day so a big thank you for everyone who sent me messages. I’ve been surprised at just how many of you are quietly struggling but are finding my stories helpful. It’s lovely to see so many of you are enjoying this little series of self love on the blog!
practice expressing your opinion.
How often have you held back on a topic you know a lot about? If you live and breathe a particular skill then why are you keeping shtum when in the company of other people? This in itself is critical. Be aware and shout loud and proud. Creating a more confident place in your head makes room for the brain to repeat this habit and eventually quieten down those thoughts that tell you “shush you’ll embarrass yourself”.
When was the last time you saw a feel good film? For me it was Mama Mia 2 with my bestie. I left feeling lighter (albeit with annoying Abba songs ringing round my head). Whenever I think of that film now I can allow myself to escape. Remembering that there is light in life is a great tool for helping turn that downer voice into a positive.
I used to get so irritated by other people. If they weren’t doing something quick enough, if they disappointed me, that kind of thing. I realised that I had a problem with people who didn’t share my motivation and drive to a given task. This meant that whenever there was a new situation involving said people, before we’d even gotten down to business I’d be telling myself ‘don’t expect much’, ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ etc. Already from the offset we’re creating a negative mindset and that voice is a pessimistic one. Having the ability to give people the benefit of the doubt can really help alleviate some of that Debbie downer feeling.
When something bad happens, how does your internal voice react? “Well you deserve it!”, “see it was too good to be true!”, “you were out of your depth anyway!”. The more you do this the quicker and easier the brain forms the habit of reacting in an overly critical way. Speak to your friend and she’ll probably give you 10 reasons as to why you did not deserve that bad happening in the first place. Talk to yourself as if you’re motivating your friend.
listen & accept.
When someone says you look good, how do you respond? I was always instantly responding “thanks, just washed my hair omg it looked awful yesterday” or something similar (hey I’m normally 85% dry shampoo, k?). But then I changed the tone, I said thanks and didn’t say anything more. Initially my internal voice would say “wow, you’re such a big head!” but it soon went away when I told it to pipe down and accepted the compliment.
Since my EDMR therapy I often experience very vivid, highly stressful and disturbing dreams. I’ve managed to train myself to talk to myself in my dream and tell myself “Ok Lauren, your subconscious is trying to tell you something, work out what it is”. When I wake up I make a point of picking out three positive things that came from my dream – even though it’s often very, very hard. I started with little things like “in part of my dream I was in a restaurant and there were pretty fairy lights” or “I was on a train and it was really quick”. Just the simple act of turning a hugely negative thing on it’s head can make such a difference!
It’s hard but it’s so important to remain optimistic that these tools will work. I found that writing down my progress helped so much! True that in the beginning even my notes were negative but there’s something magical about re reading something from a week ago and seeing improvement. Challenging every single negative thought will feel so foreign, you’ll start to panic that you need to go back to being overly critical incase something bad happens. But have faith, eventually you’ll get to the stage where you’re finding the negative inner voice so rare that you’ll wonder where on earth it came from.
“You deserve a happy and fulfilled life, don’t let an inner negative voice stop you from doing that. It isn’t real”.
shop the post.
Dress – ASOS Design
Spectacular boots – Kurt Geiger
Kensington Croc bag – Kurt Geiger
Words & Styling by Lauren Silvester
Photography by Zoe Griffin