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Quiet the negative self-talk: get your brain working for you, not against you




I have to confess. My inner dialogue is awful sometimes and I know I’m not alone. The truth is, we are our own worst critic!


As moms, we’re juggling a ton of responsibilities. Between working, parenting, managing the home, shuttling kids from one field to another, and everything in between, our plates are full. And amidst this controlled (or uncontrolled) chaos, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of criticizing ourselves when things don't go as planned.


This is especially true when we set out to improve our health {whether it's exercising more, eating healthier, or simply taking time to rest} and then don’t follow through!

But here's the thing: trash talking ourselves - for what we do (or don’t do) or our physical appearance – is a form of self-sabotage. It keeps us from making forward progress and makes us feel like crap.


Here’s how this may play out in real life…


You set a goal to exercise 5 days a week. You make a plan, start off strong, but then life always seems to get in the way and you throw in the towel.  Three weeks go by and you recommit, telling yourself this time will be different, but then you miss a workout and then another. Rinse and repeat.

And that inner critic is LOUD, spouting negativity left and right.


The next time you start sh&* talk yourself, here’s how to get your brain working for you not against you:


1.    Observe and evaluate with curiosity not judgement. First things first, be aware of the negative thoughts that pop into your head. Notice the phrases that your brain keeps repeating over and over (e.g., "I'm so lazy", "I'll never be able to do this", “I should be better at managing my time”, “I hate my thighs”, etc…).

 

2.    Challenge the negative thoughts that aren’t serving you. Just because your brain offers you a thought, doesn’t make it true! Pass your thoughts thru a filter:


o   “Is this true?”

o   “How do I know it’s true?”

o   “What else could be true?”

o   “Is this thought helpful?”

o   “Why am I choosing to think this thought?”

 

3.    Dismiss, and replace, unhelpful thoughts. Once you identify and process the thoughts that are keeping you stuck {and making you feel miserable}, channel Elsa and “Let it go”. Feel the energy shift when you talk to yourself like you would your best friend, your child, or your ten-year old self.


For example:


“I'm not doing enough." ➡️ “I’m human and I’m doing what I can right now.”

 

 “I should be doing this better.” ➡️ “I don’t need to do things perfectly- good enough is good enough”.

 

“Why bother even trying, I never stick with it.” ➡️ “Something is better than nothing.”

 

“I’ll never have time for this.” ➡️ “I’ll find a way to make time, because this is important to me.”

Our brains churn out a staggering 60,000 thoughts a day (crazy, right?!). Some are helpful, some are downright mean, and many of them are just noise. But here’s the kicker: we get to choose what to think and there’s so much power in that.

So, the next time your catch yourself in a negative self-talk spiral, practice these strategies to interrupt {and quiet} the noise. As Moms, we deal with enough every day, we don’t need to pile on to the mental load with our relentless self-judgement. Let’s see what happens when we stop treating ourselves like crap and instead show ourselves the same kindness we give to everyone else.

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