I’ve talked about what a bitch that little voice in your head can be. You know, the one that just loves to narrate your life with a running inner-monologue of self-doubt and anxiety. It makes us guilty of comparing ourselves to others, and also of judging others – ironic, isn’t is, as we usually fear that that’s what people are doing to us?
We’re all to blame. It’s easy to think, “why don’t I have hair/teeth/boobs/legs like that?” and, yes, that damages our self-esteem. But it’s just as easy to think, “Thank goodness I DON’T have hair/teeth/boobs/legs like that!” Both are just as negative; you’re either trashing yourself – which, btw, you don’t deserve – or becoming part of the same endless cycle that makes you feel so rubbish in the first place!
Nipping that voice in the bud is hard. It can feel like you need some sort of spoon-bending, Professor X-level mind power to silence it. You might not be able to turn it off completely (if you do, can you write some kind of self-help book for the rest of us please?) but maybe you could turn it around…
When you see someone – just a random stranger, anyone really – and you hear that voice start to creep up, change it’s tune. Take control. Make a positive affirmation about that person which reflects negatively on no-one. Pause, look at them and find something positive. There’s always something positive!
Instead of thinking, “Oh god, she’s owning the room like a glamour model and here I am looking like a sack of potatoes…” just take a second to evaluate your own self-worth. You don’t need to hear that. You don’t have to put that kind of pressure of yourself. Stop. Think, “Wow, I really like that shade of lipstick she’s wearing, it looks gorgeous. That’d really suit me, maybe I should look for something similar.”
Instead of thinking, “Jeez, who let her leave the house in that outfit this morning?!” just take a second to consider their feelings. Consider how it’d make you feel. They don’t deserve that kind of judgement. By inflicting it upon them, aren’t you just spreading more of the same negativity that you’re so afraid of yourself? Think, “Wow, look at that awesome lanyard around her neck! Mate, if she works there she must have an AMAZING job! Good for her!”
It’s not a fix-it-all solution, and OF COURSE our self-worth often runs deeper than these superficial thoughts. But it’s about putting a stop to the negativity. You know the saying, if you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all? Well, it’s the same with our thoughts. If you can’t think of something positive about someone, just leave it alone. But if we can all spread little nuggets of happy, sunny loveliness, our days would be more bearable. Trust me, you’ll feel a million times better for it!