I was invited by a friend of mine to attend classes bi-monthly in hopes to work on hope and healing from the choices of another. This friend has set out to create a network/non-profit organization to help women who have a spouse or other close relative struggle with addiction and/or betrayal. How grateful I am for people like this who step up to do something hard that will lift and inspire others!
I haven't been able to make it to the last few meetings, but have regularly checked in to see what was taught/learned. I wanted to share the S.T.O.P method with you in regards to the lies that you teach yourself to believe.
When a thought comes to mind:
S-slow down, breathe take in the thoughts that you're dwelling on
T-think about them. oftentimes we immediately take them as truth or immediately push them aside.
O-Open up. The best person to open up to is someone who has your best interest at hand and will be honest with you. Heavenly Father is the BEST source as He never bends or distorts to the truth, even if we have to hear/learn hard things.
P-Pray. Pray for the ability to change if it's a truth that is painful and/or difficult to understand. Pray for the ability to let the lie leave your mind and move on.
Not coincidentally, I had conversations with multiple people that allowed me to use this method and really put it to the test. Some things that were told me were lies, so I prayed and moved on. Some things that were told to me were truths that were painful, so I reached out to learn more on how I can change and be a better Diana. It has been a roller coaster of emotions learning how to use this method, but so helpful!
While doing some research to help my training clients speak more positively about their abilities and image, I came across this article and felt inspired to share with my readers. We all fall victim to some sort of self-sabatoging thoughts at one point; we must know how to move forward.
We must either forget it or fix it.
“No Self-deprecating Comments Allowed.” Maybe you’ve said something like this before.:
“Ugh. That was so stupid of me.”
“Well, if I weren’t so fat, I’d be able to do that.”
“I’m not smart enough to figure that out.”
“I can’t do that. I’d just screw it up.”
While you may think these little comments are harmless, negative self-talk is really revealing deeper beliefs, and can have some pretty severely negative effects on well-being—and success.
The Origins of Self-talk
Self-talk is what you think about yourself, whether out loud or in your head. It’s a reflection of your beliefs about self, others and the world around you and how you fit into that world.
These beliefs are formed very early in childhood and act as a sort of filter through which we see the world. Because they are formed from a limited perspective—that of a child—they may be based on misinterpretations and incorrect from the start. In this case, they are considered limiting beliefs, because they limit you from reaching your full potential.
This type of self-talk is considered negative self-talk and includes those little self-deprecating digs you say about yourself (“That was so stupid of me.”), the nagging little voice you hear when you’re ashamed or embarrassed (“I told you you’d make a fool out of yourself if you did that.”) or that inner critic that hangs out in your head telling you you’re not good enough (“Why even bother. You’ll never measure up.”).
So negative self-talk is really a revelation of an underlying belief. The problem with beliefs is that they are “truths” to the person they belong to. When you believe something, you want to prove it’s true. Let's explore some common examples.
Belief: “Everyone leaves me.”
This belief may have been formed when your parents divorced, at which point one of the parents wasn’t as involved in your life. You applied this belief to relationships in general, never fully investing in yourself, and partaking in risky behavior to push significant others away until they finally leave you, therefore proving that “no one stays” and “they were just going to leave me anyway.”
****This one is one I resonate with so clearly. Although my parents were never married, I was encircled but continuous failed relationships, thus making it hard for me to get close enough, or stay close enough to people expecting the same reality.****
Belief: “I’m just meant to be a fat, ugly girl.”
This belief may have formed when, as a little girl, you overheard a conversation between your mother and a neighbor, during which the neighbor said, “You’re so lucky to have an ugly daughter. She can focus on her studies and not worry about being distracted by boys.” Consequently, this became a belief of yours and throughout your life neglecting self-care, thereby validating this belief.
Where’s the Science on Self-talk?
Beliefs originate from what we hear and continue to hear from others, starting in childhood. The sources of beliefs include environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, and visualization. The mind is the brain (an actual organ) and our thoughts and beliefs are bursts of neurochemicals in the brain. There are many parts of the brain involved in beliefs, including the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, precuneus, right temporoparietal junction and the superior temporal gyri. Thoughts and beliefs are an integral part of the brain’s operations. “When we change our thinking, we change our beliefs. When we change our beliefs, we change our behavior.”Research indicates that what we see and experience literally alter our physiology. Our behavior as adults is based on the beliefs we’ve held from childhood.
Get Outta My Head!
While you can’t just wave a magic wand and make limiting beliefs disappear, there are things you do.
1. Positive affirmations are simple to practice and also have science to back them up.
A study published in Psychological Science randomly assigned women to an affirmation condition or a no-affirmation condition. Participants were given a list of important values, none of which were health-related. Participants in the affirmation condition were asked to pick one value and write about why it was important to them. Participants in the no-affirmation condition wrote about why their ninth-ranked value might be important to someone else.
Self-affirmations, which are sometimes referred to as self-declarations, must be practiced regularly to change one’s limiting beliefs. It’s like going to the gym—you must be consistent and put in the work.
Think about their limiting beliefs and things you struggle with the most—then “flip” them around. For example:
“I am fat” becomes “I am strong and fit.”
“I am incapable” becomes “I am capable of learning new things.”
“I am afraid of failing” becomes “I find lessons in every experience.”
Avoid using the word “not” and “don’t” in affirmations. Studies suggest that when you focus on what you don’t want to do or feel, you can inadvertently trigger its occurrence. This is known as ironic processes.
Write down your affirmations and speak them out loud several times a day. The more senses they get involved in practicing them, the faster they will form new neurological connections in their brain.
Some people struggle with affirmations, because they don’t believe them. Of course, that’s the whole point in doing them—you are trying to overwrite old beliefs with new ones.
The Magic Pill?
Of course not! It's something that takes time, patience and perseverance. When simple tools such as positive affirmations are practiced regularly, the body will follow suit.