Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Exploring Negative Self Talk.

Thank you all so much for the lovely compliments on my picture yesterday. By the way, the pants are from Ann Taylor, but I don't know when because I scored them at a high-end 2nd hand shop for $15.

It's a funny thing really, because at the same time I was "tagged" in that picture on Facebook, I was looking at a picture sent to me via my office email. We had a photo shoot with a volunteer group, as well as one of just me and my staff after a major renovation project in our space. I was sweaty, tired and crabby from directing people all day. When I saw the picture I thought, "Wow, I look ugly."

It's odd the destructive things we will say to ourselves. I can't imagine saying outloud to others in the picture "Wow, YOU look ugly." So why do I feel it's perfectly normal to express this to myself? (and then obsess over it for the next 9 hours, trying to convince our marketing person to use other pictures that look far more "professional" and coincidentally don't have me in them.)

It's so much easier to default to the negatives in a situation. If you drink half my beer, I'm going to say the glass is half empty - and you better fill it up, Buster. I'd love to be a "half-full" kind of girl, but I didn't grow up in those kind of situations. There is plenty of information out there about strategies for reversing negative self talk. I keep this in my mind, but believe me when I say that trying to fight your mind with your own mind is by far the longest battle known to man.

So I decided to just set one goal. One simple goal that will help in reversing negative self talk.

Learn to accept a compliment.

Really accept it. Listen to it, absorb it, apply it.

I so often brush them off with a negative statement.

For example, at the picnic I went to Monday night, someone I had not seen in almost a year commented that I had lost a significant amount of weight, and wanted to know how much. My answer: "Ohh... I've lost about 50 pounds, but I still have like 15 more to go... so...."

This person didn't need to know how much more I need to lose, and I also didn't say "Thank You" which is incredibly rude. I was too focused on how to get the attention off of me, off a journey I haven't yet finished.

So my mission this week, along with the standards (Tracking EVERYTHING, exercising, and sticking to my meal plan), I intend to politely accept any compliments that come my way.

This is actually very challenging for me, so if it sounds like a stupid challenge to you, too bad.

Weigh In tonight! Nervous for the scale but I'll be back to update.


totegirl said...

You are right, and thanks for this timely topic. We would never take that kind of talk from others. Now, we need to stop taking it from ourselves.

You did look beautiful. And you are welcome!

kristen said...

I think this is way too common for most of us. We don't give ourselves enough credit! When we receive a compliment, people are pointing out something that they like about us- something that caught their eye and made them think a positive thought. And what do we do? We negate it.

When I was 40 lbs heavier, I didn't like receiving compliments at all, it meant that the person was paying attention to some physical feature of mine. So I would seldom compliment other people, because I thought it would cause the other person to compare. For instance, if I told someone I liked their shirt, I felt that person would inevitably cause them to look at mine.

I now compliment other people more than ever, and I think that has something to do with my increased self-esteem. I'm more comfortable in my skin, and appreciate compliments from other people because I realize they come from a good place. I think your challenge is an awesome one and I hope it helps you to accept compliments more. After all, you deserve them! You've achieved something so many other people try so hard to do. Not to mention you do have a kick-ass sense of style and I love reading about your bargain finds and seeing how you put your clothes together.

Good luck at your WI tonight!

Rapunzel said...

I've caught myself giving in to that negative self-talk quite a bit lately, thanks for the reminder to re-program!

1LB to the Goal said...

Well stated!