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How to Use Positive Self-Talk to Improve Your (and Your Children’s) Self-Esteem

If you find yourself rarely saying kind things to yourself, it's time to make a change. Follow these simple steps to cultivate a positive mindset, boost your self-esteem, and inspire your kids to do the same.

Using Positive Self-Talk to Improve Your (and Your Children's) Self-Esteem

You may not realize it, but the internal dialogue we have with ourselves is very powerful. Our thoughts become our reality—we make choices and take action based on them. So, when we attack our appearance or fixate on what we don’t like about our bodies, we steamroll our self-esteem and limit our own abilities to reach our full potential.

What’s even worse, when we speak negatively about ourselves in front our children, we’re giving them permission to do the same. After all, kids tend to mimic what they see and hear from their parents.

If you find that you rarely say nice things to yourself, then it’s time for a change. To help maintain a positive mindset and improve your self-esteem, use these helpful strategies.

First, focus on becoming aware of the tiny voice in your head that speaks unkindly.

Ask yourself, “Am I my own worst enemy (and biggest critic), or do my thoughts promote positivity and self-confidence?”

If you’re having any doubts that you’ve been anything but kind to yourself, think back to when you got dressed this morning. Stop for a minute and actually think about it. Did you criticize yourself?

What exactly did you say to the person looking back at you in the mirror? “Look at that belly flab! Those arms look like jiggly jello. You look terrible in skinny jeans!”

The first step toward making positive change is becoming aware of your internal critic’s negative voice.

Next, make a list of some of the salty sayings you use on a consistent basis.

A few statements that you may realize you need to eliminate are:

  • I don’t deserve…
  • I am unhappy with certain aspects of my physical appearance (for example: My hips are too wide; My boobs are too small; If my hair wasn’t thin, I would be so much more beautiful.).
  • I hate that I’m not… (for example: carefree, organized or witty).

Now that you’ve identified your biggest offenders, become acutely aware of them.

Give your inner critic a nickname.

If you want to add a little playfulness to it, give your negativity a nickname. This allows you to see your inner critic as a force external to yourself and feel less threatened by their hurtful words.

“There’s Negative Nancy, she always has something to say! She must be having one of those days. Not today Negative Nancy, I’m turning a new leaf!”

Reword the negative to positive (or even neutral!).

Once you become aware of your own negative self-talk, get bold and start talking back! Try infusing your thoughts with positive words or statements that’ll motivate and excite you, rather than dwelling on those that discourage you.

We get it, it can feel like a huge leap to go from looking in the mirror and talking negatively to yourself to loving yourself. So, rather than striving for complete “body positivity,” avoid the extremes and shoot for something in the middle (somewhere between love and hate).

Negative self-talk not only affects you, it can affect your kids too.

Not only does negative self-talk reflect how we see ourselves in the world, it can impact our kids in ways we may have never imagined.

Kids tend to mimic what they see and hear from their parents. So, when we negatively critique ourselves in front of our kids, we’ll likely influence how they begin to perceive themselves. For example: If you call yourself flabby on a daily basis, your daughter is going to pick up on that. If you complain about your thighs being enormous or your hips too wide, don’t be surprised if your child follows suit.

When we’re vocal and attack our appearance or fixate on what we don’t like about our bodies, we’re giving our children permission to do the same. So, don’t just change your self-talk for yourself, do it for your kids too!

Two Fun Activities to Help You Reframe Your Mindset!

1. Write down three things you like about yourself...

Begin each statement with the words “I am.” Although it’s difficult at first, try to focus on the positive traits you love about yourself that make you who you are. Here’s a few examples of traits you may embody to help get you started:

I am...

  • A good friend
  • A good listener
  • Adventurous
  • Authentic
  • Considerate
  • Focused
  • Forgiving
  • Funny
  • Good at time management
  • Loyal
  • Organized
  • Patient
  • Reliable
  • Sincere
  • Spiritual
  • Thoughtful
  • Trustworthy
  • Versatile
  • Vibrant
  • Wise

Now, put your list somewhere easily visible (your bathroom mirror, desk, screen saver). If there’s somewhere in particular that your inner critic often rears their ugly head, consider putting your list of positive affirmations close by as a reminder that you’re pretty darn amazing. And, to talk (or rather holler) back with positivity!

2. Challenge yourself to practice positive self-talk for 10 minutes each day this week.

Set a timer for 10 minutes every day this week (possibly while you’re getting dressed each morning) and become acutely aware of the voice in your head—in particular, to your negative self-talk. What are you saying?

Think, “Does this perception serve me? Does it help me to grow as an individual? Does it allow me to love myself?”

And then evaluate, “How can I rewire and reword my thoughts to motivate myself?”

A great rule of thumb: If you made the same comment to a loved one and it would potentially hurt their feelings, you shouldn’t say it to yourself either.

Final Note

The way you speak to yourself matters, especially when It comes to your self-esteem and overall success. Changing your words and reprogramming your thoughts to become your own biggest cheerleader is the surest way to conquer your fears and live the life you’ve dreamed of. And, it helps encourage your children to do the same.

When you catch yourself lingering on a negative thought, stop yourself and replace it with something encouraging that’s also accurate. Think about all the things you can achieve, how you can feel or who you hope to be.

It takes practice for it to become a daily habit, but the rewards will seep into every aspect of your life. Remember, it is possible! YOU ARE WORTHY and the possibilities are ENDLESS.

Let’s practice positive self-talk and boost our self-confidence and well-being—together!

P.S. Do you pay attention to how you talk to yourself? We’d love to hear your comments!

Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and living FULLforLife!
xo, Pam & Kalie

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Hi beautiFULL, We’re Pam and Kalie

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