Many times, we are in a vicious cycle of inflicting self-harm without even being aware of it. Xlibris author Deborah Day, M.A. shares 5 ways to put an end to this habit, with some points from her self-help book, Be Happy Now!
You are in control of your life
It seems so many people are feeling dissatisfied in their lives. We hear it daily via the many newscasts about individuals making so many negative choices: from dishonesty, to addictions, to murders, to suicides etc. More so, we hear it closer to home, such as in our neighborhoods, workplaces and in our social situations. And I imagine that some of you reading this are struggling with general dissatisfaction and discouragement. When one feels this way you tend to make decisions that harm you in one way or another. What can you do to feel more satisfied and in control of your life? Well for starters, since you cannot control all the external events that occur, let’s start with an aspect you can do something about: yourself! This is one area you DO have the power to effect positive change!
1. Be aware of your self-talk
How do you begin to overcome this self-sabotaging tendency? First and foremost I encourage you to become aware of what you are telling yourself… your internal dialogue. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are chattering to yourself all the time. Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to notice the quality of their internal chattering. Pay attention. Stop and take a moment every hour and check in with your internal dialogue. Notice if it is critical or nurturing. If you tend to be more critical with yourself, that energy will impact you negatively. If you stay unaware of this inner critic, it will have even more power over your life. You can’t stop your inner critic if you are not consciously aware of its existence.
As you pay more attention and are able to identify that you are being hard on yourself, learn to correct your dialogue. I share several creative ways of doing this in my latest book. The more patient, kind and encouraging you can be with yourself, the better you will feel and behave. The process of identifying your critical voice and learning to create new messages does take time and persistence. It won’t just happen naturally. You have to make it happen! Your internal messages are central to your ability to live a more full and productive life. How do you think your inner critic may be stopping you from being your best self?
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
Secondly, stop comparing yourself to others and start accepting yourself! How many of you are willing to admit that you compare yourself to others in one way or another? I imagine this is a fairly global issue. It is all too easy to notice another’s talent and minimize your own. This propensity to judge ourselves against another has a long lineage in history and has been perpetuated thru society, culture, families, work, sports and more. The key to changing this is awareness. Often it is so automatic to compare that you don’t even realize you are doing it. As stated above, pay attention. Interrupt this process. Notice when you are doing this and then correct yourself. Remind yourself that your name is Tom and not Robert and you are gifted at…whatever it may be. Redirect your attention back to who you are and your strengths. If you are considering writing your first or your next book, remember to stay centered on YOUR goals and your desires for this book. Comparing yourself to others in this scenario, or any other, will block your creativity.
More of Deborah’s advice are revealed on the sequel of her blog.