Was just sitting and thinking about all I am grateful for and one odd thought that crossed my mind is that I truly appreciate now recognizing the messages—the unhealthy messages—that repeat in my mind and likely have for a long time. I know it seems like an odd thing to note, but it is really a great thing when you come to place of living consciously aware of the tendency of your mind to interpret situations, interactions, etc. to mean the same thing over and over, or to reinforce a message that you’ve likely held since childhood.
Some messages that repeat for people are: “I am not enough,” “I am not good enough,” “I am in this by myself,” “No one will ever love me,” “It will never get better,’ and even “I am just like my ______.” In a time, when positive affirmations are so prevalent, one can only imagine what repeating negative phrases such as these can do to shift the trajectory of ones life.
A few months ago, I came to the realization that one of my “messages” is “I am not enough” (and the other version “I am not doing enough”). It stung when I realized how many areas I repeat this horrible phrase, but it was such a gift to my life to see it and now make a conscious decision to acknowledge it and dismiss it as not true.
A lot of times we think that ignoring the negative is the way to stay positive, but the truth is that while we are ignoring it, our mind is often storing and embedding the message deep within us and it will come wafting up in so many situations. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to acknowledge the negative message—the horrible phrase that our “inner critic” says about us that makes us feel bad about ourselves when we make a mistake, someone blames us for something, or things just don’t turn out as we planned. The more that we become keen to catch those thoughts, the sooner we can overcome them.
Now, when I find myself feeling bad about something (usually an interaction with someone else that didn’t go as planned), I think to myself, “Oh, that’s just another “I am not enough, which I know is not true. I’m awesome!” and I let it go.
So today, as I created my list of gratitude, I find myself grateful for the ability to catch my negative messages and release them. So that is my my advice to you. Begin to catch and release the irritating, self-defeating messages of your inner critic and release them knowing that they are no longer your truths.