Take notice of when you are thinking negative thoughts about yourself. Work really hard to change these negative thoughts into positive ones. When you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself, change the flow and direction of your thoughts into something positive. There are different patterns of negative thinking, start to recognize which patterns you have fallen into.
- All-or-nothing thinking- Seeing things as either all good or all bad. For example…”If I do not succeed at this task then I must be a total failure”.
- Mental filtering- You distort your view of a person or a situation to only see the negatives. For example, believing that a mistake you made at work or at school will make everyone think that you’re not up for the job or smart enough for school.
- Converting positives into negatives- Not accepting your achievements, not giving yourself enough credit for your achievements. For example, “I only did well on that assignment because it was easy”. (I was the queen of this one- never gave myself credit for anything I had accomplished in life- this is one that I could still use a little work on)
- Jumping to negative conclusions- You jump to negative conclusions for no reason at all. Like believing someone is mad at you because they did not respond to your text message within an hour or so. (this was another one of my biggies)
- Mistaking feelings for facts- Confusing how you feel or your beliefs on something with what the facts are. For example, “I feel like a failure so I must be a failure” or “I believe that I am ugly so I must be ugly”.
- Self-put-downs- Undervaluing yourself, putting yourself down, using self-critical humor, etc. Example: “I don’t deserve anything better than this” or “I am stupid and will never amount to anything”, etc.
- Make a concerted effort to be a “glass half full” individual as opposed to a “glass half empty” individual. Be positive and be hopeful!
- Forgive yourself for the mistakes you make. Everyone makes mistakes; it doesn’t make you a failure or a bad person. Use mistakes as a learning opportunity.
- Avoid thinking/using words that may lead to unreasonable demands or expectations being placed on yourself, like words such as “should” or “must”.
- Think about the good things in your life, things that have gone well, accomplishments you’ve made, etc. Focus on the positive! If you need help identifying positive aspects of your life go to your friends, family, coworkers, classmates, etc. for some help- they are not nearly as hard on you as you are on yourself.
- Use negative thoughts as cues to develop new, healthy patterns. Don’t react negatively to negative thoughts; instead change them to positive thoughts.
- Encourage yourself. Give yourself credit. Acknowledge when you meet goals. So on and so forth!
- Take the time to sit down and write a list of positive things about yourself. If you’re having trouble thinking of them ask other people in your life to help you. Use that list to change your thoughts to positive when you are thinking negatively until you are able to change the direction of your thoughts without using the list. If you need to carry it with you, then do it! Whatever works best for you! Eventually you want to be thinking positively about yourself so that you no longer need to make the effort to change your negative thoughts into positive thoughts!
USE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR SUPPORT!
They already believe in you, let them help you believe in yourself!
-Kissing Stigma Goodbye-