Motivation Monday #3: What You Say to Yourself in the Mirror Matters

I will start this post by saying that every woman needs to put this sticker on her mirror. Negative self talk is so prevalent among women that I think we could all use a little reminder. I am not sure how common it is among men, but I’d love to hear comments from men and women alike below! Also, you can check out my previous Motivation Monday posts here and here.

sea-758165_640When I was a teenager and in my early twenties, I was slim without trying to be. I wore quite a bit of make-up and, looking back, dressed quite provocatively, too. Anyone who knows me now (overweight, bare faced, and wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt – sorry, JP) wouldn’t recognize the “old me.” Back then, I was happy with how I looked, but I wasn’t healthy (physically, mentally, or emotionally). When I looked in the mirror, my biggest concern was debating between pretty outfits because I was happy with how I looked in all of them.

If you fast forward to now, I am definitely unhappy with how my body looks. For a long time, I avoided mirrors and photographs. When I did catch a glimpse of my reflection, I wouldn’t say very nice things to myself. Statements like, you look so fat, your body is disgusting, you’re so ugly now (and even worse) would flash through my mind and make me feel terrible for the rest of the day. I was depressed about myself, but I was also, more importantly, dealing with my father’s illness and death, so I didn’t make the changes that I needed to make.

Power of the MindMy regular readers will remember my T25 Focus challenge, which is when it finally clicked for me that my obstacles were mental and not physical. At first, I didn’t even want to let myself try to workout with Shaun T because I just assumed that I couldn’t: I was too fat, too out of shape, too incapable. But then I tried it. And guess what? I did all of the videos and I did them well. That was when I started to realize just how powerful my thoughts really are when they come to my well-being. I might not be happy with where I’m at currently, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be kind to myself along the way. People need to enjoy the journey and not just focus on the destination.

I read an article that really put my negative self-talk into perspective when a simple question was posed: would you talk to your best friend how you talk to yourself? I pictured my best friend and then I imagined that she was working hard to get healthy and improve her life. Would I tell her that she was fat, ugly, disgusting, or incapable? Of course I wouldn’t. I would tell her that I was proud of her for taking accountability for her own future, I would celebrate every goal that she reached successfully, and I would tell her how great she looked and how well she was doing. So why couldn’t I say that to myself?

Supportive FriendsWell, I do now. When I’m doing yoga, I used to tell myself that I sucked at it and that I’d never be as good as the girl in the video. But now I celebrate when I can do many poses with ease, even ones that used to make me want to cry in frustration. I will look at myself in the mirror and find areas of my body that are getting leaner and looking better. I feel good about how I’m making holistic health a priority and that I am getting enough sleep every day, focusing on my mental well-being, and not neglecting one area of my life for another.

When my friend AW was going through cancer treatments, she maintained positivity throughout the process. I used to think, what’s the big deal about thinking positively, whatever is going to happen will happen anyway. Maybe. But negative thoughts can make you miserable, depressed, and don’t serve you. They can also change your attitudes and behaviours, which can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of terrible things happening. I encourage you to follow the same rule that I do when you look in the mirror: if it’s not something kind enough to say to your best friend, then don’t say it to yourself either. Your mind is a powerful tool. Use it to your advantage!

Positive Self TalkDo you practice positive self-talk?

Disclosure: if you buy any of these products from me, or do any of your amazon.com shopping through my store, my sweet boxer, B, will get some treat money. He thanks you in advance for supporting his cookie addiction and I thank you for supporting my blog.

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49 thoughts on “Motivation Monday #3: What You Say to Yourself in the Mirror Matters

  1. A lovely post, thank you. I think imagining the face of your best friend, and thinking would you say it to them is a good tactic, it puts into perspective some of the things that we say to ourslves😊

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Many of the words and sentiments in your post sound very familiar. I’m very proud to hear them coming from your thoughts. The physical body changes through life. Even if we use the greatest of discipline with exercise and nutrition, nature insists on aging the body. Our minds age too, but life’s experiences provide us with greater wisdom if we are smart enough to focus on the positive aspects of life. So many complain as they age they can’t live their lives like they did in their 20’s. As we age we are designed to EVOLVE with new aspirations and new challenges. Those only capable of living in the past will never know the JOY of aging. Those willing to actively pursue a positive future, will likely complete their lives with a smile on their faces.

    Living a healthy life as you have chosen to do, will provide you with the physical and mental attributes you were supposed to have. Appreciating your own effort in achieving these goals will make ALL MIRRORS you stand before incredibly attractive!!

    Never stop, never give in to pressure, and always remember to place the highest value on yourself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I used to fear aging, but I always tell myself that it’s better than the alternative. I’d rather have the opportunity to grow old with my partner than die young.

      I keep reminding myself that as I make positive lifestyle changes, the changes to my body will follow. It can be hard to feel okay about looking how I do currently and if I’m honest, I’m not okay with it. I’m okay with the fact that each day I’m striving to get better. Like you said, we evolve!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember a time in my early teen years, when I felt like no one at school liked me and I didn’t even like myself. My parents, of course, were very concerned and my dad told me I need to look in the mirror every day and smile at myself and tell myself, “I love you. You are a great person.” It worked, but oddly, it’s a skill I didn’t maintain and I have noticed my negative self-talk is more prevalent today than it ever has been.

    Maybe it’s time to begin looking in the mirror again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great mantra. I will give it a try! When I do find myself slipping into negative self-talk, I try to very quickly counteract the terrible things I’m thinking with positive things that I do like about myself. It’s definitely not easy and I’ve been battling it since I was a teenager as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this wonderful post! When I started reading, it felt like you were describing the old me and the new me!
    I used to negative talk to myself a lot, I am now slowly trying to change from that habit and embrace myself as I am!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I used to think that I was fat back when I wasn’t…I try to imagine what that young slim girl would think of me now! LOL

      Seriously though, it is an ongoing battle and something I have to consciously remind myself to do.

      Like

  5. Let’s just say I practice rigorous honesty. If I’m fat and not doing anything about it, what can I possibly say that’s positive?

    On the other hand, if I’m eating right and exercising, then I allow myself the luxury of positive thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always try to think positively. Even if I did have a “bad” day, I will try to reframe it in my mind for how I can do better the next day, i.e. “okay, that happened. What will I do tomorrow to improve?”

      Absolutely I don’t think there is anything positive about being fat and too lazy to change it. I wrote about my feelings in regards to the body positivity movement and they are not positive! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m the master of talking myself down when I’m looking in the mirror. You know, the “I can’t believe I let myself get this fat”, “I’m lazy”, “I’m worthless” business. I’ve become SO good at doing it that it’s taking quite a bit of dedication to break the habit. I’ve found that, no matter how successful I am at other things in my life, my physical attributes seem to take priority. I can stand in front of the mirror and tell myself how fat I’ve gotten, yet I don’t look in the mirror and tell myself how amazing of a Mama I was that day. Trying to flip that switch. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is very hard to do. Our culture and society are so image obsessed that it’s hard not to make comparisons to how we are “supposed” to look. Too bad we couldn’t see how intelligent we are reflected back at us in the mirror! It’s a tricky habit to break, I agree, but I am trying to be mindful of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful words. I am agree that a positive mind can help you life and we are all about our thoughts. Yoga helped me a lot and meditation as well! I would to meditate every day but something when there are other people in house I can’t focus on myself.. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to master the art of meditation. Yoga helps to centre and ground me, but I haven’t had much luck meditating as of yet. I will keep at it!

      Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. I love motivational posts and I love this one ❀ Thank you soo much. It is very motivational and I absolutely feel a positive mind can be the best helper to life πŸ™‚ Would love to see more of you. Thank you for visiting my blog and so I came to know you too πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I used to get in front of the mirror after morning prayers and look myself in the eyes and say affirmations such as “You are filled with power, energy and enthusiasm and you are always in perfect health from God.” There were other affirmative sayings I would do in front of the mirror. I believe that when you talk to your own image in this manner that the subconscious picks up on the positivity of the message and channels that positive energy to the conscious mind where the conscious mind automatically guides and directs you to the opportunities and challenges that have the best potential for making what you are saying about yourself either true or will do everything in its power to bring about the circumstances that will ultimately lead you to where you want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! It makes such a difference. I actually had something rotten happen at work on Friday, but I didn’t let it spoil my weekend – I was mindful and enjoyed the moments with my family. And now I am using Monday as an opportunity to correct the course from last week!

      Like

  10. I do believe that self love and self appreciation is very important. We all have our bouts with dealing with life change and the expectations that follow. I am a larger proponent of having a core of positivity. I like to think that we can all round ourselves out with others who can help us love ourselves beyond what we do alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I believe the talks to self hold great power. I practice positive thinking quite often, telling myself I can do it and to keep pushing forward. At work the other day, in a jokingly manner I said aloud, that’s it, I give up! I have a role of several people as do most of us at the workplace. I was only trying to be humorous when I said those words and trying to make others laugh to ease the tension of the stressful day. Slowly I realized I was losing focus and had to denounce my “giving up” and reorganize my mind to focus againMaybe subconsciously or by Jedi mind trick, I was actually giving up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very true. Whenever I’m feeling stressed an overwhelmed, I have to take a moment to re-focus and re-direct my thinking. It’s so easy to get trapped in a downward spiral and think negatively, which makes everything worse. It’s a conscious effort for me daily.

      Like

    1. Agreed! I can say some pretty terrible things to myself and I am also really hard on myself. Things that I would easily forgive other people for, I can’t get past when I’m the one who does them. I am working on getting better at being positive to myself!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. After reading this post, I would be conscious of what I say to myself and make sure to keep it positive. Yeah, let’s work on getting better. Together. Thank you. Such a nice blog.

        Liked by 1 person

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