Positive Reframes Don’t Work for Me!
When I teach people how to use positive reframes, I get met with some resistance. A typical response I hear is “that does not work for me. I have tried it.” Well, how long did you try it? Did you do it a few times and then give up? Because that does not work. It is a daily practice. Every time you feed your negative thoughts by choosing not to combat them with positive reframes, you strengthen your negative self-talk. If you have been doing this your entire life, then of course trying positive reframes for a day is not going to alleviate the problem. In addition, not believing your positive reframes is another form of feeding your negative thoughts. “This is stupid. This wont work for me. Life is crappy. I will never amount to anything. I am crappy.” You need to actively combat those negative thoughts with positive self-talk whenever you are aware it is happening.
That Sounds Exhausting!
It is exhausting. It’s a lot of work. It’s an active and ongoing practice until you notice a reduction in you negative self-talk. If you let your negative self-talk go unchecked, it will grow and fester inside you. The symptoms you will experience as a result will wreak havoc on your mind and body. It will take more from you than the effort it takes to develop a self-compassionate narrative. Self-compassion and positive self-talk do not have a be hokey or noticeably contrived. As a matter of fact, it should be believable and realistic.
Make your Positive Self-Talk Realistic!
Your positive self-talk should be realistic and believable, especially to you! For example, it should not be, “I am the greatest person alive.” It should be more like, “I am imperfect, but I am worthy of love and belonging.” You can thank Brené Brown for that self-compassionate quote. Using positive self-talk does not mean ignoring your failures, shortcomings, and faults. It means accepting them and not beating your self up about it. For example, “I am an ugly failure, I will never get anything right, and no one will ever love me,” is the type of negative self-talk that you replace with “I am imperfect, but I am worthy of love and belonging.”
If you are the type of person who beats yourself up daily, then you will have to work extra hard to be self-compassionate in a realistic way. You will have to make it a daily practice!