October is Positive Attitude Month and I am reminded of the benefits of practicing positivity in improving well-being. I believe one of the key factors in maintaining a positive attitude is the quality of the internal dialogue you have. If your self-talk is negative your attitude and mood are also most likely going to be negative. However, many people are not aware of the amount or impact that their negative self-talk has on their attitude and mood. If you are constantly telling yourself that “you are no good,” you can’t do it,” or “you are a failure” how can you expect to have a positive result? And even if you succeed at something using that type of behavior, how does it affect your self-esteem and spirit to refer to yourself in a pejorative way. Often people tell me that they worry that they will be lazy if they were nicer to themselves and are often very resistant to trying out a practice of being kinder to themselves.
Why do we live in a society or culture that reinforces that being hard on oneself is the only way to succeed? How can we change our culture to embrace a practice of self-kindness when accomplishing our goals, living out our daily lives and most importantly, referring to ourselves? Positive self-talk, if practiced, can be a way to enhance how we view ourselves and lead to a greater love and respect for ourselves. Being intentional to the messages we say to ourselves and changing them to positive statements can be a gift that we give ourselves and reflect the gift that our existence represents.
The practice of being kinder to ourselves is reflected in the concept of self-compassion. Dr. Kristin Neff describes the idea of self-compassion as a practice of being kind to oneself. Her website has audio, video and resources to help you in your practice of self-compassion. In addition, she offers exercises that you can use to further accept the practice of self-compassion into your life. See https://self-compassion.org/
As you consider ways of how to improve your attitude or make it more positive consider committing to working on improving your self-talk. My hope it that it will allow you to see the benefits of self-compassion and begin to incorporate it into your life.