How Using Positive Self-Talk Helped Me “Emerge” And Grow From Depression And Anxiety
I speak from experience when I say that I have learned a lot from the great need for positive self-talk. Though, sometimes, we learn things the hard way. It is so easy for me to be negative and doubtful toward myself and my life goals. But the trial and error is how we can learn what makes us grow in personal development, right?
Positive Self-Talk may sound very broad, but it has been within this theme that has helped me “emerge” and grow from depression and anxiety. I know I did not always catch myself using negative phrases. It was in those painful, baby steps of natural negativity that grew into a messy ball, of fear and shame. So what did I learn to do about it?
With much guidance and practice over the years, I realized the golden opportunities of baby steps back into the positivity that would reshape my life.
Seeing Myself In A New Way
I remember the day I decided to get a full-length mirror for my room. It was narrow enough to hide behind my door, so all I would have to do is close it, and, whallah! I could take a good look at myself, with an open mind. And I say open mind, because it takes time to reach that point, and it gave myself that second chance to see myself in a new way.
Sometimes I would be smiling, others when I felt down. But it made me realize what I was feeling, and be okay with it, rather than judging myself. Though I have changed its location of my mirror a couple of times, I have found this hidden space to be a safe haven, where I can remind myself who I really am.
Not only would I look at myself; I also collected positive phrases that speak to me about this self-worth I was redefining.
“I am allowed to make mistakes.”
“I am Confident, Holy, Willing!” to name a couple of handwritten, sticky notes.
I am no longer defined by my failures. I learned that I can’t always change what people tell me. But I can change my self and the way that I think.
Using Positive Self-Talk to Celebrate The Wins
It also helps me to celebrate my successes. For example, I am currently a good, but not so confident, driver. As I learned more on positive, rather than negative self talk, I found myself patting myself on the back more often.
“Yay! I made it across town!”
“Wow! I just pulled out of that parking space solo!”
Even if this is a bit exaggerated, this mindset lifts my spirits and reaffirms what I am capable of.
Using Positive Self-Talk For Moving Forward
Positive self-talk is key to facing challenges. In the past, my negative self talk has all too often made me fall short of following through with my desires. For example, I think it would be amazing to be a writer and speaker. But my anxieties keep sending me these negative, quick-to-shut down messages.
That is when I pick up my tools for positive self-talk and write out my big, dream goals. After all, when you think about it, self-talk gives us that permission and motivation to accomplish these goals! Without this outlook, we would be shrinking back and forbidding ourselves from ever trying to obtain them.
Wrapping Up: Reshaping My Life With The Power Of Positive Self-Talk
All of these examples and explanations can be summed up with a wonderful quote I keep by the mirror I had mentioned earlier. It comes from an older, but still relevant book by Dr. Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. In his book, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself:
“Imagine what you could do if you could override the programs in your subconscious mind, those that still work against you, and replace them with a fresh new program of absolute belief; an almost unconscious, automatic new program that would go to work for you – replacing the barriers with a refreshing new look at the life you have in front of you.” (pg 44).
This does not mean I never catch myself being negative toward myself. But this continuous, self-assessment has really promoted more confidence and good results in my everyday life. And remember not to beat yourself up when you catch yourself being negative. Be gentle, enthusiastic, and confident. Because you are on your way to improving your positive self-talk.
About Our Guest Author:
Jennifer Mendenhall is an ongoing learner of positive self-talk. She is an enthusiastic Catholic, and has a blog and vlog online: http://in-the-presence-of-god.blogspot.com/ and “A Catholic Presence” YouTube Channel. She loves to pray with her writing and videos.