You can’t have good mental health without self-care, and while our feelings and emotions affect our behaviour, it is our self-beliefs which are either the secret sauce or a recipe for disaster.
Here are three steps to strengthen your sense of self and silence an inner critic.
1. Raise Awareness
The first thing to become aware of, is what your limiting beliefs ARE – remember, our beliefs tend to run the show subconsciously – we don’t really register what we’re believing moment to moment, but we DO have an emotional reaction, and our behaviour follows accordingly.
Self-care is about being aware of the self and sorry to crush the dream of bubble baths but the first step to good mental health is to get close to your inner critic.
Have a think and make a list about any limiting beliefs that you have about…
Your communication skills
When you look at each of these you should be able to identify any niggling thoughts (and therefore beliefs) that you have.
2. Challenge your unhelpful beliefs
We can shake the roots of our limiting beliefs by challenging them with questions.
Question 1. – Am I certain that this belief is true? (remember, 99% of the time, you can’t be certain)
Question 2. – What difference would it make to my life if I didn’t have this belief?
Question 3. – Given that what I believe is a choice, what might be a more helpful belief to choose?
Remember that each question builds a case that successively weakens the belief. The great thing about these questions is that they really do work – it’s just a matter of remembering to use them, rather than letting the daily cycle of your limiting beliefs run you. Practise makes perfect and self-care is worth it. That is your mantra.
3. Remind yourself of your greatness
To counter negative belief patterns, here are some positive alternatives with which to remind yourself whenever you find yourself slipping into old habits:
• Remember times when you overcame serious challenges
• Remember times when you were admired by others
• Remember those times when you overcame your fears
• Remember times when you were proud of yourself
Don’t you think it would make a difference if you made a habit of reminding yourself of your successes instead of the limiting alternatives? Make a note of some consciously empowering self-affirmations to use every time you are in a potentially pressured situation. Once you’ve used got into the habit, the positivity will flow.