We’ve all caught ourselves doing it. Yunno…said those “
There’s two main reasons for why we sort of belittle ourselves verbally.
ONE: We don’t want to bring attention to ourselves and fear that we could come off as conceited.
Two: We actually don’t think well of ourselves at all.
It seems to have become the norm to verbally encourage and lift up others but to discourage and bring down ourselves. But if, hypothetically, everyone is discouraging themselves, then what good does it do to encourage others? Does it make you change your mind when someone says something nice? Or are you more trusting in your inner voice that’s telling you that that’s simply all they are doing, is being nice?
My guess is that when you give someone encouragement, you want them to believe it because it feels good to help them feel a little (or a lot) better about themselves and to tell them an awesome truth that they should know.
So think of you
We like to downplay everything these days, making excuses for why “it’s no big deal that I talk myself down”. But…actually…it IS a big deal.
Are you aware that saying these negative words actually really damages your self worth?
I know this subject can feel icky to talk about, but will you hang here with me for the moment?
If I was to ask you seriously, with no pressure and no expectations, if you would rather feel either totally good about yourself or totally bad about yourself, which would you choose?
Can I take a guess at what you might choose?
I’m thinking you would choose to feel totally good about yourself. Why? Because deep down, you really want to. It’s the way you were designed. You weren’t meant to get down on yourself about
And yes – these negative words are stealing your joy.
So, what words are classed as “negative”?
Here are 6 of the most common types of negative words that people use on a day to day basis. Each of these not only gives a view of how you think about yourself by how many you use as a part of your regular self-talk, but are important to take note for what to avoid when building your self-esteem.
# 1 – Comparison
First, think of comparison words. I am vs. I’m not.
Comparison words are words that we use to downplay ourselves next to someone or something else.
“I’m not as pretty as her”, “I’m too curvy to wear that”
Comparison words immediately give a massive blow to your self-worth because essentially you are confirming to yourself that something that you actually wish wasn’t true, is, based on a lie that you have chosen to believe about yourself.
Here’s a tip: If it doesn’t feel good to say, then that’s probably because it’s based on a lie.
Instead of looking at the real reason for why you don’t feel so good next to “her” or “it”, you blame yourself for being the problem.
Which, just in case you didn’t know…YOU aren’t the problem.
# 2 – Incapacitate
The next type of negative words to avoid are ones that incapacitate you.
Incapacitating words are words that give reasons for why you aren’t able to do something. Claiming you are incapable.
“I don’t have the brains to do that”, “I’m too lazy to start that”, “I not talented enough for that”
Let me tell you that, if you want to do something that you honestly feel like you don’t know enough about to start doing it, you can choose to learn it.
Think about it this way. Everything that you do know right now (big or small) you have learned. Which means that you can do anything you put your heart and mind to. I truly believe that. Somethings you might have to work harder to learn at, but darling, this has no reflection on your capabilities!
And honestly, this has been a hard one for me to learn. If at any moment I felt pressure for not knowing something, I automatically started to give reasons for why I might not have known it. So, I’m having to learn that it’s okay if I don’t know as I can’t know everything, and if I want to learn, then I can. But it doesn’t make me less than if I don’t know. Do you struggle with this?
# 3 – Mind Reading
If you have or do suffer from anxiety, then you will know this next type of negative words well. And they are – mind reading.
Mind reading is when you assume someone is thinking something negative about you, even though you have no evidence to prove otherwise.
“He thinks I am ugly”, “They think I am too weird to hang out with them”
Although, an active anxiety-ridden brain will “find” reasons to prove why they must be thinking something of you. ie. rolling their eyes (did anyone else see them do that?…no? just me?)
I have a significant memory burned into my mind right from when I was first learning that I had anxiety.
I was with my hubby and a group of friends on the street outside of the new house that we had just loaded all of our belongings into when one of our new neighbours walked by and said a few words to us. At that moment she made eye contact with me. That’s it – just eye contact. And as she walked away, out came from my mouth the words “I don’t think she likes me”.
I hadn’t even officially met her yet, but based on a look, I assumed she thought the worst of me. So, do you really think she gave me a death stare?…Well, I can tell you that now I don’t think she did and that I was just hypersensitive and feeling out of my comfort zone moving to a new house with new neighbours. But this gives a pretty clear idea on how mind reading can be destructive to how we feel about ourselves.
# 4 – Overgeneralization
Do you ever feel like you’re a target for negative things? Guess what? This is called overgeneralization, a type of negative self-talk that hurts your self-worth.
Overgeneralization is when you tell yourself that a negative event is going to happen over and over again in the future and that you are to blame for it happening.
“This always happens to me”, “I never get opportunities for that”
Even if something unfortunate has happened to you more than once, I can promise you that there’s no magical universe genie that is holding a grudge against you that you don’t know about and is ruining your life by throwing bad things your way. As much as you might sometimes dream of living in a mystical land with flying carpets and genies, I have to pop your little bubble and tell you that you don’t, but it’s a good thing.
You don’t want the “universe” or “karma” to be apart of our beautiful world, because we are all imperfect and therefore, nothing beautiful would ever happen to anybody if it were true. But beautiful things come to many people, and if you
So, instead of overgeneralizing and bringing yourself down because of an unfortunate circumstance, how about instead, realize that everyone has bad days, so when those days do come around, just grab yourself an iced caramel latte (with extra caramel drizzle) get a little pep in your step and carry on your day
# 5 – Personalization
This next type of negative words
Personalization is where we put unrealistic amounts of expectation on ourselves and in things that are often out of our control and blame ourselves for when they go wrong.
“If I had spent more time on homework with my child then they would have gotten better grades”, “It’s my fault they got sick, the house wasn’t clean enough”
Sound familiar? Mom guilt hard am I right?
You know most things are out of your control. Kids are work and no one ever said that you needed to be perfect in this role. So give yourself a break and recognize all that you DO that has done good!
# 6 – Labelling
The final type of negative words that I want to talk about are the obvious ones and what I think are the most brutal. I’m talking about labelling.
Labelling is the act of using descriptive words to claim who you are as a person – in a negative way.
“I am a loser”, “I am weak”, “I am unlovable”
Repeat after me…”I am not defined by the negative circumstances that happened in my life”.
I know that it seems like you are the reason for these negative things, and its easy to find reasons to back up why you feel that way. But, these are all based on lies you have believed.
I was bullied terribly as a child (I will go more into that in another post) but I could have believed that I was loser, I was certainly called it, but I was encouraged to believe otherwise despite what happened to me, and I am so glad for
Try doing a little soul searching and self-discovery to learn about who you really are and why the
So, how do I avoid sounding conceited while avoiding the use of negative words?
It’s fairly simple actually. Be genuine and have self-compassion.
If you genuinely believe you did a good job, then YEH girl, go get em! Give yourself a big pat on the back, buy yourself some new shoes, or share your accomplishments with others. If
As for those times when you tried your best but it didn’t work out the way it was hoped to, instead of getting down on yourself, be kind to yourself, as if it was someone else having a tough day. You tried your best, and that really is all that matters.