Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sticks and Stones- 5 Ways to Ensure Words Never Break You

As a child, you heard the phrase, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." And as a child, you never truly understood what that meant. You would nod your head in agreement. But, you secretly knew that cruel words hurt. In fact, any semblance of harsh words felt like they were ripping into your tiny and fragile heart.

As you become an adult, you will still acknowledge the impact of hurtful words. But, you will learn that you have the power to choose how much of an influence those words have on you. You can choose to let the negative words of others crack and degrade you or, you can choose to let those same negative words fuel you. 

Here are five ways to ensure words never break you:

1.) Grow self-confidence
Gaining self-confidence does not happen overnight. It is not something that comes to you packaged in a beautiful magic pill. It is something that you work at. And even when you achieve self-confidence, it needs to be maintained.

Let's do a quick experiment. 

Go step by step and do not read ahead.

step 1: List three things that you want to change about yourself.(Be completely honest) 
Step 2: Reflect on how long it took you to do step one.
Step 3: List three things that you love about yourself.(Again, be completely honest) 
 Step 4: Reflect on how long it took you to do step three.

No matter how confident of a person you are, you will most likely have an easier time deciding on things that you want to change about yourself than things that you love about yourself. Just because it took you longer to find three things you love about yourself does not mean that you lack self-confidence. It only means that you are human. It's human nature to be self-critical. With that said, to be a more confident individual, you must embrace all of yourself. This includes not only what you love about yourself but every single one of your flaws. The more confident you are in yourself, the less likely words will break you.  

2.) Strive to be a better version of you
Just because you embrace all of your flaws does not mean that you should stay a stagnant person. You must always strive to be a better version of you. This means that you must explore your flaws and assess which ones you can and want to improve on. The more you focus on improving yourself for your own sake, the less important other people's opinions become. And the less importance you place on people's opinion of you, the less likely words will break you.

3.)Positive self-talk
In order to maintain self-confidence, you must practice positive self-talk. And, if you lack any self-confidence, positive self-talk is a great tool to help you achieve the confidence you are looking for. 

What is self-talk?
Self-talk is the internal dialogue that you have in your brain. It's that quiet voice that follows you around all day long. Now, people can practice either negative or positive self-talk. 

Can I change my negative self-talk into positive-self talk? 
The way in which you talk to yourself is a habit. No one is born with a positive or negative internal dialogue. It is a learned behavior. Yes, you can change your negative self-talk into that of a positive one. But, it will take time and hard work.

How can I change my negative self-talk into positive-self talk?  
When you catch yourself being mean to yourself, be a friend to yourself (that's kind of a mouthful). What this means is that when you put yourself down, challenge those self-critical thoughts. Tell yourself that you are enough. 

4.)Get rid of that toxic person who...
Do you have someone in your life who speaks poorly about everyone behind their backs? Think about this for a minute, what keeps them from talking behind your back? These people who talk behind everyone's backs are toxic individuals. They dump their lack of self-confidence onto others in order to feel a momentary sense of false self-pride. If you have a person like this in your life, whether you want to admit or not, they belittle you in some way, shape or form. These toxic people have no room in your life. The less exposure to put-downs, the more you can foster your positive self-talk.

5.)Don't bottle it up
As a human being, you have feelings and raw emotions. No matter how immune you think you are to hurtful words, there are times when those words will take a toll on you. Don't deny the emotions you experience when people throw mean words at your face. Accept the hurt it has caused you and move on. The less you bottle up the hurt, the less likely you will break.

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