Often, the thoughts we have about ourselves throughout the day seem trivial, but when you think about how many negative things you think or say about yourself in a day, they can really add up:

“I don’t make enough money.” “My presentation isn’t impressive.” “I can’t do that.”

Our thoughts are powerful. They can make us feel successful, happy, and confident. Our thoughts also have the power to make us feel inadequate, insecure, and depressed. It’s important to be conscious of the messages we send ourselves so that we can be who we want to be.

Here are a few ways that we bring ourselves down daily:

  • Ignoring a problem. Sometimes, a problem will work itself out without having to deal with it, but more often than not, a problem needs to be attended to. Instead of ignoring the person or problem, it’s best to deal with it as soon as possible.
  • Judging others or ourselves too harshly. Researchers say we arrive at our first conclusion about someone in less than a second. Rather than jumping to conclusions about someone, get to know them. Judging others does no good to you or your relationships. In some cases, when we find fault in others, we’re really judging ourselves.
  • Using the word “too” when describing ourselves. “I’m too short.” “My arms are too flabby.” “I procrastinate too much.” What do we mean when we put too in front of an adjective? Cameron Schaeffer of The Huffington Post suggests this little word can be a tool for keeping us down, no matter who uses it on us. “There seems to be an unobtainable one-millimeter-wide mark of perfection, and none of us can reach it. Everything is too this or too that.” It’s time to stop describing yourself as too thin, too fat, or too whatever.

Instead of making resolutions this New Year’s, try making promises to yourself:

  • Promise to let yourself off the hook every so often. Misplaced guilt can be a terrible thing. It can make you think of yourself negatively when in actuality, you did no harm. In an article on the Huffington Post, J. Courtney Sullivan says that guilt was taking over her life. She found herself reliving situations and wishing she had handled something differently; she’d rethink her decisions over and over. But replaying small regrets does no good; and if you believe you need to make amends or apologize for something, just get it over with (see “Ignoring a problem” above) and then let it go. You’ll live life clearer and healthier.
  • Promise to do good. When making a decision, ask yourself how you can do the most good for you and for those around you.
  • Promise to be the best you. Do simple things that make you happy: get a library card and check out a new book every month, treat yourself to a relaxing bath weekly, take a class at the community college, or interview for a job that fits you. You don’t have to invest a lot of money; you just need to make time to do some of the things that make you happy.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at reka@omaha-counseling.com, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Windows to the light via photopin (license)