Our words can be powerful. Speak to a therapist, and they’ll warn you against the dangers of self-fulfilling prophecies. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s what happens when your expectations ultimately cause them to happen. These predictions can affect your self-confidence hold you back from being the best you. According to Glenn Geher Ph.D., “Reality is a powerful selection pressure.”
Because of this reason, it’s crucial that what we say. There are some things that we should refrain from telling ourselves. Let’s take a look at some of them.
“I Should Have…”
It’s good to assess yourself and your actions from time to time. You can look at what you can improve on so you can grow as a person. However, this habit can also turn into a destructive one.
Getting too caught up what you could have done prevents you from moving on with the future. You’ll only be making yourself feel bad if you tie yourself down to lost opportunities and past mistakes. Learn to let go and to be gentle with yourself.
The next time you catch yourself saying, “I should have done…,” stop yourself. Otherwise, follow it up with “I’ll do better next time” and don’t worry about it again.
“I’m Sorry For Feeling This Way”
Have you ever thought that you’ve overreacted to something? It’s true that sometimes, our emotions can cloud our judgment and decisions. However, this doesn’t mean that we should invalidate the way we feel. “Individual decisions are best understood as the interactions between reason and emotion. When we are calm, slow rational thinking guides our decisions. However, strong emotions place a constraint on clear thinking,” says Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.
Emotions are an integral part of us. Otherwise, we’d be robotic and uncompassionate. And to be honest, nobody wants that. They guide us to make decisions and take action. While these choices may not always be the best, they’re necessary for life. Feelings push us to go for our dreams, survive, and connect with others. They are not a sign of weakness. They’re meant to be felt and expressed. We should learn to manage them, but not cancel them out.
In short, we shouldn’t have to apologize for our feelings because they’re part of us.
“I’m Not Good Enough” or “I’m Not Worth It”
The word “enough” can be dangerous on your road to self-love. Many of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy. We can sometimes feel like we’re not worthy of people’s love or attention.
Psychologist Meag-gan O’Reilly believes that this way of thinking steals away five things away from us. Thinking that we aren’t enough makes us lose our ambitions, relationships, health, dreams, and overall happiness.
We frequently think of ourselves as “not enough” because we don’t meet specific standards. However, we tend to set the bar too high or compare ourselves to others. We think that if we aren’t like other people, we have less worth.
Thankfully, there’s a way to overcome this. Though it’ll take some time, we have to remind ourselves that we have intrinsic value. Tell yourself that we are worthy and we don’t have to prove this to others.
“But What Will Other People Say?”
Have you ever been excited to try something new, only to stop because you’re worried about what others would think? You aren’t alone. Having to worry about people’s opinions brings about significant levels of stress as well as a lot of “what ifs.” Thus, it keeps us from growing and enjoying ourselves.
But it shouldn’t have to be about impressing your peers. If you keep living this way, you’ll find that you are, in reality, living for others instead of yourself. Do what makes you think positively about yourself.
“I Hate My Body”
With all the body-positive campaigns out there, you’d think that it’d be easier to love our bodies nowadays. Sadly, it isn’t that easy. While more women – and men – are becoming more supportive of others, there are days when we don’t feel as confident. Print and runway models still fit a particular norm, and some people aren’t as accepting.
But we have to keep in mind there’s no connection between our self-worth and how we look. Whether you’re skinny, curvy, or athletic, it doesn’t matter. I know it’s cliché, but there’s beauty in everyone. Dwelling on physical flaws never did anyone any good. Stretch marks, cellulite, acne, body fat, and all these other things don’t mean anything to the people who truly matter.
There’s a lot of power behind the words we choose. They can build up our self-confidence or chain it down. While we often hear these phrases from other people and ourselves, we have to make an effort to stop.
“Being emotionally well doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re happy all the time, but rather, that you’re self-aware and able to shift as a way to feel better,” says Diana Raab Ph.D.
Living in the past with “I should have” will keep us from pushing on. Apologizing for your feelings turns you into a cold robot. Focusing on “enough” makes you forget that you have intrinsic value, and it shouldn’t depend on what others say. Your body is your own and how it looks isn’t equal to the worth you have. It’s time for us to use language that’s gentle and loving towards the #1 person in our lives – ourselves.