As we find our way through the world and figure out exactly who we are, we develop a set of realities that may not be related to reality itself. This includes saying things to ourselves that can be harmful or damaging.
Here are 10 things you need to stop saying to yourself immediately:
Oh, yeah? Why not? What’s stopping you? YOU. While you may never have the speed of Serena Williams’s ace or the vocal range of Beyoncé, the only thing stopping you from doing what you want to do is you.
The rest is just an excuse. Say it out loud, every day, to your bleary-eyed morning face, after teeth brushing and before coffee: "Yes... I... can."
I don’t deserve it.
Says who? At what point in your life did you give someone so much power that he or she planted a voice in your head that says you don’t deserve the job, the car, the promotion or the hot guy?
Take that voice's power away and recognize that yes, you do deserve it. You work hard, and your boss sees your value. You deserve the promotion. You deserve love, and you deserve to know you are worth it.
(It is useful to note that just because you deserve something, doesn’t mean you are entitled to it. Expect it to be handed to you and you are just another spoiled kid who doesn’t want to work hard and never grow up. Work hard, and reap your reward accordingly.)
My ____ is too big/small.
Stop telling yourself your body doesn’t meet the media’s version of a perfect body. You know what’s sexy? Strength. Confidence. Being fit. These three things don’t necessarily mean a twiggy body, and they don’t guarantee huge muscles.
Eat well, stay active, play and sweat a little every day (sex counts!). You aren’t in high school anymore; accept yourself and love the body you’re in.
I can’t afford it.
Banish these words from your vocabulary. Even if you are on a ramen budget with caviar taste, you can still afford whatever you choose to afford. Sure, this might mean making sacrifices in other areas to get what you ultimately want, but if you want it, go get it.
Replace “I can’t afford it” with “I am focusing on other things.” It’s not that you can’t afford to eat lunch out with your work friends every day, it’s that you are saving for your trip to Jamaica. There’s a difference. The other difference brings us to my next point.
I don’t have enough _____.
This might be time, money, clothes, friends, whatever. Saying this to yourself and to other people comes from a place of scarcity, not of abundance.
The fact that you are alive and reading this on a computer speaks to the abundance you already have in your life. The key is not to want things you don’t have, but to fall in love with the things you do. This goes for the people in your life, as well.
I am running out of time.
Sure, we all have a finite amount of time on the planet, and at any moment, that time could be cut short. Life is uncertain, but this doesn’t mean you should rush through it.
You have the same amount of hours in a day as all the great artists and inventors in the world. How are you using your time? Are you Facebooking from the moment you rise until the moment you rest? How much time do you spend on the couch, watching other people’s version of life?
You have as much time as you have, not a moment more, and it’s up to you not to waste it.
I am bored.
Bored people are boring people. Take up a new hobby; try something you’ve never tried before; go somewhere you've never been. Get out of the house, read a book or take a walk.
You may be unmotivated at present, so make yourself do something and see how quickly the boredom melts away. Look for low cost or free events in your town, then get out and do/see something new. But don’t mistake boredom for reflection or downtime, both of which are necessary.
I can do better.
Go do it then; stop talking about it. If you know you can do better, then do it. Whether it’s a better partner, a better job, a better life or some combination of the three, go out and get it.
If you can do better, do better.
I had a hard childhood.
This one is tough; you may have had it really rough growing up. Scars from childhood are deep and hard to deal with, but eventually you need to face them head on and figure out a way to stop falling back on a hard childhood.
It becomes a crutch for when things go bad and an excuse for not trying. Do whatever it is you need to do to put that rough childhood in the past where it belongs, and grow from there to your most amazing self.
It’s never enough.
This may seem contradictory, but constant striving and one-upping yourself will never bring you peace. If you find yourself unable to enjoy the fruits of your labor because you are constantly on the hamster wheel trying for more, it’s time to step back and evaluate your ultimate goals.
Chances are, the constant need for more has nothing to do with stuff or achievement. Figure out what you want, and savor the moment you get it. Don’t let anyone tell you when it’s enough; you decide.
What do you need to stop saying to yourself?