The Art of Inner Beauty (2015)
Chapter 5: Develop Inner Beauty with Positive Self-Talk
Here’s an interesting fact: most individuals have an average of no less than 65,000 thoughts run through their minds daily.
Here’s another interesting fact, albeit a bit sad: the vast majority of those thoughts are limiting, negative thoughts.
Surprised? Or did you think you were the only person plagued by doubts and worries? Not by a long shot. The difference between you and the person whose inner beauty can cut through all that self-doubt is that they’ve learned how to dismiss the doubts and replace them with positive, encouraging, kind words. And more importantly, positive, optimistic thoughts.
Not only does this allow your inner beauty to shine, it also creates a healthy physical body as well. The question on your mind now is undoubtedly, “How in the world do they do that?”
That’s exactly what we’ll take a look at in this chapter and present several ideas of how you can do the same thing. It may seem like an unreachable goal at the moment, but once you develop a few of these tricks, you’ll be relying on your positive thinking more and more.
No doubt, you’ve been around individuals who, for lack of any better words, are experiencing “happiness high.” It may be the person who just reached an exercise goal, a bride at her wedding or the proud parents of a newborn infant. As with anyone who is displaying their inner beauty, there’s a certain glow about them.
Research has recently concluded that the “happiness high” is a vital part to maintaining or restoring your good health. According to the prestigious Mayo Clinic, positive thinking, as many people call it, has been “scientifically linked” to a stronger immune system, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and much lower rates of depression.
Along the same lines a separate study of college students discovered that those students who rated their self-worth solely on their outward appearance, their performance in school or any other number of outward factors experienced more stress, complained of relationship problems and even performed poorly in school.
Those individuals, on the other hand, who judged their self-esteem on inner factors, like integrity or meeting their own personal standards were happier and their lives seemed to flow more easily.
What was the difference? How they talked to themselves. Once you stop accepting and dwelling on those negative thoughts flying through your mind, the sooner your inner beauty will peek through.
Changing a Long-Held Habit
You wouldn’t be reading this book right now if you weren’t at least a bit interested in changing the way you view yourself. Perhaps there’s no more effective method of change than to start giving yourself pep talks instead of mentally beating yourself up daily.
If you think this is hogwash or an old wives’ tale, think again. It’s actually the basis of the scientific theory behind the long used cognitive behavior therapy. It’s widely accepted today as an effective form of treatment.
You could find a good doctor to treat you with this type of therapy. And perhaps at some point you may, indeed, want to eventually. But it’s also a practice you can begin right now that can help your inner light to shine.
Are you ready to embark on this amazing transformation?
You’ve probably been ready all along, but didn’t know where to start. Here is a quick-start guide to allow you to take the first few steps toward inner beauty through positive self-talk.
- Eliminate negative self-talk.
Okay, so this seems like a real no brainer. But it’s really needs to be said. With what could be called an overwhelming amount of thoughts – especially negative ones – floating through your mind every day, this may seem like an impossible task. But it really isn’t.
That’s because you’re not going to deal with all of those 65,000 thoughts at one time. Holding this advice in your consciousness, you remain as vigilant to negative inner talk as much as possible. When you find yourself expressing negative thoughts, you stop and replace them with a positive statement.
When you consciously do this throughout the day, you’ll be surprised that it won’t take as long as you previously thought.
Don’t worry right now about catching every thought. You won’t and you may never be able to do that. But the goal is to stop enough of them that you’ll begin to think more positive thoughts naturally. In other words, the more negative thoughts you sweep from your mind, the more room you’ll be creating for positive ones. At some point in your efforts you’ll be able to say you’re spending more time dwelling on positive than negative thoughts.
Not only that, but in the process, you’ll discover that positive self-talk will eventually become a habit. For now, the idea is to practice recognizing one negative thought at a time.
Yes, you’re right. It is a slow change. But it is a change you’ll eventually notice if you’re willing to do this consistently.
- Do a “dress rehearsal” of this swapping out of thoughts.
What? Why, that doesn’t make any sense at all.
What I mean by a dress rehearsal is that you prepare yourself for this swap out. Have you ever been in a conversation where the other person says something to you and you don’t have a comeback remark? You’re left standing there trying to find an answer to the question, or at the very least a snarky remark. Instead, you’re left utterly speechless.
That’s exactly what happens to many of us when we encounter a negative thought. We either accept it as the truth or have no comeback remark. The last thing you want is to stand there and listen to your inner self talk trash to you. Show your darker, negative side that you’re finally fed up with it bullying you around, trying to make you believe you’re incapable pursuing your passion or allowing your inner beauty to shine. Your dress rehearsal is to provide yourself with several all-purpose positive thoughts you can utilize on the spot.
Write them down if you have to. These positive thoughts could be used to talk to yourself or to another person who is trying to find fault with you unnecessarily.
Your responses will depend on specifically what thoughts are attacking you. If your thoughts are accusing you of not being bright enough to start a business, then reply with something like, “I am mentally ready and capable of starting a business.” After you say a few positive statements like this, it will be almost second nature to refute anything your mind has to offer
Check out some of these responses: you could use:
Your mind says: “You’re not worthy of that raise.”
You reply: “I work as hard as anyone in the office and deserve a raise.”
Your mind says: “You won’t be able to lose that 20 pounds. You’ve been trying to do it for a good five years.”
You reply: “I am resolved to losing 20 pounds and keeping it off for good.”
Your mind says: “You’re too old to go to school. Those youngsters will run rings around you.”
You reply: “Age is no limitation when it comes to going back to school. I am quite capable of completing the course work and getting good grades.”
- Realize you’re not mistake proof.
Some people expect negative thoughts to pop into their head when they make a mistake. They actually believe that when they do make a mistake they deserve that kind of judgment from their inner thoughts. Because they expect this type of thinking, that’s exactly what occurs.
First, you need to know you’re not mistake proof. No one is. In fact, I, personally don’t ever want to work with individuals who claim never having made mistakes. These folks have either never done anything in their lives or they won’t admit their mistakes. Either way they make poor co-workers and even worse friends.
Instead of expecting perfection, accept that you’ll eventually make a mistake or two, accept it and vow to learn from it. If you find yourself beating yourself up over it, pull out one or two of those positive thoughts you’ve been practicing that seem appropriate to the situation.
When you become good at swapping negative for positive thoughts, you’ll eventually learn to celebrate your mistakes and your failures. That means you’re challenging yourself to move beyond your comfort zone. It means you’ve got the inner courage, self-worth and, yes, inner beauty to step out and see your true light shining through.
- Move beyond yourself.
You may not actually eliminate all the negative self-talk, but here’s a sure method of forgetting about it – even for a short time. Move beyond yourself. Focus your attention on the needs of someone else. While you may not be able to leave immediately for the homeless shelter or the food pantry, your actions really don’t have to be that large or extravagant.
A great place to start is by simply making another person laugh. The laughter will not only help the other person, but you’ll be doing yourself just as big as a favor. When you do this, you’ll be surprised at how soon the vibrational energy in the room rises. Before you know it, everyone is feeling and thinking more positively.
Your moving beyond yourself could be calling a person who needs to talk. You could send someone a card or simply say a kind word to the cashier who checks you out at the grocery store today.
It doesn’t take much effort and the results help you and those around you. Indeed, you’re creating the best of both worlds.
Create Positive Affirmations
So far we’ve talked about positive self-talk as a substitute for the negative thoughts you have sweeping through your mind all day, every day. Now we’re going to take that idea, rearrange it a bit and shower yourself with these powerfully positive thoughts throughout the day.
We’re going to take that concept one step further with a technique called positive affirmations. Perhaps you’ve heard of the concept. You may even have tried it. A positive affirmation is exactly what the name implies. It’s a sentence that avows a positive aspect of you. It’s a special form of self-talk that you not only repeat silently over and over again, but you also repeat it aloud, much like a mantra in meditation. You can also repeatedly write it out.
It is, in fact, a method of instilling your mind with positive self talk. Below are some examples of positive affirmations you can repeat:
- I am beautiful just the way I am.
- I radiate beauty through all of my actions and speech.
- Persons can see my inner beauty every time I smile.
- My creativity is my gift. I am open to it or I will be led.
- I am a good person just as I am.
- Every day it becomes easier to love myself.
You can use the ones that are here or you can create a few that are personally tailored to your needs. There are very few rules. In fact, there are really only two rules. The first is that it must be a positive statement (no surprise there) and it must be written in the present tense.
You should never create an affirmation that effectively affirms what you don’t want. For example, don’t repeat all day long, “I am not fat.” Even though it’s technically a positive affirmation, your energy is more drawn to the word “fat” than any other part of that sentence.
I’m not sure why this occurs. Some individuals insist that the “universe” can’t hear or won’t accept the word “not” or other negating words in affirmations. In any case, ensure that you write and repeat exactly what you want in as precise, positive language as you can.
Writing it in the present tense, furthermore, means that you believe that this affirmation describes you in the here and now. You may be reciting affirmations written in the future tense, “Someday I will be beautiful inside.” While that may be exactly how you feel at the moment, affirmations written like that are not effective. For your mind to truly believe it, you have to tell it you are beautiful now.
All you do when you write an affirmation in the future tense is to delay you receiving your good into some future day yet to be determined. The ultimate possible extension of writing a positive affirmation in the future tense is that you could be waiting forever to see the change in yourself. How tiring would that be?
Meditation in Action
Yes, we have talked about meditation before. And it can be an extremely valuable and an exceptionally effective way of quieting yourself long enough to realize that there’s more to you than your outward physical beauty. Meditation is highly recommended not only by those who are spiritual, but by many members of the medical community who now fully realize its many benefits to your overall health.
In its most popular form, meditation is a way to empty your mind of all thoughts in a quest to get in touch with the very essence of yourself. This simple statement presumes that as you’re gently asking all thoughts to leave your mind, you’re including the negative ones as well. That very fact alone makes it a wonderful staple to a ritual that seeks to banish negative self-talk from your mind.
But this same type of meditation also allows you to recite a mantra while you’re in that silent, sacred place of your inner beauty. This makes it a highly appropriate time to recite a mantra that lifts you up and celebrates your inner self. Many individuals use the word “love” as their mantra. Some use a word or phrase that holds a deep, spiritual meaning to them. Certainly you have a word or short phrase that you could silently recite during this time.
Meditation works, by the way, because it seems to be the quickest way for your subconscious mind to begin to transform your thinking. With that thought in mind, you may want to perform even a short meditation session right before you retire for the evening so those loving thoughts you’re soothing your soul with actually have a chance to soak into your mind. This speeds your ultimate transformation.
Banishing all negative thoughts from your mind and negative and belittling words about yourself from your vocabulary is your ultimate goal. Once you can do this your inner beauty will shine forth like a highly polished diamond. Don’t worry that the task appears overwhelming.
If you simply take this task, one day at a time, one thought at a time, you’ll discover what a wonderful person you’ve been hiding inside of you all these years. What’s even more important is that you’ll be able to share your beauty with others.
Who knows how many people are waiting for some with your inner beauty to shine a light on them?