I have been thinking a lot lately about thought patterns and the words we speak. After I found out I was pregnant I had a few thoughts immediately go through my head. The first one was “OMG! We did it” followed by “holy $#%^” and closely followed by “I am going to get so FAT!”. Then after awhile I took a step back and thought “You are making a HUMAN”. I am not going to get “fat”, my body is going to increase in size (and pounds) to create a little (maybe big??) safe space for this future human. But that also made me think, this is how society in general thinks. There is a saying by Ghandi “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” It made me think – what if we truly started to shift our thoughts?
How often do you give or get a compliment and it goes like this “I really like your skirt?” answer: “ughhhh this old thing?”. Or “you look skinny! Have you lost weight?” answer: “NO! I need to! I feel so fat!”. The list goes on and on. How often do we completely negate a compliment once its given? What if we changed our words to a simple “thank you” and leave it at that. The shift has to come within though. I feel like in general we have a lot of self doubt. What if that self doubt turned into self love? The thoughts in our head often fuel the words that come out of the mouth. We deep down truly do not believe that we are worthy of these compliments.
Change isn’t something that happens over night. We find ourselves emotionally rooted to our bad thought patterns and it is hard to pull away from these. But every day is a chance to start over. Instead of the self defeating mantras of “I am not good enough” make the shift every day to remind yourself that you truly are. I recently had a conversation with my sister about when things go wrong and life is getting you down. Instead of focusing on the negative, start shifting the thoughts to “what am I grateful for?”. Count your blessings instead of the negatives.
The same goes for shifting to a true self love attitude. I know some people will wake up every day and in the mirror in the morning tell themselves something nice. “I am beautiful from the inside out”, “I am perfectly imperfect” “I love me and that is all that matters”, whatever it is, saying it out loud can help us affirm these thoughts and make them words which hopefully shifts to your values and becomes what you believe deep down. Then maybe when someone offers up a compliment you truly can accept it with a smile and just simply say thank you.
I read something interesting the other day that said “replace your I’m sorry’s with thank yous”. Instead of saying “Sorry I was late” replace it with “thank you for waiting for me”. The “sorry” is almost a negative. You are apologizing for something you feel like you did wrong. The negative is replaced with a positive when the sorry is replaced with a “thank you” . Then the action becomes one of gratitude.
The more we shift towards positivity and self love, it spreads. Negativity can be contagious. To get caught in vicious circles of gossip and pettiness is so easy. Be the person that rises above it.
One day my friends and I were outside and a girl walked by in a sports bra and shorts. She was a little larger. After she walked by my friends started making comments about “why is she wearing that?”. It annoyed me. Instantly I came to the strangers defense and said “why does that matter to you?” I went on to tell them if that girl wants to walk down the street NAKED who cares? (well, maybe the police…). She loves herself enough to not care what people think, especially us. I think they were caught off guard but followed up quickly with “this is why you are kind”. We all have the ability to be kind. And it doesn’t take much effort. Watch your thoughts because they become words.
The shift will not happen overnight. Becoming more self-aware will help. Be conscious about what you say. Sometimes it is better to just take a moment and pause before speaking. And when the words are not kind or negative remember the age old saying “if you can’t say something nice…..”. The more little changes that are slowly made, the larger shifts happen. Soon thoughts will become words and words will become actions and you will find yourself spreading self love and positivity out to the people around you. Who knows? Maybe they will gain something from it as well.