I recently saw a photo on Facebook that said, “the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice”. This is very true, but it caused me pause and wonder how do we talk to ourselves? The voice you use to talk to you becomes how you see and view yourself. Let me ask you, are you kind to yourself?
This voice in your head is often critical and judgmental. You have a lot of forces telling you to look and act a certain way. As a successful and determined person you want to be your best, you want to strive for perfection. But because you cannot be perfect and your comparisons to others leaves you feeling less than you say really mean things to yourself.
You judge your skin, your hair, your clothes, and your body. Your reflection in the mirror becomes the compass for guiding your day. If you judge what you see in the mirror and are harsh on your body you will not be happy with what you see in the mirror. This reflection makes you stop and fills you with self-doubt and insecurities.
What you think, you feel, you do. So if you look in the mirror and think “I’m so fat and disgusting” how do you feel? Right?!? You feel fat and disgusting and because you feel fat and disgusting you feel sad, angry, lazy, and unmotivated. So let’s take this another step forward. You are now feeling really low and bad, but you were also under the impression you were supposed to be “OK” all the time. You were told you cannot feel sad, mad, anxious, and lazy. So now that you feel this way you feel bad for feeling bad.
You judge your feelings as bad and wrong. You feel broken and crazy. You think if only I was prettier, thinner, had better skin and hair, or if I had better clothes I would be happier. See the cycle starting to develop? You let your outer appearance determine your value and your worth.
Now I know that what I am about to say is so not easy. It is really simple, but not easy. The way to feel better about yourself is to stop saying negative things about yourself. Rather than look in the mirror and judge your outer appearance, silence the critic in your head. If you have an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or sexual trauma this critic in your head is a lying asshole anyway. These thoughts are not true.
I know you believe these thoughts to be true, but your eating disorder, trauma, anxiety, and depression causes your brain to lie to you. So stop listening to the lying asshole! Instead try to:
- remind yourself about what you do right.
- Recall what you did well today
- Remember your value. You are special and offer something no one else can. What is this?
- Remember you are bad ass and do bad ass things.
- Recall your successes.
Again, this stuff is not easy. It takes time and some work to believe these things. You can think differently. You can have good and positive thoughts about yourself. You can look in the mirror and be proud. You can reflect and feel proud. You can see your value and worth. Don’t believe me, just watch.
If you find this information helpful please share. This is a very complex issue that cannot be addressed in a 5 minute video, but feel free to ask questions and comment. Perhaps there is something I can help clarify for you.
Still not sure if you have an eating disorder? Here is a self-assessment, https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/screening-tool. This quick tool is to help you determine if you have an eating disorder and if you should get help. Visit NationalEatingdisorder.org to find help and get more information.
Do you feel you struggle with an eating disorder? Call Dr. Stephanie and see how you can overcome the cycle.
Stephanie Waitt is a licensed professional counselor in Sherman, TX. Stephanie specializes in working with women and men with eating disorders. She aims to help people find balance, peace, confidence, and happiness. In her work with people she emphasizes the importance of self-care and encourages people that being a little selfish is a really good thing.