A question I often ask my clients when they share a negative thought about themselves is “where did this thought come from?” followed by, “Is that persona reputable source?”. So often we believe that we are the ones telling ourselves how irresponsible, foolish, unqualified, unlovable, worthless, dishonest, or (insert your word here) we are. The truth is, this accusation has usually originated from somewhere else. Maybe it comes from an overbearing parent, an over demanding coach, an emotionally abusive boss, or a bully from schooldays. Once we hear these things from others long enough, they start to become our own thoughts as well, and then we never get a break from being torn down.
The good news is, more often than not, we find that the source is not reputable.
Does your perfectionistic parent get to decide if your house is clean enough or not?
Does your acquaintance with different values, beliefs, and morals get to tell you if you’re raising your children correctly?
Does your verbally abusive spouse get to tell you if you’re a good spouse in return?
Is the troll on the internet the one you want telling you if you are in shape or not?
No. Of course not.
You get to decide whose opinion you listen to. We all need healthy feedback in our lives. If we went rouge and decided to make decisions completely on or own it probably wouldn’t end well. But we get to decide who influences us.
Next time you start to feed yourself negative thoughts stop and consider:
- Where did this thought come from?
- Is that person/source reputable?