Negative Self Talk: You are greater than the sum of your parts.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

negative self talk

So what does that have to do with you? What does a quote from some ancient bearded guy have to do with you in 2016? A lot actually. 

How many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror and said, “I hate my nose," or “My hair is so ugly," or “I look so fat!" Probably too many. Or maybe you're not critical of your looks - maybe instead you pick apart your intellect: “I've never been one of the smart kids," or “I'm terrible at math," or worst of all, “I'm stupid." (this is called negative self talk)

When you talk to yourself this way, how does it make you feel? Terrible right? But you keep doing it. In fact, the more you talk to yourself this way, the more terrible you feel, and the more likely it is that you'll continue the negative self-talk. It is a truly vicious circle.

When you pick yourself apart and only notice the 'bad' things about yourself, you will come to the conclusion that you're somehow unworthy, lacking, or less than you should be. And it's not true. Let me say that again --- 

It's not true. 

You are greater than the sum of your parts. 

You're not perfect. We all have flaws and imperfections and things that we would like to improve about ourselves. But here's the thing - you are not just your flaws.

Also, when you're busy picking yourself apart you never seem to notice the amazing things about yourself. You don't list the thousands (millions!) of things that make you smart, fun, independent, and lovable. Instead, you choose to focus on the few things that you don't like. 

What would happen if you changed your focus? Instead of concentrating on these unhelpful thoughts, consider yourself as a whole. 

If you take into consideration all the things that make you who you are it's a lot harder to hate on yourself. 

Don't believe me? Just try it.

The next time you think “I hate my ________," or “I'm so ________," (fill in the blanks with your most-used bogus criticisms) stop. Stop! Take a few deep breaths and think about you - ALL of you. The kind you, the fun you, the smart you. The negative thoughts might still be there, but they will get quieter and quieter until they may disappear entirely. 

And another great side effect --- when you're not wasting your time with negative self talk, you have room for interesting thoughts and dreaming BIG!