I don’t necessarily think it’s a secret that this isn’t going to be a change that’s going to happen overnight.
Learning to quiet negative self-talk and building confidence is going to be a practice that is going to most likely consume months, years, and even decades of your life. Let’s just put it this way: quieting negative self-talk and building confidence is going to be a never-ending process. At least it is for me.
It seems like just when you start building confidence, life throws a curveball at you to help you from feeling too confident about yourself. All of a sudden you are riding a wave of confidence and are making tremendous strides in your life. Within the blink of an eye, you quickly fall back to square one.
I get it. I am the same way. The people all around us feel the same way as well. It’s just life’s way of keeping you and me grounded to ensure that we don’t think of ourselves as ever being more important than life itself.
While building confidence is a continuous practice, I think we can all agree in saying that it’s never pleasant to be dealing with negative thoughts, especially when we have been lacking confidence for quite some time. During times in which our self-confidence is running low, quieting negative self-talk can feel next to near impossible.
So, how do we turn this impossibility into our reality then? By building our self-confidence every chance that we get. And how do we build our self-confidence? By standing up straight with our shoulders back and our chests out.
Maybe you think I am crazy for this, but it’s something that I have been trying to do a lot more of in my life, and for far, it seems to be working. Surely there are other ways to build up your self-confidence, but none that are as simple and as easy as a posture adjustment, and none that will chemically impact your brain as much as standing up taller.
See, when you walk with confidence – the kind of confidence you get from standing up straight with your shoulders back and your chest out – your body releases a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the “feel-good” chemical of the brain because it’s involved in your sense of well-being. Low levels of serotonin can cause depression, anxiety, and sleep apnea. Too much serotonin, on the other hand, can cause stress, anxiety, and other serious medical-related issues.
The point is, when you are running low on self-confidence and find yourself having a difficult time quieting negative self-talk, this is when a boost of serotonin may do you some good. And the easiest way to get this boost is by simply adjusting your posture.
In his book The 12 Rules of Life, Jordan Peterson said it best. “To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitual order.”
Life isn’t easy. There are going to be things that you aren’t going to be able to control. But the more we allow the negative self-talk in our minds to consume our every thought, action, and second of our lives, the harder we are making it on ourselves. We control our own life, and if we want better than what we currently have, we need to do better than what we are currently doing.
Quieting Negative Self-Talk
Start by asking yourself where the majority of your negative self-talk comes from. Does it come directly from you, or does it stem from other people’s perception of you, which, in turn, impacts how you perceive yourself?
I am going to go out on a wild hunch here and say that it’s the latter of the two as this was the backbone and reasoning for all of my negative self-talk. The thing is, though, you are always going to be judged. Regardless of if you are right, do right, are wrong, or do wrong, there are always going to be individuals that just aren’t going to see eye-to-eye with you. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to simply ignore the judgment of others.
In the likelihood that the majority of your negative self-talk stems from within, start by asking yourself why. Why are you constantly feeling down on yourself? Why are you not happy with the individual that you are or the life that you are living? Why do you not love yourself for the amazing being that you are?
If nothing else, asking yourself why you have all of these negative feelings towards yourself will help to pinpoint what you perceive your greatest flaws to be. Once you are able to pinpoint what those weaknesses actually are, and once you acknowledge those flaws, then everything simply becomes a choice – a choice that is up to you to make.
You get to choose what to do next with your life. You get to choose whether or not you are willing to take the steps necessary to transform yourself from the person you are today into the person that you want to become. You get to choose whether or not you are willing to quiet your negative self-talk and build confidence in the person you are. You get to choose the life that you are willing to create for yourself.
If you aren’t willing to change, then nothing about your life is ever going to change.
Do yourself a favor. Learn to slow down and recognize your thoughts, learn to focus on all of the things that you have accomplished instead of what you have yet to accomplish, speak to yourself the way you want others to speak to you, and above all else, stand tall with your shoulders back and your chest out. Walk like you have confidence in the amazing person that you are and quiet that negative self-talk.
Others are only going to show you the same respect that you are willing to show yourself. Treat yourself with kindness, quiet your negative self-talk, and start building confidence in yourself.