In a previous blog called “Questions to ask yourself to feel better about yourself everyday”. I wrote about the importance of your self talk and the questions that you ask yourself.
I mentioned in that blog that it is important that you avoid asking yourself negative questions, if you want to be happier.
Negative questions are questions that instruct your mind to find a negative answer about you or other people. As your mind is searching for negative answers, you can’t fail to feel some form of negative emotion once the answer has been found. The answers are likely to have a negative and damaging impact on your self-esteem. The damage is likely to be compounded if you ask yourself a variety of these negative questions (so you can torture yourself from a variety of angles!) and you continue to ask them.
Here are a few examples of what I mean by negative questions:
- What’s wrong with me? (this is possibly one of the worst ones)
- Why didn’t they call me?
- Why did they let me down?
- Why doesn’t anybody like me?
- Why did this bad thing happen to me?
- What have I done wrong?
- Why am I so unattractive?
- Why can’t I stick to anything?
- Why am I so lazy?
- Why am I so stupid?
- Why do I always get things wrong?
So what do you do if you keep asking yourself negative questions?
Here are a few suggestions to help you to stop yourself from damaging your self esteem and feeling negative emotions by asking negative questions:
1) Get yourself a notebook and spend a week writing down all of the negative questions that you ask yourself during this time. Write each one down as you say it to yourself so that you don’t miss any. This will give you a true idea of how often you ask these types of questions. This activity is designed to just gather information and to increase your awareness. This is because it is difficult to make changes if you are unaware of the problem.
2) Decide that you are going to stop paying attention to any negative questions. Remind yourself that these questions are harmful and serve no positive purpose for you. They will just cause you discomfort. It’s now time to be nicer to yourself. Initially, it will be difficult to stop yourself from asking these questions, as you’ve probably been doing it for a while now. Don’t worry, this is normal. However, you are now going to focus on controlling how much attention you pay to them, once you ask them. Every time you catch yourself asking a negative question, tell yourself that you are not going to give attention to these types of questions and move your attention onto something else, more positive.
3) Write down 10 positive statements about yourself. Focus on your personality & character more than your looks, as this is better for self esteem (as looks can change as we age). Read these positive statements about yourself repeatedly throughout the day.
4) Start asking yourself positive questions whenever a negative question pops into your head. Ask questions such as what do I like about me? What do I bring to a friendship? What I have I done well today? For more examples see the blog “Questions to ask yourself everyday to feel better about yourself”
I hope this has helped.
Until next time…..