When we are young we hear so many voices, noises and receive so many opinions and messages about life, the way the world works and even about ourselves; the way we look, what we are capable of and who we are.
In psychology that inner dialogue is referred to as self talk. Self talk encompasses the way we talk to ourselves and influences our beliefs about ourselves, self—esteem And our abilities. If you suffer from low self esteem or lack confidence, the chances that you grew up with a parent or caregiver or teacher who spoke down to you are pretty high. Maybe they called you stupid, ugly or said that’s you weren’t capable of pursuing your dreams or that you aren’t deserving of love and those narratives have become your own. You believe them because they’ve been repeated to you since childhood and now you manifest and live them out. If this is the case, then maybe it's time to introspect and engage in some self-exploration in order to investigate your inner voice and beliefs. Here's how you can challenge and change your self-talk in ways that serve you!
Take some time to analyse all the beliefs that you have about yourself, your appearance, your abilities and life in general. Try to decipher whether or not that voice is your own or if it belongs to someone else. This will only come to light if you spend actual time with yourself, in silence - in a meditative state. Sometimes some mental time travel is necessary in order to pin-point the origin of some beliefs.
Write about whatever comes to light during your alone time. It might be helpful to make a list of the negative self beliefs because putting it out there, right in front of you forces you to acknowledge their existence and then possibly propel you towards challenging each and every belief that you have been conditioned to live out.
For every thought or belief that you've listed, come up with a challenging thought or opposing argument in order to dispute it. For example, if you grew up believing that you were ugly then maybe challenge that belief with questions about societal beauty standards and how it's virtually impossible to live up to every single standard but if you define beauty for yourself, the old "I'm ugly" belief eventually becomes null and void.
It's not easy letting go of and unlearning conditioned behaviour so there's going to be a little more work required on your end to make it really pop off! After challenging each belief, come up with an opposing and affirming mantra or message for yourself, to yourself. Write these down, stick them on your mirror or fridge, recite them every morning, make these mantras an integral part of every day. Remember, practice makes progress. You're unlearning years of conditioning, be soft and gentle with yourself.