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Today I want to address self-hate, self-loathing, the negative stories that we tell ourselves because a lot of us struggle with this. This is something that I help a lot of clients move out of because our stories about ourselves inform every part of our lives, really. And if we are telling ourselves negative stories about who it is that we are, that will kind of cloud our perception of everything that happens in our lives. So it’s incredibly important work to cultivate a positive self-image and to undo negative, destructive thought patterns. This is how you can start to really transform your life on many different levels.

Where negative self talk comes from

Your view of yourself initially came from other people. It came from the people around you. Intentionally and unintentionally. When we’re children, it’s very important that we are pleasing to the people around us. When we are pleasing to the people around us, we get our needs met and we can survive. Depending on the type of household that you grew up in, the feedback that you’re getting about how to be pleasing will be different. But a lot of us along the way have internalized that certain aspects of ourselves are not pleasing to the people around us. Either it made them uncomfortable, triggered something in them, or just grated on their nerves, whatever the case may be. When we’re young, we internalize that feedback and that can turn into negative self-talk and negative stories that we tell ourselves over and over again. Oh, I got negative feedback about this way that I was acting or this thing that I was doing. So I’m not going to do that again so that I can please the people around me and I can survive.

A lot of the time, this is constructive. For instance, you’re not supposed to put your hand on a hot stove. That’s for your safety. But when we’re young, we don’t really have the capacity to distinguish between something that’s meant for our safety and something that is an intrinsic part of ourselves that is getting negative feedback. So, we internalize and suppress. For me personally, I always felt like I was too much. I was too loud. I was dancing too much. I was asking too many questions. You know, I always felt like I was too much. So I suppressed a lot of that part of myself – the part that is loud and boisterous, the part that is constantly questioning everything, and the part of me that would squeal when I was happy. There’s so many layers to this, right? So there’s so many things that I know I have suppressed.

I also want to address the trauma that can happen when you are growing up around people who don’t like themselves and project that onto you. For myself personally, I grew up with a stepmother who has personality issues and really, I know now, doesn’t like herself. But she was so miserable that she made everyone around herself miserable as well. She would constantly be telling me that I was a bad person. Anytime that I did something wrong, I wouldn’t just get punished for that thing. She would bring up this Rolodex in her head of every other time I’d messed up and shamed me for that as well. So I internalized all of that and I internalized the shame spirals. So, and I don’t know if this is an official term, this is just what I’ve been calling it. One thing that I’ve had to really work through is undoing that narrative and undoing the shame spirals. Because as I grew up and went on through my life away from that house, I continued to have that voice in my head telling me that I was a bad person, that I was selfish. Then anytime that I did make a mistake, I would berate myself about that mistake and every other mistake that I’d made. It was just so toxic. It was so toxic inside of my head. It has taken years to undo all of that.

Even if you had caregivers who weren’t actively coming at you like that, you can still create these negative narratives in your head about yourself being too much, being a bad person, being bad at such and such, being self-centered, whatever it is, whatever your negative narrative is. I think we all have this to some degree. A lot of this is formed in childhood through our experiences with the people around us. As we grow older and we go out into the world, we continue to look outside of ourselves for feedback on whether we are pleasing enough or not. Whether we’re aware of this or not, that’s what’s happening on a subconscious level. We are kind of curating our personality so that we can be pleasing for the people around us and subconsciously taking notes of how people are reacting to us, what they’re saying, their facial expressions, body language when we express certain parts of ourselves. It’s a lot of mental work and actually pretty exhausting to live in that way. But that’s kind of what we learn to do.

Learn to validate yourself

If we’re looking for our sense of self-worth from other people, it’s never going to be true and lasting. Humans are fallible. We have ups and downs. We have bad days and good days, and some days we don’t have the capacity to fully be there and pour into somebody else. So if your sense of self-worth and validation is coming from other people pouring into you, you’re going to be disappointed and take it personally when people don’t have that capacity or when people just straight up don’t like you. This was something that was really hard for me to learn: No matter how good your intentions are, how loving you are, or how much you try to please others, there are just going to be some people who don’t like you. If you happen to trigger something in them, bringing up their shadow that they haven’t integrated, they could actually come out and attack you. I’ve had that happen in real life multiple times. Being out here on the internet, I get hate comments all the time. It used to really bother me, but now I’m at a point where I’ve got a strong sense of who I am. I know my intentions. I know how I show up. I know what’s going on in my mind and I know what’s going on inside of my heart. So when I get that kind of reaction to me, to myself, I don’t take it as personally because I can see that whatever is happening for the other person is coming through their own emotions, their own beliefs, their own traumas, their own triggers, all of that. I’ll look at it objectively and see if I’ve contributed to this, if there is something that I can do here, but if there isn’t, then you just got to leave it. That being said, if you have a negative self-image and something like that happens to you, you will automatically agree with that person, with what they’re saying about you because it confirms that negative story that you’re telling yourself in your head. Then you can just spiral down the rabbit hole from there.

That is why on this channel, on this podcast, I want to offer perspectives and tools that will help you, me, and us build a strong sense of self, build a positive relationship within. When you have a good, solid relationship with yourself, it makes navigating every other interaction in this world way easier. It doesn’t mean that there will never be challenges again because life is full of them. But when you have a positive and strong sense of self, you can move through these kinds of experiences more smoothly and not take things as personally because you know who you are. It’s important to be aware that when people are not happy within themselves, and they’re not doing the work on themselves, it’s much easier for them to project that onto you than it is to look in the mirror and deal with their own stuff.

Focus on your good qualities

One of the most empowering things you can do for yourself is to stop looking at yourself through the eyes of people who don’t even like themselves. Start to take your attention away from other people’s opinions, away from other people’s projections, and start to put that attention on yourself, on your positive attributes, on the things that you like about yourself. If you’re at a point right now where you don’t like a whole lot of things about yourself, start with something small that you can focus on – your generosity, maybe your work ethic, your attention to detail. Start to focus on the things that you like about yourself. Make a list. This is really helpful, especially in the beginning, is to make a list of your positive attributes. Make a list of the things that you’re good at. Make a list of positive feedback that you have received and keep that close by so you can read it and reread it and reinforce that for yourself, all of these positive attributes. The more that you do that, the more it starts to rewrite your story about you in your mind. And the more that you can create a positive story for yourself about who it is that you are in your mind, the more that that will start to transform your life. It will start to change your perspectives of interpersonal relationships and what’s happening in your life, the challenges that come your way, and it will start to lessen the shame spirals that can happen when things go awry.

Mirror Work

Another way that you can start to rewire your story about yourself is by doing mirror work. I mentioned this in my last video, and it’s in my book as well. It was popularized by Louise Hay. It’s a very powerful practice that can be really uncomfortable at first. When I first started doing mirror work, I couldn’t even look at myself without bawling my eyes out. But it started to really transform my own view of myself to a point where, you know, I started just being more comfortable with myself and then it started building into actually liking myself. Then, being proud of myself and so on and so forth. And actually putting myself out there on the internet has been a big practice in this too because like I said, I’ve gotten hate comments, I’ve gotten trolled numerous times, had people write blog posts about me, negative ones. All of that has challenged me to just reinforce my positive stories about myself. So mirror work – I’ll make a separate video about that. But you can Google it, look it up, try it out, practice it. It’s a very powerful practice.

The longest and most intimate relationship you’re ever going to be in is the one with yourself. So if you can make sure that that relationship is a healthy one, it will inform every other relationship in your life – from friendships, to family relations, to business partnerships. So, start within, with you, getting to know yourself again. Reconnect with those parts of yourself that you’ve shoved into the corner because they were not pleasing to the people who were around you. Start to tell yourself positive stories about who it is that you are. The longest and most intimate relationship that you’re ever going to have is with yourself. So make sure it’s a healthy one. Start to build that foundation within yourself and that will start to change everything in your life.

Sending you all tons of love. Thanks for sharing this video with someone you think it might resonate with. Thank you for liking, commenting, and subscribing to the channel and the podcast. It means the world. Have a good day and a good week. I’ll see you in the next one.

Much love, V