The First Word

I was talking with my therapist today and we were talking about “the first word” and how we approach subjects. It’s hard to frame how we think about things, but how we approach them says a lot about how they will turn out.

As things happen in our life we respond in different ways. Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive and think in a positive way. The first word that comes to our mind when things happen is usually how it turns out. If we are struggling with something and we automatically think, “this is awful,” most likely, it’s going to turn out to be awful. If things are going well and we are happy and we immediately think, “this is great,” and it will turn out well. Our way of thinking has a tendency to shape how it will become.

We don’t realize that we create our own reality. The quote “whether we think we can or can’t, you’re probably right” can speak volumes to anyone in any situation. As an athlete, when I was playing college field hockey and something went wrong we would immediately say to one another, “don’t worry, shake it off, back up, pick it up, let’s go and do this.” As we played, we were only ever filled with positive words for one another because we knew that was what we needed to move on in a game and win. We knew that positive words and encouragement is needed to keep going; nobody wins when you’re beaten down.

Why can’t we do this for ourselves? We are so quick to do this for others, but often we can’t do this in our own heads? It’s so easy to resort to negative self-talk. I know that my friends and family needs positive reinforcement to keep going, as do my athletes who play for me, so why can’t I recognize that I have to give myself the same advantage. I think our problem is that we believe that others are worth what we are saying, but we do not give the same grace to us. We don’t allow ourselves to feel as worthy as they are, so if we punish ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made (whatever they may be), maybe we’ll correct them and then…. be worthy (just like they are).

It just won’t happen like that.

We already deserve. We are humans and we deserve to make mistakes and we deserve that first word to be a positive one. There is no mistake big enough that could be just cause for us to not be worthy. There is no mistake big enough that could deem us unfit or unlovable. We are always worth more than what we give ourselves credit for. For so long the eating disorder gave that negative first word and it set the tone of the record that played in my head, but that can change. It doesn’t have to be the same record. At any point we can turn the record off and put a new one on.

I’m learning to try to catch myself when I make that first word. I’m trying to make that first word and that self-talk positive when I’m running, eating, working or doing anything that could bring about negative self-talk [holy crap is it HARD]. This is one heck of an adjustment, but I think it’s a necessary adjustment. I might not agree with what I’m saying about my body and I might not believe what I’m trying to convince myself, but somehow the eating disorder said it enough to make me believe when it wasn’t true, so maybe I can play the same game. I think once I can grab a hold of ways to think in a positive manner, I can learn to find more positive things about myself and also more self love.

It’s not impossible….. it’s just hard…. really. freaking. hard. as. hell.

Stay positive and don’t forget to try to smile. 🙂

Are you able to do this? If so, how?

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2 thoughts on “The First Word

  1. Sometimes it’s very hard. When it gets overwhelming, I try staying in the moment. Not just the present, but the exact moment – mindfulness practice. I take deep breaths, I think positively, I smile for 30 seconds (proven to actually improve your mood), and then I try again. ❤ Hang in there, girlie. I believe what you're trying to convince yourself about you.

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