Sometimes negative thoughts or bummer emotions can get a hold of us.
Too often this happens without us even realizing it!
Maeve is the author of books for middle and high schoolers that focus on working through things like sadness, depression, nervousness and awkwardness. She wrote her most popular book, It’s the Depression for Me, based on what she wished she knew when she struggled with depression in high school. Her books have a down-to-earth, relatable and applicable approach to topics that many teens are struggling with.
So what do we do when we feel like we aren’t enough or we aren’t ever going to win at life?
According to Maeve, negative self-talk is when we are too hard on ourselves and tell ourselves things that aren’t really true. When we have negative self-talk, we need to replace these thoughts with neutral or positive thoughts and stop mentally beating ourselves up! Maeve has a great strategy for this.
3 Steps to Combat Self-Criticism:
- Notice. What are situations in your life where you’re having negative self-talk? Do you call yourself ugly every time you look in the mirror? Do you tell yourself that you’re bad at your sport or that no one loves you? If you’re not sure what your critical thoughts are, keep a journal and write down what you think about yourself as hard moments come up.
- Prepare. Prepare a neutral or positive thought. Sometimes during a tough moment, it’s too hard to tell yourself something positive. If that’s the case, start with a neutral thought such as “I’m ok” or “I’m alright”. If your mind is ready for uplifting, positive thoughts you can say things like “I’m beautiful” or “I’m loved by God”.
- Replace. Every time you think that negative thought, you want to stop and say “no, I don’t need to think that.” Then tell yourself the neutral or positive thought that you just prepared.
Here’s a clip of Maeve breaking this down in more detail.
“This is so important because you are the one who listens to your thoughts all the time. You want to be your own biggest fan!”
You might not believe the new thoughts at first, but keep at it, even when it feels hard. Maeve says that over time, you will start to believe the new thoughts and train your brain to have less self-criticism.
She suggests writing down these neutral and positive thoughts or putting them on your mirror or phone background. As your brain consistently reads these truths about yourself, the lies will become less powerful.
Ladies, I encourage you to surround yourself with others who are cheering you on in this journey! It’s hard to make changes by ourselves. We need others to hold us accountable and encourage us. Your moms are great resources for this! Teachers, close friends, mentors from church or other family members are also great people to support you in this!
But most of all, turn to God’s word and let that remind you who you are!
I suggest memorizing verses that combat the negative self-talk. We are SO loved by God!!
Here are a couple:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”