Thursday, 2 December 2010

The power of positive thinking

Oh my god I'm so stupid?
I look fat in this.
Why oh why am I so useless?
Could I be any more boring?

When you see this written down it looks kind of shocking and dramatic. But I bet you've felt and said at least one of these things to yourself before.

If you're a regular follower of my blog you'll know I sometimes tread off the beaten path of blogging about weddings into 'life' territory. It's just that wedding planning isn't a job to me, it's part of my life and as such this blog feels like the perfect platform to wax lyrical on other topics. See here, here and here for some of my other musings.

After a long chat recently with a friend who has by her own admission low self esteem, I've been thinking about the power of positive thinking. Now I don't want to get all spiritual or lecturing here, I just think it really works and want to share.

Most of us are way too mean to ourselves, too critical, too unkind and don't even begin to show the same mercy and understanding we show others. We tell ourselves things that if a friend said to us about themselves we would vehemently deny and point out the positive or contradictory viewpoint. Okay so we're crueler to ourselves because we know ourselves. But we're also massively biased. Even with something as innocent as a spot on our chin say. We all think people notice soooooo much more than they do, because of course they're all concerned with their own problems.

So nothing I'm saying here is groundbreaking granted. But I do think, one of the keys to a happy life is to train your 'inner voice' to have the same tone and say the same things a kind friend would say. That doesn't mean tell huge fat fibs to yourself in order to have an easy life, just that the instinctive way you speak to yourself might not be as honest as you think. And we've heard this voice all our life so it almost goes unnoticed.

I'm not claiming this is a quick fix for those seriously and clinically depressed. But for the rest of us, we can all benefit from taking the time to hear what that voice says and begin to question whether it really has all the answers.

I know the days I feel overwhelmed or blue are often the result of a bad day. But sometimes I catch myself thinking ' why did you do/say/wear/think that - you idiot!' And whilst it seems like harmless berating, I try to argue back ' no, you're the idiot actually, I'm just fine'. Or just generally be aware of what I say to myself so I can check if it seems too harsh or not.

Which may mean I'm going crazy, but also means I'm a damn sight happier.

What do you think? Are you guilty of being harsher on yourself than your friends or even strangers? Do you think you can 'talk' yourself 'happy'?

As always, I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


  1. Love your personal posts! I definitely think positive thinking can make or brake situations we can find ourselves in. Changing the way I think helped me through some periods of my life, and I must say thinking positively or changing my point of view on the situation has been sooo liberating. Yes, it does require a lot of work on yourself and it's not always easy, but oh so worth it!

  2. Exactly Dasha. It's not easy, but then we all know nothing worth doing ever is! Hope you're well love x

  3. excellent post, josie. isaiah and i have a daily tradition of saying two nice things about ourselves, and then two nice things about each of our physicalness and the other of our "lizzie-and-isaiah-isms"...or personality. I highly recommend it...gets you to think about the things you love about yourself...and your partner...

  4. That's such a good idea Lizzie, to be positive to your other half as well as each other. You girls are inspirational!

  5. One day I will be nice to myself. I guess I need to make that promise to myself.


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