Falling into the habit of negative self-thinking is one of the first indicators of depression or other mental illnesses. If you want to have a healthy body and mind, it’s important that you monitor your self-talk and ensure that you’re saying positive, encouraging things to yourself.
You may be a good friend to others, but are you a good friend to yourself? Are you critical and judgmental of yourself in a way that you would never be with others? These five statements below will help you break out of the cycle of negative self-talk if you repeat them to yourself regularly.
1. I Don’t Deserve To Hate Myself.
Women love to hate ourselves, thanks to a society that shames girls and women who display high confidence—even starting from a very young age. The world in which we live is one that encourages us to find flaws within ourselves and to focus on our weaknesses, rather than our strengths. However, as black women, it’s vital that we work toward building high self-confidence and a healthy sense of wellbeing.
Unless you’ve committed serious crimes or you make a regular habit of stealing from stores and picking on children, the chances are that you’re a pretty rad person. Don’t be afraid to remind yourself of your value, your beauty and the irreplaceable contributions that you bring to this world. You are important and the only emotions that you should feel towards yourself are pride and contentment.
2. I Am Beautiful.
Nobody ever regretted being or feeling beautiful. It’s a wonderful thing to take pride in your outer appearance (and you absolutely should!), but never lose sight of the importance of inner beauty as well. Making an effort on the way you present yourself to the world says something about you. It says: I love myself. It shows that you believe you are worthy of being beautiful and of positively presenting yourself to the world.
All that said, make sure the words that come out of your mouth and the way that you interact with other people are also beautiful. Treat people with kindness and make an effort to bring good to the world on a regular basis, whether through volunteering at a charity, donating money, or other acts of service.
3. I Am Worth Putting Myself First.
Putting yourself first isn’t selfish – it’s necessary. If you don’t give priority to yourself above others, you place your mental, physical and emotional health at risk. Black women love to nurture and to give, but we often forget to ensure that we’re receiving in return and that our cups are filled as well. That’s where pride comes in. I truly believe black women could use a little more pride and stand to have a lot more self-confidence.
If we truly believed in our worth and value, we’d be more selective when it comes to choosing life partners and friends. The rate of single motherhood would decrease, as would the epidemic of dark-skinned black girls with low self-esteem. Society can say whatever they want about us, but the most important thing is what we think of ourselves.
4. The World Is A Place Of Opportunity. (So We Can ALL Win)
The scarcity mindset of today’s world implies that there are a limit of good things going around in this world. So, if your friend is promoted, you feel envy and resentment, instead of feeling happy for her. But, we have to let go of this mindset.
Good things can happen to you and around you – and they should all be celebrated. Seeing other black women obtain success shouldn’t feel threatening, it should feel empowering! Instead of seeing others winning as a loss, let it be a reminder that your blessings are on the way as well.
5. I Am Allowed To Be Carefree and Happy.
There are a lot of injustices going on in the world. But, is it black women’s job to fight for and save everybody? Absolutely not. We deserve to not only put ourselves first, but to allow ourselves to simply live life without having to be martyrs for any community. We love to involve ourselves in feminism, for instance, in the hopes that the benefits that white women receive from fighting for equality, will trickle down to us. We march for black lives matter and speak out on behalf of black men and boys who are victims of police brutality, even though the black community is silent when black girls meet the same fate.
This is not to say we shouldn’t fight injustice or speak up about things that are wrong at all. However, our number one priority has to be ourselves—first and foremost. Don’t let anyone shame you for not being a part of activism and social justice movements. You have a right to simply live and enjoy your life. And if activism and social justice appeal to you, ensure that you’re fighting for people who look like you instead of going to bat for people who don’t have your best interests at heart.
Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law.