Did you know that the voices in your head, the conscious and subconscious ones, can produce 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day? That’s 35-48 thoughts per minute! Not only is that a lot of “noise” to have in our head, but research shows that over 80% of those thoughts are negative. Even worse, a majority of those negative thoughts are about ourselves. These negative thoughts are not only intrusive, but they can change how we view ourselves. We’ve been repeating them in our head for so long that we have actually bought into believing those thoughts! You wouldn’t put up with a friend that 80% of what they said was negative about you, so why do we put up with our own voices saying negative things and setting limitations on what we do?
I first became aware of these negative “voices in my head” a few years ago when I was at a low point in my life. When I stopped and really listened to the words I was saying to ME, about ME, I was shocked! No wonder I did not feel good about myself. I was feeding myself these horrible thoughts and believing every one of them because I had been telling myself these things for so long. I didn’t realize that over time these negative thoughts were getting increasingly worse because I never put a stop to them and continued to believe them. These thoughts had power over me and influenced how I viewed myself and lived my life. I finally decided enough was enough and knew I needed to start thinking positively and make a change in my life.
After this realization, I was introduced to mantras from reading the book “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle. I learned that mantras are positive, supportive, encoring, and forward thinking phrases. These are words that we say to ourselves that over time can help “reprogram” our internal dialogue and change the conscious thoughts and dramatically impact the subconscious thoughts. Mantras are made to be focused on and practiced daily. The key is not to find a phrase that is necessarily how you feel about yourself in that moment, but rather what you want to believe about yourself. When you find yourself thinking self-doubting or self-deprecating thoughts, you want to replace them with your new positive thoughts, your mantra.
After thoughtful consideration, I decided to give it a try and I developed mine: “I am smart. I am resilient.” To be honest, when I started this I did not feel smart or resilient; I actually felt like a phony and wanted to give up and stay defeated. But I kept at it and over time there became a new voice in my head that was telling me “I am resilient” that helped me get back up. Each time I said it to myself, over and over again, it got a little easier to believe and I started to think more positively about myself. Over time my daily mantra evolved and I added “I am worthy of love” to the end of it to help start to love myself again. I still have this as my core mantra. Every morning when I wake up, or anytime I start doubting myself, I remind my internal dialogue that I am in control of my thoughts and I have figured tough things out in the past before and I will perceiver.
“I am smart. I am resilient. I am worthy of love.”
However, there are times and challenges in your life where you need to give yourself an extra pep talk to help get you through your day or week. Lately I have noticed that I am facing these challenges each week. I found that I needed an evolving manta to get me through these specific challenges. So I started formatting a weekly mantra and I call it my “Monday Mantra” or #MondayMantra
This is how my #MondayMantra works: On Sunday evening I spend time thinking about the week ahead of me. What I have coming up, the work to do, what I want to achieve, and who I need to connect with or get back to. Inevitably, thinking of all the impending tasks leads to thoughts of worry, doubt, or fear creeping in. I am now able to recognize these thoughts and can tell myself to stop, take a breath, and think about what I need to tell myself to reenergize and focus me so I can achieve what I know I can do. From there my #MondayMantra is born – the words or phrase that I can lean on during the week when things start to go a little sideways.
Some great ways to practice your mantras, besides saying them to yourself, is to put them on a few Post-It Notes and place them somewhere as a reminder. Your bathroom mirror, planner, fridge, nightstand, and computer monitor are all great places to keep them. It’s easy to forget your mantras and let life overwhelm you- so putting it somewhere, where you know you will see it daily, is a great way to reinforce repeating your mantra. After the weeks is done, on Sunday I take down my mantras and save them, and start again for the next week. Sometimes I will even go through my mantras and pull them out at different times to reuse them or to remind myself of this journey and all that I’ve learned and accomplished.
While I will always have my original manta to address very deep beliefs in my life, I appreciate the #MondayMantra to motivate me through smaller challenges that I face. This week I know I’m going to be faced with someone very dear to me asking me to help with something. I know I really would love to help this person, but I also know that saying yes is not the right answer for me. I’m a people pleaser and really want to help- so my internal dialogue is going to get the best of me if I’m not careful. I’m not sure what my answer will be in the end, but I have to keep telling myself “It’s ok to say NO.” I need to make sure that I value myself and my time by understanding that everything will still be ok if I say no… especially me!
So my #MondayMantra for this week is: “It’s ok to say NO!”
Every Monday on the True North Beauty Facebook and Instagram page, I will be posting my #MondayMantra to share with all of you. I encourage you to do the same every Monday and to tag True North Beauty in your post so we can cheer you on! Don’t forget to also use the hashtags #MondayMantra and #TrueNorthBeauty! I really hope you decide to give this a try and stick with it! It really does help to focus you and make you feel more confident; which is what we’re all about here at True North Beauty, finding your true north and being confident!