Self-Esteem and Self-Talk

Words are powerful; they have the power to comfort and bolster confidence, and they just as easily have the opposite effect. They can undermine self-esteem, confidence, personal happiness, and goal achievement.

From our first breath, we are surrounded by people, all reacting to our presence. Before a child understands words, they absorb the intentions and feelings of others, learning quickly who satisfies the human cravings for love and acceptance or who makes them uncomfortable. Once a child understands the words others convey, they are well on their way to developing a sense of self-esteem, that delicate sense of self-worth, based on the comments and actions of others and how they are perceived and internalized.

Obese patients in Scottsdale, Arizona, frequently suffer from the negative reactions of others. Childhood teasing, disappointing performance in sports, the subtle or overt reactions of complete strangers and coworkers, creates a lifetime of negative input that can be damaging, interfering with accomplishing plans to lose weight.

Internalizing the negative comments and actions, letting them become the theme of inner self-talk can be self-defeating. The first step in overcoming low self-esteem and insecurity is recognizing the power of self-talk. Just as other’s words have power over an individual, what a person’s internal voice says is even more powerful. Becoming aware of self-defeating negative internal talk and attempting to change it can make all the difference in successful weight loss. Changing self-talk from “I don’t deserve any better; things never go right for me,” to “I am deserving of happiness; I have the power to be successful in my plans,” can make all the difference in achieving weight loss goals. Choose several powerful affirmations, repeating them out loud until they are internalized.

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