Many individuals, young and old, struggle with inner conflicts. It is a daily struggle for many people that can last for years or decades if there is not a shift in one’s inner critic. This is not a slow and easy process for anyone; like anything else, changing this inner voice takes time, patience, and practice.
Recently, I went on a women’s retreat with my mother. This is the second one I have attended and each time I have left feeling fulfilled and recharged. At the most recent retreat we worked on mindfulness, meditation, and even got to do yoga. It was a life-changing experience for me, especially being the youngest one there.
Many individuals at this retreat had the same issue, negative self-talk. If you talk to yourself, how often do you say good things about yourself? Majority of negative self-talk that anyone does is negative. People don’t even notice how much self-talk can impact your mindset and perception of self-worth.
Your inner voice is important to all aspects of your life. Let’s say you have a positive inner voice, this can lead to overall satisfaction in career, family, and your own personal life. Whereas negative self-talk can lead to poor self-esteem and dissatisfaction in many aspects of your life.
If you realized that you have a negative inner voice, don’t worry! With time, practice, and dedication you can do anything you put your mind to. One of the main things that I learned at this retreat was to stop saying “I’m sorry” in unnecessary situations. When you say “I’m sorry” in places not needed, you put yourself at fault when that may not be the case. I personally struggle with this, many do, but what matters is the effort to change that mindset of always apologizing for things that may be out of your control. For example, if you ran late to dinner with your friends. You walk up to the table they are sitting at, what is the first thing you say? “Sorry I was late!” is what most would say, but we are changing that. Now you would walk up to the table and say “Thank you all for waiting for me,” or something along those lines.
Talking down on yourself also takes a toll on your inner wellbeing. For the past couple of months, I have been learning to take everything that doesn’t work in my favor as a lesson. Every little thing happens for a reason, and sometimes that reason is just to teach us something. Many take things that don’t work out and take it out on themselves, and make themselves believe that it was their fault. One of my favorite quotes from the weekend was, “You are not a bad guy, someone just had to play that role in that situation.” Even though you think it is your fault, it also turns into a lesson for you to become a stronger individual and rewrite your story.
Once again, this takes time and practice. It may seem like there is no progress in the beginning or many slip-ups, but you will soon realize that this can change your life drastically.
Pailey Gordon is a student at Lanesboro High School. She is one of nine area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 22nd year.