Ugh, I can’t believe I’m breaking out again! I hate my skin!
Okay, pump the breaks here! Take a moment to reflect on this all-too-common skin scenario and the internal dialogue that so often comes along with it. With the season quickly turning into spring, it’s time we not only spring clean and transition out our closets and makeup drawers — but also our view on negative self-talk.
So what is self-talk, you ask?
It’s the unconscious act of speaking to ourselves about ourselves.
When we say statements like “I look fat in these jeans!” or “Why is my chin so flabby?” we are using self-destructive language that eventually, when said enough times, we’ll really start to believe.
This can lead to a dysmorphia on what we actually look like and can slowly dim our light so that we are not fully presenting our truest (and most fabulous) selves authentically to the world.
One of the most important jobs that I have as a facialist is to describe this type of language to my facial clientele everyday. Countless times I’ve seen circumstances where someone’s opinion of themselves is so far removed from reality, when the truth is, there is always something positive to pick out about our skin, our bodies, our whole selves. Most of us have unintentionally silenced the positive voices that crowd out the negative self-talk for the following two reasons:
1 | We don’t know how to take a compliment —
We are conditioned to think that it’s more polite to blow off compliments than accept them. This scene from Mean Girls comes to mind:
“So, you’re like, really pretty.”
“So you agree?”
“You think you’re really pretty?”
The “thank you” response to the initial compliment is where the conversation should have ended, but the compliment was never sincere in the first place. The girl giving the compliment is so self-loathing that she has to project her own insecurity by bringing someone else’s self-esteem down along the way.
The best way to start breaking this habit is to learn to accept compliments with genuine confidence. It’s really difficult at first if you’re not comfortable with yourself, however, you may just need to fake it until you make it. You can practice whenever you look in the mirror: find something you love about yourself, and then compliment yourself on it out loud! The more you speak these words into existence the stronger your ability to believe them will be. If you’re having a hard time finding something, try focusing on the part of you that is the most unique — because if you don’t own it, work it and love it, who will?
2 | We’re too busy comparing ourselves to others —
We can get so preoccupied with what others are doing that we end up missing the lessons our unique experiences are trying to teach us. If your skin is breaking out, flaring up or simply changing — accept it; it’s a fact of life!
We all occasionally have imbalances our bodies are trying to communicate through our skin. But if you shift your mindset towards gratitude for your body because it’s working so hard for you to heal, then the imbalances won’t seem so bad.
They’ll actually become a driver to help you get to the root of the issue that caused the imbalance in the first place. This way of thinking can evolve your health and self-care practices to elevate your whole mind, body and spirit.
So when someone isn’t breaking out — but you are — don’t worry! Their body is probably communicating their needs in a different way (and it may not be as glamorous as you think). Shaming yourself on your experience will only disconnect you further from solving your own problem.
Detoxing the mind of negative language towards yourself will make you feel as though you’ve finally shed the added weight of winter hibernation. The importance of mindful self-talk can create the ultimate shift to help connect you with your largest living organ: your skin. The language we have with ourselves is just as important as the language we have with others. So when you’re really not sure how to navigate through your thoughts, or you’re feeling a negative self-talk come up, ask yourself this: Would I let my best friend talk to themselves like this?
I didn’t think so.