Talk To Yourself – The Self-Worth Challenge

VoeFCE1437132968Welcome back to The Self-Worth Challenge. Each week I am addressing a topic related to self-worth and I include a few questions at the end to help you consider how you value yourself and how to strengthen it further.

Although this will only take you five minutes or so, it will set you up to consider this aspect of your self over the coming week.

If you are new to the challenge you might want to start at the beginning and work your way through the series. The very first post is linked here.

Last week in ‘Name Your Strengths’ we looked at our strengths and how comfortable we are acknowledging them. This week we are moving on to the way you talk to yourself.

When we respect ourselves and see ourselves as valuable then we are automatically kind to ourselves. But what does it mean to be kind to ourselves?

Is it going to the spa on a regular basis or buying lots of clothes? Well these could be signs that you can be kind to yourself or they could be a sign of something else.

True self kindness starts with the way we talk to ourselves. Now I am not suggesting that we all go round chatting away to ourselves (although it has been known for me on occasion). What I am referring to is the conversation going on in our heads. It is sometimes referred to as our ‘Inner voice’ or ‘Self Talk’.

True self kindness starts with the way we talk to ourselves Click To Tweet

Our constant stream of thoughts are often fairly invisible to us. The way we converse with ourselves is so familiar that it is easy not to notice the details of it. However, when we do look at what we are saying at any point in time, it can tell us so much.

For example, if you made a mistake, what do you say to yourself?

‘I can’t believe I did that, but it’s oaky we all do these things. Can I put it right?’


‘You shouldn’t have done that. I can’t believe it”


“Idiot. Everyone will think I’m stupid”

or something else.

What we say to ourselves on a regular basis has a big impact on our lives. A person who made a mistake and is calling themselves an idiot and a person who made a mistake and is reassuring themselves will come out of the event feeling significantly different to each other.

What we say to ourselves on a regular basis has a huge impact in our lives Click To Tweet

As we learn to respect ourselves and speak to ourselves with kindness it frees us up to be the person we are and fulfil our potential.


The Self-Worth Challenge Questions

What do you say to yourself?. Is your self talk kind and respectful or is it harsh and demanding?

Think about your self talk. What is it like? Does that inner voice talk as if you are of worth and value?

Look out for demanding and critical words like ‘Should’, ‘Must’ and ‘Can’t‘. We can all be frustrated with ourselves at times. Acknowledging our limitations and failures is a good thing to do in life, blaming ourselves is not (See my Post on How To Overcome Self Balme).

Also notice those all encompassing words like ‘Never‘ or ‘Always‘.

‘I will never do well’

‘I always get things wrong’

These very rarely stand up to scrutiny.

As you continue to go through your week take note of your self talk. If it is not helpful and respectful then take a few seconds to stop and ask yourself these questions.

Is there another way of  being kinder to myself and think of this more positively?
Would I say this to a friend?
Is there evidence for what I have said to myself?

For example, if you self talk was saying ‘You’re so stupid’ after you made a mistake then think about those questions. You certainly could be kinder, maybe thinking ‘I’m human, we all make mistakes’. You probably wouldn’t say it to a friend if they came to you explaining the situation and most likely the evidence would point to you doing your best at the time.


The next topic on The Self-Worth Challenge: Own Your Strengths

If you are excited by the prospect of this challenge please tell your friends. It is a great thing to do and be able to share with those who care for us.

I would be love to know any aspect of this that you would like to share with me. I am aware that these journeys are often very personal, so if you would rather not it would still be great to know you are following along.  I will respond to all comments.

So what is next?

If you liked this article then you may also like:

And finally, click on the button below to keep up to date with the latest articles and offers from The Guilt-Free Guide AND receive your FREE guided visualisation ‘Mother Moments’ especially designed to give you some time for you to focus on yourself.


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62 thoughts on “Talk To Yourself – The Self-Worth Challenge

  1. Another great post! I used to talk down to myself in my teens and early twenties until I realised how destructive it was while I was at drama school. So I started praising myself and giving myself a break. I sometimes even use pet names when I speak to myself, it probably sounds a bit weird but if I’m feeling stressed I’ll normally ask myself ‘what’s bother you love?’ or something along those lines.. #PicknMix
    Emma’s Mamma recently posted…17 monthsMy Profile

    1. Hi Emma’s Mamma, I am so glad you have turned it around so it works for you now. Using those gentle supportive names for yourself does not sound weird at all but wonderful. Internalising a kind and reassuring voice is such a powerful thing to do. Thank you for sharing your growth experience. Kirsten

    1. Absolutely changing the language is so helpful. It is not about fighting our inner voice. We all have an inner critic and we can choose wether to listen or not or we can adapt what is being said. It is great to hear that you already have an ear out for your inner voice. Thanks for commenting. Have a great weekend. Kirsten

  2. This is great! I used to call myself stupid or idiot for making mistakes. While I do still say stuff like, “How could I have been so stupid?” I immediately counteract that by saying to myself, “You made a mistake. There is a lesson to be learned here. Learn it.” We all can be pretty critical of ourselves but I have made it a goal for myself to say something positive to myself after I have just said something negative to myself. I love your tips! Thanks for sharing!
    Michelle recently posted…I love Candy Bar Dolls!My Profile

    1. Well done Michelle. The more you do that the easier it becomes until one day those thoughts will come first. It is about listening for those things and then practising a kinder way of being with ourselves. Great comment. Thank you. Have a great weekend. Kirsten

  3. Great post, such valuble advice! It can be so easy to wallow in self loathing but it doesn’t take much to turn things around, just a firm decision to xchange your thought processes and a bit of time to relfect! Thankyou so very much for linking up with #busydoinglife it’s great to have you along for the ride! Have a great weekend x
    Claire recently posted…Busy Doing Life Linky #5My Profile

    1. Thank you Claire. It is really good to take that time. Life gets so busy but it is invaluable to work on ourselves. Thanks for your comment and hosting. Kirsten

  4. I love your posts (I know I say this every week) but they’re just what I need to put things into perspective. My self-talk is awful. You really need to release all of this in a book! With some little activities. This has really made me think that I need to change the way I talk to myself. If I can’t show myself any respect and love then why should anybody else. xxx #sundaystars
    Chloe recently posted…#MYSUNDAYPHOTOMy Profile

    1. Hi Chloe, Your comment has me skipping about. Not because I like to hear that you talk to yourself in a bad way but because it is wonderful to hear you make that connection between how you treat yourself and how others do. Working with clients I notice a really big change (not instantly) from when they start respecting adjusting how they speak to themselves. my best advice is to give it time and don’t be hard on yourself when you catch the negative self talk. congratulate yourself for noticing and consider the alternatives. Thanks for letting me know. Kirsten

  5. This is all so true and important. I’m a nightmare for putting myself down and hubby will say “Don’t be so mean to my wife” or “Don’t speak to Toby’s mummy like that” and it really helps to remind me that I’m worth something to a lot of people and should be nicer to myself xx #PoCoLo

    1. Hi Hannah. I am very glad your husband catches you doing it and says something. It is so hard to notice in ourselves as it becomes so familiar. When you do catch your self congratulate yourself for noticing and think of another alternative. with time it gets easier to notice then easier to think of alternative and then easier not to do it in the first place. Thanks for letting me know. Best of luck at being kinder to you. You deserve it. Kirsten

    1. Hi Mackenzie. I am glad things have changed for you. It is amazing the difference it can make in our lives when we bring that respect and kindness to ourselves. Thanks for commenting. Have a great week. Kirsten

    1. You are so right her and this is missed by so many. The medical model has for a long time had us seeing our mind and body separately but they are completely connected. Thanks for your insightful comment. Kirsten

  6. This sounds a lot like what I am currently doing during CBT. I try and ask myself ‘would I criticise a friend like this’ and it really helps. I am a long way off from praising myself but hopefully will get there one day. Such a great positive post,
    Becky x
    LittleOandme recently posted…My Ultimate bucket listMy Profile

    1. Self talk is using the same concept as CBT. I am really glad that it helps you. When our self talk is kind and respectful to the person we re then it does have a big impact in our lives. It takes time but at some point it begins to become easier to do. Thanks For sharing Becky, it is lovely to hear about your progress. Keep up the hard work. Kirsten

  7. What a brilliant post and such a good read! I have always had an inner me telling me that i cant do this and up until the last year i have broken this not so lovely bond and now a confident mumma!
    Thanks for sharing! suz x

    1. That is great to hear Suz. It makes the world of difference when we are respectful of ourselves. We actually gain confidence from having good self talk because we can realise that we can go and face things we wouldn’t have done before. Keep up the good work and thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  8. Great article. Reading some of the other comments about CBT, I too recognise the concepts in self talk. I’m now taking part in some guided self help, but reading articles like this really help to clarify some of the concepts as well as remind of better ways of thinking. It’s very easy to forget!
    Brook recently posted…Gingerbread and Coconut Protein BallsMy Profile

    1. Hi Brook. It is easy to forget and there are so many elements to self worth which is why I wrote an 8 part series although I could have done more. I am glad to hear that you are on the journey of discovering how to be good to yourself. It is a very worthwhile one. Thanks for commenting and your kind words. Kirsten

    1. It is good that you can see this in your self. The next step is to notice at the time and to think of alternatives, particularly what you would say to a friend. When you do catch yourself speaking harshly congratulate yourself for noticing rather using it as an opportunity to be more critical. Noticing is such an important step. With time it become easier until one day you find yourself actually saying supportive things to yourself automatically.Thanks for sharing your experiences. Best of luck in your journey to be kinder to you. Kirsten

    1. I am so glad that you have turned around your thinking to a way that works for you. Thank you for your kind words Sarah. Kirsten

    1. I am really glad you found this post useful and even more pleased that this is an issue that you are tackling recently. It really does hand out rewards in the long term. Thank you for commenting Bek. It is appreciated. Keep up the good work. Kirsten

    1. Hi Zena. It really takes time to alter our self talk. Unless we have been taught but it is worth every minute of effort. Gradually it changes until one day it happens naturally (unless we are stressed). I am really glad to know that you are working on yours. Keep at it and bring that kindness to your inner world. Kirsten

  9. Brilliant post. Only recently been looking into CBT etc and although it feels a bit daft to start off with, it is so very important how we talk to ourselves and so very powerful. Thank you so much for linking this up to #SundayStars
    Karen recently posted…Trapped in LavenderMy Profile

    1. Thank you Karen. How we talk to ourselves is valuable thing to consider for anyone at any time. It is so easy to not notice the details of how we speak to ourselves yet it has such a big impact in our lives. I appreciate you sharing. Kirsten

  10. Great post — I’m my own biggest cheerleader these days!! When I was younger I used to a lot more critical — these days my inner demon has turned into a little angel and is always telling me to ‘go for it — you CAN do it’ 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — please could you add our lovely badge to your post? Thanks! x

    Caro |
    Caro | The Twinkles Mama recently posted…Home Etc #14 — Home and Garden Inspired Blog HopMy Profile

    1. Hi Caro. That is great news. It makes the world of difference doesn’t it? Thanks for commenting and the reminder in the summer holiday mania. Kirsten

  11. It’s certainly not an easy task capturing those moths of speech that fly out and turning them into butterflies. With practice though and persistence it can be done. We have to be our own cheer leaders in this world and talking positively to ourselves is a good start.

    1. Hi Helena. It is not easy to do. What we say to ourselves becomes so habitual with time that we don’t even hear it. Sometimes we have to look for other clues like a feeling of tension or unease and then start working backwards from there, asking ‘What have i said to myself?’. you are spot on we do need to be our own cheer leaders. Valuing ourselves is so key to fulfilling our potential. Thank you very much for your beautifully worded comment. It is appreciated. Kirsten

  12. Once again you have said it best! These posts have really got me to thinking about how hard on myself I can be sometimes and it starts to reflect in how I even treat others. Thank you so much for sharing again with #mosmterslink!
    Trista recently posted…Local Flavors ~ The GriddleMy Profile

    1. Thank you Trista. It is a good thing to recognise how hard we are on ourselves. It is only at that point that we can do something about it. Adding a gentler more caring voice to our self talk is so useful in life. Not only is it more comfortable but it helps us ultimately be all that we can be as we are not afraid to express and push ourselves. I do generally find that as we develop that openness with ourselves it does also change how we are with others. Well done for reflecting on this. I hope you can see a way towards being kinder to yourself because you do deserve it. Kirsten

  13. I absolutely love this post. It’s so true, we’re so much harder on ourselves than anyone else! I’ve also noticed lately, as my mom lives with us for the time being, that my mom does this out loud! Saying things like “oh you idiot” etc. to herself. It makes me quite upset because I don’t want my daughter to hear her berating herself but it’s also an example of how ingrained it can become – she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it!
    katy allred recently posted…For the Mother Who Didn’t Get to Be a MomMy Profile

    1. Hi Katy. You are so right about how ingrained it can get. For many of us, until we address our self talk, it would is second nature, so much so that we don’t hear ourselves, which is always strange as it is the voice that is the most powerful in our lives. Your Mom is a good example of some one who doesn’t hear what she is saying to herself. Thank you very much for sharing your insights here. Have a great weekend. Kirsten

    1. It does really have a profound effect when we can internalise a respectful inner voice. It is great that you can see there is room for improvement. You are absolutely right, respect starts with ourselves. Best of luck with working on it. Make sure when you catch yourself in negative self talk that you don’t berate yourself for it. Rather be pleased that you noticed as it gives you an opportunity to think of alternatives. It takes time but is worth it. Kirsten

  14. What a great post and so encouraging! I know I’ve done some real work on self-talk over the years. Ever since, I’ve been much happier with myself overall, much kinder, and allow both myself and others way more grace and forgiveness for simply being Human, than I ever did before! 🙂
    Life Breath Present recently posted…Learning to GardenMy Profile

    1. I love your words ‘grace and forgiveness for simply being human’. I so agree, when we give this grace to ourselves it changes so much and not only ourselves but how we are with others and how they are with us. Thank you for sharing and your beautiful comment. Kirsten

    1. Hi Debbie, There is of course a difference between being nice to yourself and letting yourself off. We all need to speak firmly to ourselves at times but we can still be respectful. Thanks for highlighting this important point. Kirsten

    1. I really agree Sandy. It is easy to hear when something said to another is inappropriate or damaging but we don’t apply the same rules for ourselves and our internal world. Until we start to question it of course! Kirsten

    1. Wow. Thank you so much for your amazing words. I hope you can get some time to give to yourself as self development is so worth it in the long run. Have a great week ahead. Kirsten

  15. Brilliant blog post. At 31, I still have a bad habit of talking to myself in ways that aren’t often very kind but I would never dream of talking to anyone else in this way, so I’m currently trying to be kinder to myself as I realise it can often affect my outlook on myself and my life. Pleased to find your blog via #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Jenny | Jenny on a Plate recently posted…Countdown to My First 10k RaceMy Profile

    1. I am really glad to hear that you are working on your self talk already Jenny. It is a great thing to do and it pays dividends in the long run. Kirsten

    1. It sounds like you have a very powerful inner critic Rebecca. Your first step is to bring in a voice that is kinder and gentler to you. That critical voice will still be there but just choose to focus on what the kinder voice is saying. Most people find it easiest to focus on what they would tell a friend in the same situation. Over time it becomes easier to think of and hear that gentler kinder voice. It takes time to adjust habitual behaviour but it is worth the effort. Going over the rest of these posts on Self Worth may give you a good handle on how you can see yourself differently and why you have intrinsic value just as you are, to help you build that more gentle and caring part of yourself. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions. Kirsten

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