It is that time of year that you spring clean your home and yard, but when was the last time you did some deep cleaning of your self-image? You may not have even realized that what you think about yourself needs cleaning, but when was the last time you checked? You are far more important than what your home and garden look like, and you, too, deserve a sparkling clean self-image.
Taking Inventory of Your Self-Image
How do you really see yourself? When you talk to yourself in your mind, are you positive and encouraging, or are you negative and disparaging? When others offer you compliments, do you accept them at face value? Or do you immediately negate them in your head?
If you had to create a portrait of yourself based on how you view yourself inside, would it match a photograph of you on the outside? When you are genuinely being fair with yourself, do you see yourself as other people see you? Or do you criticize yourself and embellish your flaws, perceived or actual?
These and other questions are what you should be asking yourself as you take inventory of your self-image. Where there is tarnish, stains, exaggeration of flaws, shame, guilt, self-loathing, or other negative thoughts and judgments of yourself, it is time to do some deep cleaning.
How to Scrub Away Negative Thoughts
The problem with cleaning negative thoughts out of our minds is that when they are thoughts about ourselves, they are not usually just thoughts that happen once or twice. Often, thoughts about our self-image are reinforced and repeated over time. Just like stubborn stains, they can be hard to remove.
One way to challenge negative thoughts is with self-acceptance. Accepting yourself for who you are, without judging whether parts of yourself are bad or good, negative or positive, can be a gamechanger. Suddenly those negative thoughts become just thoughts and can no longer be harmful if you are truly accepting of yourself just as you are.
Replacing Negative Beliefs With Positive Affirmations
When self-acceptance is not yet in your cleaning repertoire, you can also eliminate those negative self-beliefs by replacing them with positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are simply positive statements that you repeat in your head and or out loud to replace negative thoughts. Examples of effective positive affirmations include:
- I am enough.
- I am brave.
- I am strong.
- I am powerful.
- I am beautiful.
- I am confident.
- I am successful.
- I am motivated.
- I have everything I need to succeed already within me.
Affirmations can be general, like these, or you can make them more specific to you and your own self-image. You can write them down and post them somewhere like a bathroom mirror. You can put them in an app on your phone to look at throughout the day. You can say them aloud at certain times during the day, or all of the above. There is no right or wrong way to use positive affirmations; just be sure to use them because they can be mighty and life-changing.
Dusting Away Self-Doubts
Once you have deep-cleaned the negative thoughts and replaced them with shiny new positive ones, there may still be some lingering self-doubts that are clouding up your self-image. Self-doubt keeps you from believing in your true worth, living your life in complete confidence, and trusting yourself completely.
In order for you to honestly believe in yourself and see your sparkling new self-image, you need to trust in yourself. The first thought that comes to your mind is usually the correct one, and you will know if this is true. The doubts can be dusted away like negative thoughts, with self-acceptance and affirmations of trust in yourself.
Polishing Your Self-Worth
As you begin to heal in treatment and bring your life back into integrity, you will find that self-acceptance becomes easier. As you learn to forgive yourself, you will learn to love yourself, too. Your self-worth will grow as a natural consequence of taking inventory of your self-image and cleaning out the negative thoughts, as well as learning to love and accept yourself in recovery. Doing the hard work now will pay dividends later, just like taking the time to spring clean your home.
You deserve to have a self-image that is sparkling clean. Before you worry about spring cleaning your house, think about spring cleaning your self-worth. Cleaning out all of the negative thoughts will make way for a powerful, successful new you.
If you worry about spring cleaning your home, then why not your self-image? Why not take the time to clean out all of the negative thoughts and self-doubts and replace them with self-worth and positive thoughts? At The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women, we know that restoring your self-worth is an important part of your healing process after substance abuse. Our residential treatment program for women with addiction and co-occurring mental health diagnoses focuses on you as a human being first and foremost. We provide trauma-informed care in a safe and tranquil environment using evidence-based practices to heal the mind, body, and spirit. Our Costa Mesa, California facility is a peaceful refuge for you to reclaim your belief in yourself as you heal. We believe that you already have the tools inside you to achieve sobriety; we help you use them. Contact us at The Ho Tai Way today at (714) 581-3974.