I was talking to a friend of mine today and she mentioned how hard she is on herself. I was like, uh, have we met? I’ve been a professional self-critic for my entire life, and most can probably can relate.

Somehow we fall into this pattern of beating ourselves up for every. little. thing. An awkward social interaction, a bad hair day, and, for a lot of women, our bodies. Growing up, we were taught to be humble, and somewhere along the way that turned into constant self-deprecation!

Negative self-talk is a big problem in two important ways. First, think of some of the things you say to yourself and imagine saying them to a loved one or friend. You would never. The words we tell ourselves are often incredibly abusive and pretty shocking when we remove ourselves a bit to really see what we’re doing.

Second, what happens when you tell yourself something? You believe it. If you tell yourself you’re a big fat failure and nothing good is ever going to happen to you, then that’s the truth. That’s your truth. If you feel overwhelmed by debt and keep telling yourself you’re never going to pay it off, then you’re not. If you tell yourself you’re fat everyday, you’re probably going to keep those extra pounds on, or even gain more weight. The power of positive thinking isn’t an old, annoying adage. It is reality.

We have to retrain our brains to not only be kinder to ourselves, but also to be more positive in general. Start to catch yourself in those moments of negativity, and turn it around. Let's say a thought enters that says, “I’m a total mess and nothing good is ever going to happen to me.” Catch it, say to yourself, “I am amazing, and wonderful things are headed my way,”and (the trickiest part!) believe it. You have to trust that by thinking positively, you’ll attract positivity. It sounds woo woo, but it isn’t. This is how the world works.