It can be easy to let seemingly harmless thoughts (like wondering why your skin won’t cooperate with your own agenda, or skipping that workout class due to the anxiety of sweating it out with a group of strangers) the same way you mentally cycle through your daily to-do list.
But according to blogger, model, and disability advocate Mama Cax, now is the time to quit the negative self talk.
And at a recent Wellness Collective event with Athleta, she broke down exactly how.
The answer? Leaning on the power of your (literal) collective. In real time, she confronted these feelings head on by asking all 41 women in the room to write down their top three insecurities on a sheet of paper—and then share them with each other.
Not an easy task, but the exercise proved that even taking a moment to be mindful of how you speak to yourself can immediately halt its effects. Case in point: One pair of women—who were complete strangers until this moment—were hung up on the same exact characteristic (they both thought they sweat too much) and felt a giant sense of relief once they realized they weren’t alone.
Letting your insecurities out into the open creates an opportunity to reframe them—and reclaim your power. “How you talk to yourself affects how you feel,” shared Cax, who survived having her leg amputated due to cancer. “Instead of saying, ‘I hate my scars,’ I say, ‘I’m happy I survived XYZ and these scars are my trophies.'”
So, the next time you’re being a little too critical of yourself, take a minute to acknowledge it, write it down, and then think about how you can spin your so-called flaws into positives. And don’t stop there—share this self-confidence practice with your friends. Full warning: Happy tears might happen.