I am a big believer in the fact that everything starts from within, even, maybe especially, physical beauty. Despite the fact that I built my career in front of the camera, I truly believe that if you don’t have internal peace and happiness and come from a good place, your inner discontent will always come to the surface.
My self-talk in the months following my divorce was extremely negative. “I knew marriage was a bad idea.” “I will never get married again.” “I grew and he didn’t.” Yes, I said it all. I used my external self to convince my internal self of how I felt. For a long time I heard myself joking around about my ex. Trying to make light of the situation, trying to be the tough girl who wasn’t affected by this and would get through anything. I did it with my family, my friends, and with the people I work with. I saved the “real me” — the sad me — for just one friend and for my pillow.
I spent some time traveling the world. I was in France, Italy, Dubai, Canada, all over the US, and back to Italy. Travel helped me wake up to see who I really was, the person I had forgotten about while trying to make my relationship work. In between trips, I started to see the therapist that my ex and I used to see together. It was then I was able to hear my words aloud — and boy, were they scary.
Over time, I realized that my self-talk was self-destructive. It was filled with excuses and denial, both ways to protect myself from the truth. I remember leaving the therapist’s office one Friday morning and deciding as I walked up Sixth Avenue in the West Village that something had to change or I would be making this same trip forever with no different results. At that moment, I decided to take control of my negative self-talk by composing a list of the things I should be saying (needless to say, I did not need a list of the negative stuff).
Here is my original list, with some additions from along the way. I believe that my self-talk has helped me on the job, in my personal life, and in how others view me.
- Protect yourself.
- Today is the future.
- You are living your life.
- You can’t have other people make you complete.
- You can’t fix people.
- You can only fix you.
- Decide what you want.
- Go after it — 100 percent.
- Stop seeking advice from everyone.
- Don’t settle — ever.
- Stop confiding in everyone.
- Keep a journal, diary, Post-it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just keep track of yourself.
- Go outside often. Take a walk with a friend. Force yourself to go out alone. Force yourself to go out with someone.
- Remember that before you love yourself, you must like yourself. It is essential, just like it is when it comes to finding a relationship.
Tamsen Fadal is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.