What can you do today to live the life you want – to be happier?
How to put an end to self-criticism?
How would your life be different if you believed in yourself?
Suzanne Rivard addresses these questions, bringing you 15 strategies to feel happier about yourself and the world around you. These strategies represent a balanced approach to promoting internal peace and harmony within you, creating the life you deserve.
Inside you’ll discover how to:
- break free from negative thinking;
- transform emotional pain;
- change the way you see yourself;
- live a life you value and enjoy;
- commit yourself to what you care about; and
- deepen your relationships.
Suzanne Rivard is an integrative wellness coach who helps you heal, grow and thrive from the inside out, and be the creative force of your life! She empowers you to lead a more fulfilled, balanced, and meaningful life, starting from where you are in the present moment. Providing a safe and supportive environment for you to achieve your goals and dreams.
Want to know more about Suzanne, check out… www.SuzanneRivard.com
Strategy #3: Get Rid Of the Negative Self-Talk
“The body, like everything else in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs. Every cell within your body responds to every single thought you think and every word you speak.“ —Louise Hay
Most people have a very negative image of the world and, worse, a negative image of themselves. They’ve never fully learned to love or embrace themselves; they don’t live to their fullest potential. Learning to love yourself for who you are can change your life.
We’re hardest on ourselves. We limit and sabotage ourselves with labels like “I’m stupid!“ and “You idiot!“ or saying phrases like, “Why did I have to do that?“ and “It’s never going to get better, so what’s the point?“ Would you treat a good friend that way? Remember: fifty thousand thoughts per day. Just imagine how all those limiting thoughts and beliefs are impacting you.
Religion can be supportive but can also be detrimental to an individual. My own experience of being raised within the dogma of a religion negatively impacted my self-esteem and self-worth. I was taught, for instance, that I was born a sinner and was not worthy. These limiting beliefs about myself created many challenges in my life. I no longer accept them as true.
Believing I was a sinner caused me to second-guess myself. I couldn’t make any mistakes. Yet I always seemed to and had to repent for them. I never believed that I was a truly good person. I now know this is not true. Every day I strive to be the best version of myself, and that demonstrates my goodness. Everything is an opportunity to learn and grow from; mistakes don’t make me a sinner.
The belief that I was not worthy held me back from achieving my potential and fully embracing who I am. I held myself back because I didn’t deserve. I kept myself small. Nowadays I stretch myself all the time. I’m deserving of the best life I can create.
Each and every one of us is amazing! We all have unique gifts to offer the world. We all matter and have value. It’s said that for every person born there were a thousand souls that wanted to take the body, competing for the job. The fact that you are here, that you got the job, means that you have value. Yes, you have value!
We all are meant to be here. You’re here for a reason. What you offer to the world is up to you. You may not have figured out what your gifts are yet. That’s okay. Life is a journey. It’s all about the journey and not the destination. You’ll figure it out. In the meantime, stop being so hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can from where you are and what you’ve been taught.
Have you ever thought, “What’s the point to my existence? I don’t matter. Life would be better without me. Nobody would miss me. I don’t make a difference in other people’s lives.“ Well, I have, and it’s not a great space to be in. When I’m in this space, I focus on something in the future that I’m looking forward to or some happy memories. I keep doing this until I shift out of it.
One of my favorite movies that reminds me of the role we all play in the world and how we make a difference in other people’s lives is It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. In the movie, George Bailey, played by Stewart, experiences some great challenges in his life. He gets to the point where he feels like the only choice is to end his life. An angel comes down from heaven and gives him the gift of seeing the world as if he had never been born. All of the people whom he cherishes are all living out different realities. He realizes the difference he has made in all of their lives and asks to have his life back, woes and all. It’s a great movie; watch it if you get the chance. It’s on every Christmas.
Listen to the language you use with yourself. Do you often notice the words should and need? These are expectations you’re putting on yourself, and when you don’t follow through, you feel bad. Many people have too many “should’s“ and “need to’s.“ They’re never meeting expectations. How do you think this impacts them? They constantly feel like a failure.
Lots of negative self-talk is about disappointing others. We think that we should be this way or that way. We should be doing this or that. When we don’t live up to those expectations, we get down on ourselves. We’re trying to live up to other people’s expectations of us, not our own. Are you living your life according to your expectations or someone else’s? Start living by your expectations.
Everyone seems to be worried more about what other people think of them than about what they think of themselves. That often defines their behaviors, thoughts, and actions. Out of fear of judgment, they don’t truly express who they are at the core. Learning to love yourself and embracing all that you are is foundational in leading a happier life.
I have heard said, “What others think about you is none of your business.“ It’s their perception of you and not who you truly are.When you learn to honor yourself first and be respectful of others at the same time, the fear of judgment will disappear. Remember, if you don’t want to be judged, then don’t judge others. Everyone is doing the best they can from where they are in life.
When I was eight years old, my grade three teacher held a math quiz. All the students had to stand at the front of the class while she asked us math questions. If you got the answer wrong, you sat down. One by one, students took their seats until I was the only one left standing. She kept asking me question after question. I was up there for a long time. You’d think that was an awesome experience, but that’s not what I held inside me. After the quiz, all the other students made fun of me and called me keener, goody-goody, and names of that nature. The experience left me scarred and terrified of standing in front of a crowd. Now I overcome the fear and do it anyway. Have you ever had a similar experience?
Through our experiences we take on limiting thoughts and beliefs about ourselves.
To discover the negative language you use with yourself, your labels, and the limitations you put on yourself, start paying attention.
- For seven days notice the language you’re using with yourself. Pay close attention.
- Writing down your negative and limiting language will help you identify patterns. Don’t judge yourself harshly; it’s simply where you are right now. You’re changing that!
- Ask yourself the following questions.
- Are many of my words negative?
- Am I labelling myself?
- Am I putting any limitations on myself?
- Do I have negative beliefs about myself?
- Challenge any limiting thought or belief you have about yourself by asking the following questions.
- Is it true? Is it absolutely true?
- What does holding onto this serve me?
- Who would I be without this?
- What would my life be like without this?
- Compile a list of all the negative words you’re using.
- Cross out the negative words, and replace them with empowering ones of your choice. For example, instead of saying “should,“ replace it with “choose.“
HayHouse Radio Interview with Chad Tuthill
Listen to an interview with Suzanne on an episode of Bright New Voices: The Balboa Press Hour on Hay House Radio as she discusses the book “Things I Wish My Mother Taught Me” – (March 28, 2014)
CJOB 680 AM Radio interview with host Dahlia Kurtz
Listen to an interview with Suzanne on Winnipeg’s CJOB 680 AM Radio as she discusses the book “Things I Wish My Mother Taught Me” – (March 5, 2014)
Interview with Noomii
Listen to Noomii’s interview with Suzanne Rivard as she discusses coaching – (February 6, 2014)
ICI Radio-Canada entrevue avec Martine Bordeleau
Écouté une entrevue avec Suzanne sur ICI Radio-Canada Winnipeg où elle discute son livre “Things I Wish My Mother Taught Me” – (le 28 février, 2014)
CTV Live Morning, Winnipeg, March 4, 2014
Watch to an interview with Suzanne on Winnipeg’s CTV Morning Live as she discusses the book “Things I Wish My Mother Taught Me”
– (March 4, 2014)
Book Launch at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, March 2, 2014
Watch Suzanne’s book launch for “Things I Wish My Mother Taught Me” held at McNally Robinson’s Booksellers in Winnipeg
– (March 2, 2014)
Order Things I Wish My Mother Taught Me through your local bookseller or preferred on-line retailer.
Paperback ISBN: 978-4525-8318-1 — eBook ISBN: 978-1-4525-8327-3