If you are still struggling with living with vitiligo, you know your inner critic too well. It is the voice in your head that judges you and belittles you every time someone stares at your patches and ask you ignorant questions. But if you let this voice continue to tell you that you are not good enough, you will never be able to see beyond vitiligo.
Believe it or not, everything you say to yourself matters. It limits you and stops you from pursuing the life you want for yourself. It robs you of emotional well-being – something essential to pause the progression of vitiligo. If left unchecked long enough, negative self-talk in vitiligo can even lead to clinical depression and/or social anxiety.
There is always a more compassionate, better way to treat yourself. All you need to do is following below mentioned steps to control self-talk in vitiligo.
1. Notice the critic.
To gain control over your inner critic, first, be aware of it. During every conscious moment, you are having an inner dialogue with yourself. Much of our thinking is so automatic that we barely notice it. Making the conscious effort to slow down and paying more attention to our thoughts.
All you need to do is tapping into your emotions, which will cue you to the presence of the critic. You can try keeping an inner critic log (in a small notebook or on your phone). Every time you notice yourself being doubtful, guiltily, shameful, and worthless, just note two or three words about the situation (such as I can’t live my dreams, because I have vitiligo).
2. Separate the critic from you.
Your inner critic thrives best when you are stared at. Ever thought who this critic is? It is a voice that you have internalized based on people’s criticism of your dappled skin and the beauty standards they hold.
One way to separate this critic from you is by giving it a name. By separating it from your own identity, you will (at least partially) be able to distant yourself from its influence.
This is one step you will take some time to get used to. The moment you listen to the inner critic’s voice, tell it to go away. Tell it that you refuse to listen to it. Tell it that it is a liar and you are choosing to be kind to yourself.
4. Replace the critic.
To have an even stronger ally on your side, you need an inner voice that would act as your own best friend. To accomplish it, start noticing the good things about yourself. All of us have positive traits – it may take some effort to retrain ourselves to see them.
When you hear your critic saying “I look ugly”, talkback that isn’t true. Then replace the statement with something you know is true, such as, “beauty is what lies within me.”