Author: Ayesha Giselle Dornelly
It’s hard enough being a black person in today’s society. We constantly have to deal with the negative stereotypes and microaggressions that come with it. But what many people don’t realize is that this constant exposure to racial hate can actually lead to negative self-talk. This is where we start to internalize all of the negativity and begin to believe that these labels are true. This can be extremely damaging to our mental health, and it’s important to address it head-on. In this article, we will explore the negative self-talk that develops from racial hate, and how we can work to overcome it.
It’s important to understand that we are not our labels. Just because someone calls us a certain name or says that we are “aggressive” or “scary,” doesn’t make it true. When we start to believe the negative things people say about us, it’s like giving them power over us. We have to learn to let go of those harmful labels, rewire our internal dialogue, and see ourselves for who we really are.
It’s not always easy to spot the negative self-talk that has developed from racial hate, but one way you can start combating these thoughts is by first noticing them and questioning where they come from. Is it your own beliefs or what other people tell you about yourself? Then decide whether this belief should be held for yourself in light of recent events/feelings etc., or whether it is a result of outside sources such as the media. After you’ve identified the negative self-talk, work on reframing your thoughts. For example, instead of thinking “I’m not good enough,” try telling yourself “I am doing my best.” It may seem like a small change, but it can make a big difference.
A great exercise I’ve found helpful when dealing with racism (and other emotionally charged topics)is called “The Work.” The idea behind ‘the work’ entails taking time out every day just so you don’t forget that you are important and that your life matters. You can do this by writing down 5 reasons why you are important, or 5 ways in which you make a difference in the world. This helps to remind you of your own worth, and that you are so much more than what people say about you.
Doing ‘the work’ can be difficult, but it’s so important to remember that we are not our labels. We are enough, capable, and deserving of respect. No matter what anyone says, we know the truth about who we are. And that is what matters most.
Another technique is by practicing positive affirmations. Every day, take some time to look in the mirror and say positive things about yourself. It might feel awkward at first, but it’s important to remind yourself of the good qualities that you possess.
Additionally, we also internalize racial hate through the media. Whether that is social networking or news programs on TV and radio- our brains can be like sponges when they absorb what we see/hear over time without realizing how it may be affecting us! Therefore, protect your mind by limiting your exposure to avoid being constantly influenced negatively by these outside sources.
You can do this by being more mindful of the content you consume and making a conscious effort to seek out positive and uplifting stories about people of colour. There are so many amazing things happening in our communities, and we need to make sure that we are highlighting these stories just as much as the negative ones.
It’s time for us to reclaim our power and take control of our narrative. We are not our labels, and we will not let the hate define us. We are so much more than that. Let’s work together to spread love and acceptance so that we can create a world where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. Thank you for reading and please share
What tips do you have for overcoming negative self-talk which may have developed from racial hate?
Written by Ayesha Giselle Dornelly, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist, Anxiety UK Approved Therapist and Expert Life Coach.
Ayesha Giselle is a highly sought-after Solution Focused Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist and Expert Life Coach. She is passionate about helping people to become the best version of themselves. Ayesha trains her clients to be mentally fit, develop their self-confidence, expect success, handle setbacks quickly and easily, supporting them on the road to positive change.