Interview With Kristen Brown: Sharing Her Thoughts on How Positive Self-Talk + Improving Your Self-Worth Will Make You a Man Magnet and Much More
1. Experts say that the best relationship one can have is the relationship with one-self? Can you talk about how one can have a better relationship with one-self?
A better relationship with self begins with understanding your value not only as a human being, but as a solely unique and wonderful individual person. It truly begins with not only understanding your worth, but living it on a daily basis. It is about making yourself a priority in your life by genuine love and nurturing of self.
This is a big topic to cover and there are many, many ways to relationship better with self, however I will keep it to 3 points to get started.
1. Be gentle with your self-talk.
If you are verbally or mentally beating yourself up all the time, it won’t be foreign or odd to you when someone does the same thing. Additionally, positive and gentle self-talk builds self-esteem on the core level faster than any other method I know of.
2. Take time out for YOU every, single day.
Understand that you need your own attention. It could be in the form of meditation, exercise, phone conversations, studying a subject of passion, doing your nails etc. It’s not about “what” you are doing, it’s about setting aside the time for you! In this, you are showing your psyche on a deep level that you are valuable and when we value ourselves deeply, we make better decisions regarding our relationship choices.
3. Respect yourself.
The level of respect we give ourselves will be in direct proportion to the level of respect we get from others. Know your limits, your boundaries, your needs and wants. Take some time to get very clear in this area. If you are clear and solid in what’s acceptable for you and your life, you will better be able to stand behind your lines. If you are wishy-washy in what’s acceptable your lines will waver.
2. While we all have been guilty of verbally or mentally beating ourselves from time to time, how can we go about practicing positive self talk especially when you are someone with a habit of repeatedly putting yourself down at the slightest instance? Can you share any tips or activities that can help our readers?
The key to changing our negative self-talk is first to recognize it.
So much of what we say to ourselves on a daily basis is subconscious and the only way to change a bad habit/behavior is to become aware of it by bringing it into conscious view.
Quite a few years back, I discovered that the way I was talking to and about myself was negative and defeating. It certainly didn’t match up to the words I spoke to others. Soon thereafter, I made a conscious choice to catch and change every… single… negative sentence I spoke to or about myself. At first it seemed as though the negative statements were never ending and the task seemed arduous! However, I took it moment by moment, thought by thought and I shifted each negative statement into a positive affirmation.
Negative statement: I have been married twice, no man will want me.
Positive affirmation: I am a wonderful woman and some man will be lucky to find me.
It was literally within two weeks that I noticed my self-esteem shifting. I took a moment to bask in the warmth of my new awareness, congratulate myself on the outcome and I kept forth. After two months, I noticed I hardly spoke badly of myself at all! I had broken the habit AND loved myself into a whole new perception of self!
This practice DOES work! All it takes is diligence on your part to make it happen.
3. Can you talk about how we can go about differentiating between things we need to improve on vs positive self talk? For example some of our women subscribers have the problem of repeatedly attracting the same type of wrong men in their relationships. While it does help to avoid blaming themselves, it may also be time to take responsibility for what’s happening and fix the problem.
How can someone embrace the positive self talk when they may be the problem or part of the problem?
In many cases the reason why we keep attracting the same “type” of man into our life is because there is a something we have not yet learned.
More often than not, what we have yet to learn is our own value, sense of self (who am I?) and boundaries (what is unacceptable for me). Every forward movement towards self empowerment begins with clarity. We must get clear on who we are, what we want and what is unacceptable behavior/conditions for our lives.
I encourage my readers/clients to take some daily, quality time with self and go within. This is about really digging deep into one’s own needs and wants and becoming crystal clear about the importance of those things in their lives. One really great way to go within is to journal.
When we write things down we not only become more clear, we begin to solidify their importance.
We have now claimed this truth in our life and are willing to own its importance on paper. If we are not clear as to what we desire we will bounce around from person to person bending and contorting to fit into his needs/wants rather than our own. This is true for men as well. It is a “human” thing not a gender thing. Additionally, we will oftentimes blame our partner when in fact it is us that needs to change.
The positive self-talk we spoke of earlier helps to build the foundation to stand on while we are asserting our values into our relationship equation.
When we truly know and love ourselves, we are more likely to stand tall in our truths. If we are suffering from low self-worth, we will be weak in our truths and allow them to fly by without a glance.
The key to this is to simply start somewhere!
There doesn’t have to be a grand, divine plan to start implementing one’s worth. If there is a boundary you already know of, start with that! Communicate clearly as to why his behavior doesn’t jive with you and put your boundary down. If this person truly values you, he will bend and flex to shift things to make you more comfortable. If he really doesn’t care, he will do nothing.
If you discover the latter is true, you have now saved yourself months and perhaps years of disharmony and unequality in a relationship.
If your partner is not going to respect and honor you and your boundaries, then get out of the relationship. It is weak and will go nowhere in the end. Remember, when you honor yourself first and foremost, that is when you will attract in not only a person a great character but a keeper.
4. You touch upon a very important point here- building boundaries. Can you explain to our readers what you mean by building boundaries, why they are important and how one can go about discussing these boundaries with their partner?
Let’s start with defining what boundaries are and are not.
1. Boundaries are a way of setting limits for those in our lives that clearly shows them what is unacceptable for us.
2. Boundaries are about self-worth not about what we can gain.
3. Boundaries are not about control or manipulation.
4. Boundaries are set with clear communication. If we do not express our limits, the other person has no way of knowing.
5. Boundaries are essential to a healthy relationship.
6. Boundaries are a great way to know if you have hooked up with someone who will value you.
In my opinion, having a lack of boundaries is the collateral damage of a low self worth.
If one does not feel empowered, she will not stand up for herself. If one does not assert her boundaries, she may resort to other negative relationship behavior such as: passive-aggression, withdrawal, isolation, moodiness or depression. All which are drama-creating and toxic to a relationship as well.
Setting firm boundaries is not only for you, it is for your partner as well.
How can one truly know how to treat us if we are silent? In that, we are leaving the door wide open for our partner to do anything he/she pleases and we are left self-defeated and empty. Additionally, if our partner truly loves us, he/she will want to know how best to love us.
Let me share an example:
Let’s say as your dating life progresses with your person and you soon discover that your person likes to drink alcohol every night. Although you might be a social drinker, you have a limit on how much you want to partake in drinking during the week.
This would be an opportunity to set your boundary and it could go something like this: I’d love to spend Wednesday evening with you, however, I’d like to do something that doesn’t involve drinking. — If your partner agrees, then you go out and have a good time. If he/she does not agree, then you don’t go. If you go out and somehow he/she partakes in drinking, then that is your opportunity to set another boundary and go home.
Boundaries are vitally important in creating the relationship you want while maintaining the core of who you are. And at the end of the day, if your core is not nurtured and healthy, you will not be satisfied in your relationship(s).
5. Another common question we get asked from our readers is how they can communicate their feelings, wants and desires with their partner especially when they are dating in a manner that doesn’t intimidate or overwhelm the man.
One reader wrote to us, ‘I read everywhere that men want women to tell them what they want or how they feel without expecting them to read our minds, but every time I have tried that I seem to drive men away which makes me hesitant to speak my mind.’ What would your advise be for women struggling to communicate what they have in mind with their partners?
First off, assuming the woman isn’t overwhelming the man into perfection and not giving him any space to be who he is, the right man for you will not feel intimidated by your requests.
He will do everything in his power to treat you the way you desire to be treated. It’s vitally important to remember that all men ARE NOT the same. Each man is as unique as each women is. He has his backstory, his fears, his desires, his love, his communication etc that everyone on this planet does.
What may be acceptable to one man may not be acceptable to another. It is our job to state our ideas, desires, likes, dislikes etc with neutrality and kindness and then let it fall where it may. What he does with the information is his deal, not yours. This is called, “getting to know one another.”
In the beginning of a relationship, it is important to remember that the man is coming from his own back story.
He has had experiences not only from dating, but from his childhood that are leading him in some way. When we speak our truth from love (meaning our Higher Self), not from command or demand, we are giving him the opportunity to not only know us better, but to determine if he can live in that space with us cohesively.
One story I ran across lately was this: Lets say you desire to marry and be a stay-at-home mother and you state this to your partner. He grew up in a home where all the pressures of the household finances were on one parent and he determined that he would not like to be in a situation where he had to carry the burden of being the sole provider. This could be processed by the man as “overwhelming” and he may cut you loose unless you can both come to an agreement that is comfortable for both parties.
The important thing to remember is that if we state our needs/wants and our partner doesn’t feel he can live up to that, this doesn’t make you or him wrong.
It is only a difference of opinion and if you both cannot get on the same page, then it might be time to cut your losses and move on so that you both can find a person better suited for you.
My advice is to take the time to become friends with your partner first!
Get to know each other on a deep level prior to jumping into a full-fledged relationship and then later discovering they are not the person you had dreamed they’d be. The best way to do this is to keep sex out of the picture in the beginning and talk, talk, talk, just the same as you would a new friend. As time goes on, you will uncover more about him (and him about you) and if it feels right for both parties, the relationship will just naturally progress!
6. I love how you point out how in some situations both parties may neither be right or wrong but just a difference of perspectives that causes conflict. In relationships, there is always some degree of compromise that has to happen for a relationship to be successful, but at what point do you decide that it is a deal breaker?
So in the example you provided, when the woman openly states her intention and the man expresses that wouldn’t work for him, it isn’t uncommon for women to say, ‘Let me think about it’ and then later change their decision even though they may not fully like it.
It’s not uncommon for women to agree on doing something or changing something even if they don’t like it because they fear losing their partner. Sometimes the fear is so deep rooted that for some women a bad relationship is better than being single because of the fear of being single and miserable all their lives. Some women feel the pressure to get married for a wide variety of reasons- because their friends are getting married, because their parents constantly remind them about it, because they are approaching their late 20s, because they want to have kids etc.
How can women overcome this fear that seems to be the root cause for so many women either staying in bad relationships or preventing them from being in great fulfilling relationships?
You nailed it by saying women “fear losing their partner”. This is the core issue. The fear of losing their partner is based on a lack of self-love.
When we truly love ourselves, we don’t fear losing our partner to superficial issues, because we are not in a relationship to “complete” us. We are in a relationship as a bonus to our life. This is why the the first thing we need to do prior to embarking on the relationship journey is to raise our self-confidence.
All of our strength and confidence comes from our core beliefs and love of self.
The key ingredient for not only attracting the “right” partner for ourselves but additionally, for moving through life with empowerment, is to develop and strengthen our core, our inner psyche. It is to work on releasing our limiting beliefs and loving ourselves as deeply as possible.
When we have this inner love in place, we begin to navigate the dating arena with a new perspective.
Our decisions become easier because we already know what we deserve and it becomes much easier to spot someone who is not good for us. It’s no longer about keeping the guy, it becomes about, “How does this man accentuate my life?” In my opinion, there is no other or better way to attract and keep the man of our dreams other than loving and nurturing self first.
Through love, miracles arise. Love yourself fully and watch the miracles come into your life.
7. How important is it for relationships to have a balance in terms of receiving and giving love? The reason I ask is our women subscribers have told us that whenever they start showing love or doing acts of love, they seem to drive men away. They say, ‘I cannot understand why showing too much love can be a problem- I love him, so I want to text him, call him, be with him, cook for him and show him how much he means to.’
As you mentioned not all men are the same, so it cannot be generalized, but can showing too much love be a sign of lack of self-esteem?
The question herein lies, what is “showing love”?
Is it Real Love that is being shown and demonstrated or is it “getting” behavior which are acts and ways of trying to attract and keep a man? I hear this often and usually in the breaking down of it through coaching, it is discovered that it isn’t Real Love we are dealing with, but a need for attention and confirmation that he is still interested.
The problem with this imitation love (that we have convinced ourselves is real) is that to the recipient, it will feel (energetically) pushy.
Being we are all energy beings, we will feel the “grab” and eventually push away from it. It will feel smothering and uncomfortable.
With this question I would invite the readers to go within and be bold-faced honest with themselves about what the motive is behind their behavior. Is it authentic or is it cleverly designed getting behavior?
More often than not, one will discover that it is the latter. So with that being said, let’s refresh what Real Love looks like in the dating world. Real Love is being able to give personal freedom to another, it is forgiveness , it is compassion for another’s experience, it is active listening and it is about honoring another while we equally honor self.
A great question to ask oneself when we find ourself drawn into doing and doing for the man is this: Is it truly that I love him so much or is it because I need his attention to fill a void in me at this moment? Undeniably a tough question to answer, however, a question that when answered honestly has the capacity to shift your world in wonderful ways.
8. Some women enter into a new relationship with past relationship hurts, disappointments and baggage. Because they have been hurt or betrayed, they almost build an invisible shield around themselves and approach every relationship with self-doubt and suspicion. They find it difficult to trust themselves and fear becoming more involved in the relationship because they are afraid they will again be rejected or betrayed.
What can women do to overcome this mental block?
This is a great question and something that I have gone through myself.
There is no short answer to this question so I will do my best to sum it up. My first thought is for the person who was betrayed or hurt to really take some ample time to regain themselves and heal as best they can without embarking upon another relationship. Many people want to fill the void quickly which only serves as a distraction from the pain.
After my profound betrayal (and it’s a doozy!), I took two years off from dating and I called that time, “Kristen’s College”. I dedicated that time to my healing and regaining my footing in the world. I read and studied many books, I attended lectures, I exercised, ate well, meditated and talked A LOT to trusted confidants.
In that time, I not only healed, I discovered my full self-worth.
The amount of time off doesn’t have to be two years. It truly depends on each individual and how deep the pain, however, cutting the time short based on a need to “fill the void” will not serve you in any way. Trust that you will know when you are ready.
Since we are the only people in our lives that we have control over, it is paramount that we are functioning from the most emotionally healthy place we can. When we do this personal work a miraculous thing happens!
We become more secure in who we are, we trust ourselves and our intuition better and with those two things in place, we become more aware of who others are as well. We are able to see through exteriors and into interiors of others and by the grace of our newfound strength and awareness, we make much better decisions for ourselves.
The red flags of potential dating partners become obvious and we are no longer “needy” so we are more willing to walk away when it’s obvious that this partner is not our match. When we are sound, a toxic partner is much easier to spot.
With all of that being said, it is still going to take some courage to embark upon a new relationship after a profound betrayal. Believe me, I know this well. This is where trust (of self) is going to come in.
If you have truly done the work to heal and evolve, you must remember you are no longer that woman of yesteryear who attracted in someone of lesser character. You are now stronger and wiser! You must trust that your new, higher evolved energy is going to attract like energy.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have a fear moment because you will, it is about choosing a partner of high integrity, love and values. A person who will have compassion for your past experience, provide a safe place for you to continue to heal and will love you through any moments of fear.
There are many wonderful men out in the world, just as there are many wonderful women!
Be willing to make your healing a priority after a profound betrayal and then trust your new knowledge, wisdom and insight. Take it one day at a time and use your words! Communication and vulnerability served up to the right man will be the catalyst to moving you both to a deeply, intimate relationship based on the foundation of trust and love.
9. While every relationship has its own share of compromises and adjustments, how can women retain their sense of identity as they enter into long term committed relationships?
By having a clear and solid sense of self (identity) prior to entering a relationship.
I once asked a married couple of 40 years what they would attribute to the success of their relationship to?
They both answered: We have our own lives, hobbies and passions AND we have our life together. We do not look to each other for fulfillment, we compliment each others identity.
In this, I wholeheartedly agree.
Although the thesis statement of relationships is Compromise and Adjustment, there is a degree of Self that needs to be nurtured and loved. This can ony be done by our own self care. It is up to us to maintain our identity. No one can do this for us. It’s about entering into a relationship knowing who you are, what your passions are and what fulfills you (other than your partner).
The key is similar to the question above, we must love ourselves and know our worth first.
If we subconsciously don’t believe we are worthy, we tend to cater to the whims and desires of others only and leave our dreams, goals and desires in the dust.
Peace and happiness reign when we maintain a balance in all areas of our life.
Holding this affirmation for ourselves in a relationship not only provides us fulfillment which in turn takes pressure off our partners, but it fills our souls up! We are creative and gifted beings and when we honor that piece in ourselves, we are become Whole and consequently provide an even sounder foundation for our half of the relationship.
10. Do you have any books or resources that you would recommend to our readers that would be helpful for them?
The book I would recommend is the book I am currently writing titled, “The Recovering Doormat- A Spiritual Guide to Reclaiming Your Personal Power“. I am aiming to have it completed and published this year!
I would also recommend Real Love by Greg Baer.
About Kristen Brown
Kristen Brown is an empowerment and spiritual life coach, author and speaker who is highly passionate about facilitating healing in the areas of: betrayal recovery, self-worth discovery, personal empowerment and reclaiming one’s life.
Her motto is: Change yourself and you change your world! To learn more about Kristen or to join her community on Facebook, please reference the sites below.