How Can You Make Your Self-Talk More Effective?
How in touch are you with your inner voice? Do you pay attention to the words it speaks to you moment by moment? Or does it simply chatter unnoticed? Whether you recognize the negativity in your self-talk or think you could use a bit of help, here are five excellent ways to make your self-talk more effective.
According to Shad Helmstetter author of “What to Say When You Talk to Your Self” during the first eighteen years of our life we are told “No” 148,000 times! That self-talk is influencing you in every area of your life, whether you realize it or not. Your self-talk may be your biggest advocate, urging you on with words of encouragement and confidence. Or it could be the thing that sabotages you at every turn, nagging you with criticism and negative comments at every turn.
It’s essential to take note of what your inner critic is saying. It can be relentless, and it’s necessary to understand that it isn’t always logical. Instead, your emotions might cause your self-talk. Understand this; those emotions affect your habits, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.
So, you must listen critically to the messages you are sending to yourself, as well as the tone you often use. If you notice that your self-talk is always discouraging, harmful, or destructive, then you have to correct that. Pause and replace that negative talk with more positive input into your subconscious.
To make your self-talk more effective it’s essential to create some distance between you and your negative self-talk. Don’t use “I” when you’re questioning your self-talk because this can lead to anxiety or shame. You can remove yourself by the situation by addressing yourself by name or even using a pronoun. Don’t say why am I so critical? Instead, ask why is Eleanor feeling stressed? It helps you create that distance and regulate your emotions. Plus, it removes some of the discomforts that come from negative self-talk. Space makes it more of a challenge; otherwise, it can feel like a threat.
Your self-talk should reflect where you want to go. If you’re trying to improve yourself, then you want self-talk that sounds instructional. If you’re trying to increase your confidence, then you want self-talk that is positive and motivational. Generally, the tone of self-talk should be positive because it makes us more positive overall.
What is your goal? Try to fit your self-talk to match what you want to achieve.
Friendship isn’t always about your group of friends. Instead, it’s about the bond that you have with yourself. It is something you should nurture. Negative self-talk where you demean yourself increases stress levels, and it is only going to hold you back. Nurture your relationship with yourself by speaking more compassionately. Your self-talk should match how you would talk to your friends. As if you extend compassion and kindness to them going through a difficult time, then you have to practice doing this for yourself.
Instead of telling yourself that you’re not good at something, say you’re prepared to tackle anything. Don’t tell yourself that you don’t know what to say or do in a situation; instead, remind yourself that people like you and you ask the right questions.
When you find yourself saying I can’t, it’s essential to correct yourself. Change the narration to I don’t (or I won’t). It will change the fundamental framing of the statements that you’re making about yourself. There is a significant difference between the two. Place yourself in control of your behaviors, versus the latter where you are communicating a constraint or limitation on yourself.
I don’t eat fast food, versus I can’t eat fast food.
I won’t buy the shoes I want until next month, versus I can’t buy the shoes I want to wait until next month.
See how different those statements can feel with just a change of a single world?
Changing your self-talk to be positive and encouraging is going to prepare you to meet the challenges of life and deal with adversity. To make your self-talk more effective the first step is awareness. Then determine if you are negative or positive when speaking to yourself. Second, distance yourself by saying your name, saying it more like a challenge than an attack. Third, make it appropriate for what you want to accomplish. Fourth, treat yourself as if you were speaking to a friend. Fifth, reframe your statements that you make about yourself.
I am Shirley Noah, an internationally known stress expert and entrepreneur. I would love to connect further with you to help you improve your health and wellbeing. If you are interested in learning more about your self-talk, please take a look at my popular E-course, Optimize Your Self Talk.