Self-Talk: What is Your Self-Talk Saying To You?
What dialogue does your inner voice indulge in? Does that little voice motivate you? Does your inner voice serve your purpose? Or, does it whisper words of negativity? Is it more an inner-critic than an inner-voice? This is only going to drag you down. The goal is to aim to use your self-talk to change your life.
We will all experience negative self-talk at points throughout our lives. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but no matter what it looks like it brings us stress and anxiety. If you’re not careful, that stress will spread to the people around you.What you tell yourself every day will either lift you up or tear you down. Click To Tweet
Here’s what you really to know
Your negative self-talk can trick you into believing it’s grounded. “I’m not very good at this, so it’s safer for me to avoid it.”
Your negative self-talk can be cruel. “I never get anything right.”
Your negative self-talk can feel realistic. “I didn’t get the job, so I guess I’m not good at interviews.”
Your negative self-talk can be total fantasy. “I’m probably going to fail so I will never progress.”
These thoughts often sound familiar – like a critical friend, boss, teacher, or parent. It’s easy to start believing them when they mimic words and ideas that have been said to you before.
Negative self-talk tends to catastrophize and blame. It’s an inner dialogue that limits your progress. It derides your abilities and prevents you from achieving your potential. Negative self-talk is a thought that lessens your ability to effect positive changes in life. It is not only stressful; it’s stunting your success.
Negative self-talk can be damaging. When you focus on the negative it kills your motivation. It makes you feel helpless and it’s likely going to contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression. The consequences of negative self-talk include perfectionism, depression, relationship challenges, and limited thinking.
If you want your self-talk to shape you in positive ways, then you have to learn how to lessen the negative aspects of your self-talk. Here’s how!
5 Ways to Use Self-Talk To Change Your Life
1) Catch The Critic
You can’t stop your inner critic from running wild unless you pay attention and catch yourself in the act. If you notice your inner critic saying things you wouldn’t say to a friend or loved one, then stop it in its tracks.
2) Understand Reality
Sometimes it’s hard to remember this, but your feelings and thoughts are not your reality. You may believe them to be astute observations, but they aren’t always accurate. Like anyone else, your thoughts are subject to bias, and mood influence.
3) Name It
Your inner-critic has a special skill – it has the innate ability to find the negative in any and every situation. If it weren’t so maddening it would be almost impressive. Give it a nickname so it’s easier to dismiss it. It could be Negative Nancy or Detrimental Dennis. Whatever it is – when it starts the negativity cycle, you can simply dismiss it as [nickname] doing it again. It makes your inner critic seem less threatening and also helps highlight how silly some of those thoughts can be.
When you find your inner critic emerging it can be difficult to stop the chatter. In this situation, try to alter the language. Instead of saying “I hate this say this is difficult.” Instead of saying “I hate to try, I don’t prefer it.” It’s about toning down the intensity of the language your inner critic is using. You can mute the power of negative self-talk by forcing it to use gentler language.
5) Be Your Friend
When it is at its worst, your inner critic sounds like your worst rival. It says things that you would never say out loud to someone else. So, use that recognition to your advantage. When you catch your inner critic at it again, imagine yourself saying that to a friend. You wouldn’t! This is a great way to correct negative self-talk.
How is your self-talk? What is that little voice inside your head telling you? It is a powerful message!
Our inner thoughts generally consist of a running commentary on what they are doing, who we are doing it with, and what we’re saying to them. Our psyche always stays in the background judging and directing, without us realizing that the “other” person exists.
In order to make our life better, we must be aware of our self-talk. For the next forty-eight hours listen to every word of self-talk that you say to yourself. Listen to the negative and the positive. Listen to the way you respond to problems and the way you react to opportunities. Does your self-talk say you are on top, confident, and going for it? Or, are you holding back?
Go ahead and name your inner critic. When it is hard to stop the inner chatter alter your language. Practice more positive input and surround yourself with more positive surroundings.
What techniques are you using to stay more positive today?
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 a worry journal, please take a look at my popular 8 days, FREE E-course, Worry Journal.