Do you know what that little voice inside your head telling you?
It is a powerful message. Do you sometimes say to yourself?
“I’m not smart enough.”
“You are no good.”
“I don’t know how to do that.”
“You can’t do that.”
What you say to yourself can influence your confidence. This influence may be positive or negative. But what is self-talk? Whether you realize it or not, you practice self-talk many times a day. It’s your inner voice. The voice that narrates throughout your day, whether you say it out loud or not. Often, we don’t realize how powerful that running commentary is. It’s always running in the background, and it has a significant influence on how we feel about ourselves.You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” ~ James Allen Click To Tweet
What You Say to Yourself Could Be Positive Or Negative
When you practice positive self-talk, you will feel good about yourself. It’s going to make you feel optimistic about what’s going on in your life. It’s a voice in your head guiding you to find the silver lining on every cloud. You’ll think thoughts as “I can do it,” “I am capable,” “I am worth it.”
Whereas negative self-talk tends to make, you feel negative. It makes you capable of putting a downer on even the good things in your life. You’re likely to think thoughts like you should be doing better, that everything sucks, that it won’t get better. Negative self-talk makes you miserable.
More importantly, negative self-talk can influence your mental health.
But how can you adopt positive self-talk when it’s impossible always to be positive?
“Be very careful what you say to yourself because someone very important is listening..You” ~ John Assaraf
Practicing Positive Self-Talk
The more you practice, the easier it becomes to talk positively to yourself.
It might not seem much, but how you speak to yourself heavily influences your self-confidence and self-esteem. When you replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk, you are impacting your life. You are the only person who you can control how you respond to life, and positive self-talk is going to help achieve your goals.
Types of Self-Talk
As you go about your day, ask yourself what’s on your mind. Do you think in words? Images? Or both? When you become aware of a thought, ask yourself what will come next. Be curious enough about your thought process to recognize what your thoughts are, why you judge yourself, how you judge others, and how often these images change.
There are different types of self-talk. Typically, that falls into four key categories.
Does your mind play out every possible way a future event may unfold? Just as you deceive yourself into believing something will make you happier than it will, you also deceive yourself into believing something will be harder than it will. By being curious about the way, your mind works it can help you manage self-talk like this. When you are able to label your thoughts it puts space between those thoughts and awareness. That space is where you find your freedom and choice.
The blaming of self-talk is a trap. You feel uncomfortable for some reason, and as a result, you find a way to blame yourself. Sometimes, it’s others you blame. The problem with blame self-talk is that you are removing your power (or possibly someone else’s power). When you blame others, you perceive issues as out of your control. When you blame yourself, you are giving yourself too much credit for how much power you have.
What if? A game that snowballs to the worst-case scenario in every situation. This type of self-talk fuels depression and anxiety. The longer you procrastinate or avoid doing something, the more painful (you believe) it becomes. However, once you take action, the issue is far less severe than you imagined. Even to extremely difficult things, as humans, we adapt.
Rehashing self-talk is when your thoughts keep looking back on past circumstances. This type of self-talk is often an attempt to figure something out. I have found that it can be such a big waste of time. Life is about a matter of priority and decision. Instead of rehashing old news, spend an hour or two each day building something of value. This single act will challenge you to act in new ways to create a better future.
If you want to break the cycle of negative self-talk, then you need to be aware of your self-talk, you need to question yourself as to whether it’s true (it rarely is), try to put those thoughts into perspective, and ask yourself what thought would be more helpful. It takes time to recognize negative self-talk mostly because it has gone unchecked for a long time.
Instead of waking up in the morning and telling yourself, you wish you didn’t have to get up, tell yourself it is going to be a great day. Since most of those things we call problems we perceive as issues, so the way you look at them determines whether they are or not.
Begin rephrasing your self-talk to a new way. Something more positive. Listen to everything you tell yourself. Instead of telling yourself, you are tired. Tell yourself you have plenty of energy and enthusiasm. Keep doing it every chance you get, and you will start to notice it is working.
You can improve your self-talk and think more positively about yourself by only practicing thinking positive thoughts about yourself. Identify your strengths and learn to talk yourself up.
“Relentless repetitive self-talk is what changes our self-image. ~ Denis Waitley
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 check out this simple E-course Optimize Your Self-Talk for a more comprehensive system of being kinder to yourself.