When was the last time YOU took inventory of your thoughts?
Specifically – The thoughts you have about YOURSELF…
Our Internal Dialogue
Self-talk is the voice inside our heads that commentates our life.
This internal commentator shares its thoughts on our actions, on our decisions, on our personality and even, our looks… It always seems to have an opinion…
And I’m going to be honest with you here… It’s not always the kindest opinion – It’s often a judgemental opinion.
Our self-talk develops and changes based on our past experiences, and the people we spent the most time with. It develops based on how the people around us, especially those closest to us, spoke about themselves.
Over time, this self-talk becomes deeply ingrained in us.
We don’t always think about its implications, because of it being deeply ingrained into our system. We tend to dismiss the impact our self-talk has on our lives.
In reality: The things that we say to ourselves matter.
It matters because these things manifest our reality… They way we talk to ourselves shows up in our mental and physical wellbeing…
Negative Self-Talk: An Unhealthy Pattern
Negative self-talk pops into our heads in the form of self-criticism, doubt, and negativity.
All too commonly, we tell ourselves:
- “I’m not good enough.”
- “I always mess things up.”
- “I’ll never be able to do it.”
We set ourselves up for failure with such unkindness about ourselves.
By continually engaging in negative self-talk, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy that reinforces our negative beliefs and behaviours.
We reinforce the cycle of negative self-talk.
Escaping the Cycle
What about positive self-talk, then?
It is an optimistic and encouraging internal dialogue that promotes self-confidence and self-esteem.
Positive self-talk sounds like this:
- “I can do this.”
- “I am capable.”
- “I am worthy of love and respect.”
This kind of self-talk helps us overcome obstacles, achieve goals, and maintain a positive outlook on life. Most importantly, it helps us to love and accept ourselves for who we are.
We can harness the power of positive-self talk to reverse the cycle.
Change is Hard… But NOT Impossible.
Trust me, I get it… Growing up in this day and age, in this world, poses a real challenge to unleash our confidence. To be vulnerable. An to accept ourselves for who we are.
It’s much easier to revert back to our deeply ingrained patterns of negative self-talk.
Our subconscious holds onto this pattern tightly – It doesn’t want to let the negative self-talk go. It’s all it knows after all…
This negative pattern becomes our default mode.
Here’s the thing: We CAN reverse this pattern. We CAN rewire our brains with a NEW default mode.
To rewire our brain and get ourselves out of this negative self-talk pattern, we need to do some serious brain training.
It’s time we become intentional about our positive self-talk!
We can interrupt self-defeating thoughts by redirecting to positive ones.
Look, I’m not saying we’ve got to be perfect all. the. time.
We are human after all. Flaw is a part of our design.
If we can begin to be conscious of these thoughts and redirect ourselves to choosing new thoughts, this is the start of a beautiful new life…
It’s as simple as catching yourself the next time you tell yourself: “Ugh, I’m so stupid…”, taking a pause (maybe a deep breath) and then re-telling yourself:
“Okay, I’m not stupid, it was only just a mistake. I’m actually a smart human who makes great choices. We’re all entitled to mistakes.”
And the more we can get into the habit of catching ourselves, and redirecting ourselves, our brain will begin to change… And a new default mode takes over the subconscious mind!
I Used To Tell My Students
“Would you say those things to your best friend?”
The answer is almost always no.
It’s easy to show compassion to our friends, why is it so hard to show compassion to ourselves?
I’m going to let you in on one last secret: You will be the best and longest friend YOU will ever have.
You will always be there for you.
So, nurture the friendship you have with yourself well. It’s the most important friendship you’ll ever have.
2 thoughts on “Self-Talk: Why What We Say to Ourselves Matters”
I think that adding a simple pause is helpful, and it’s less daunting than adding an entire mindfulness practice. You can pause and breathe and take stock of where you are in that moment. Then you can give yourself a compliment, say something that you’re grateful for or simply look at something in your space and notice all the details. That practice once a day impacts how we talk to ourselves.
Oh, absolutely! Taking a simple breath, complimenting yourself, and gratitude are a mindfulness practices too. Pausing is crucial and so underrated. Like you said, it can be so impactful! Thank you for your comment!
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