Each and every one of us has the freedom to say things to ourselves, things that no one else can hear.
The question is: How well do we use this freedom?
For most of us, the answer is: "Not very well."
When was the last time you thought to yourself, “I can’t do
this”, “I’m so stupid for doing/thinking that”, “This crummy outcome is what I deserve”, or “I’m not good enough for _____”? If these things sound familiar, you are not alone. All of us can be hard on ourselves and say things that we would never say to a friend or family.
While this inner self-talk may seem harmless, it can come with some pretty detrimental effects; poor self-esteem, cracked motivation, low self-compassion, anxiety, and depression are not uncommon outcomes. Truth be told, we are often quick to scold ourselves for our failures and slow to appreciate ourselves for our successes. So let me ask the question again: How well do we use our freedom of self-talk? Or rather, how well could we?
With a little bit of practice, the potential to become a positive self-talk guru is within all of us. This doesn’t mean we have to move across the world, and meditate for months on deep existential questions, our value, and our purpose on this earth (although feel free if you like!). For the rest of us, becoming a positive self-talk guru doesn’t really mean that much has to change… just our perspective. Positive self-talk inspires us, empowers us to pursue what we really want, and helps us to build a stronger connection with not only ourselves, but with others.
Want some tips on how to start? Here they are:
1.) Start with gaining self-awareness. Notice what you are thinking right now and how you are feeling. Take out some time every day or every week, to introspect what is going on in your mind. Ask yourself the following questions:
● What are the three most important thoughts I have right now?
● Are these thoughts making me feel good? Why?
● Are they making me feel bad about myself? Why?
● Are these thoughts contributing to my immediate goals, as well
as my long-term future/goals?