Self-Talk

Talk bubblesWhether we are conscious of it or not, we all use self-talk.  Sometimes we use it positively when facing fears or trying to increase our motivation.  But many times we are our own worst enemy and sabotage our best efforts through our self-talk.  This is an exercise that will help you to analyze your thoughts, your life and where your self-talk could be taking you.

What is your current self-talk?  You might not even be aware of it.  The thoughts or feelings (that don’t always make themselves into comprehensible words or sentences) you experience in your mind are powerful and you need to pay attention.  If you are stuck, if you are not making the kind of progress you desire, if you are not currently feeling the energy and joy you would like in your life, I suggest an exercise to pay more attention to your self-talk.  Over the next 10-30 days begin to note some of the things you say to yourself, or try to articulate some of the feelings you are experiencing.  Things like…

  • This pain is killing me.
  • The only thing that helps this pain is taking NSAIDs.
  • I’ve messed up.
  • It’s too late.
  • I can’t change.
  • This relationship can’t be fixed.
  • I’m so stuck.
  • I’m beyond redemption.
  • I catch every bug around.
  • My child is just clumsy.  (Not self-talk, but damaging ‘parent-talk’  whether it is stated or  just thought.)

Once you determine some of the tapes that are regularly playing in your brain and sometimes that slip out in conversation, write them down.

Now take each statement and ask yourself:

  1. Is this true?  Or is it a misinterpretation?  Define more exactly your situation.  Is this an actual fact?
  2. What do you become by believing this information?  How does it make you feel? How does it impact your experience of life?
  3. Realize that you are programming this thought into your brain.  What would life be like if this thought didn’t exist?
  4. Replace your old self-talk/thought with a newly framed look at your situation.

Old thought

New thought

This pain is killing me. My body is regenerating.
I’m never gonna get better. I get better everyday.
I don’t have any friends. I attract love and deep friendship.
This relationship is hopeless. This pain is part of my healing process.
This is a hopeless situation. God is at work in this situation.

This process will change your feelings.  You need to dial into a new brain channel.

Awareness of self-talk and deliberately challenging our automatic response is the first step towards changing in a very significant way.  Begin your conscious exploration of self-talk today.  Make a commitment to yourself to be more encouraging.  Look for information and ideas that help you see your life with all its potential.

What is the best new phrase you would like to repeat daily to yourself?

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