The Power of Self Talk

How do you talk to yourself? Are you kind, are you cruel, do you not even notice? Are you a cheerleader, a parent, an enemy, a boss, or an internet troll?

Everyone has a voice in their head (and often also out-loud!!) which is how they speak to themselves. In this post I wanted to look a bit at Self Talk – what it is and how I think it can totally transform your life. The best thing about it it….. it’s free, easy, personalised, and fast!

Side note: This is a topic I’m going to be delving into more with videos, blog posts, and maybe even bigger projects. So if you want to support and be involved then sign up to my Self Talk mailing list –Β https://goo.gl/forms/uNYaPpTpzeRjaalh1

 

So first of all… what is self talk?

Self talk is simply as it sounds – how you talk to yourself. Imagine a few scenarios:

  1. You drop a plate and it breaks. Do you say “eugh you idiot”, “whyyyyy, this is so terrible”, “woops, never mind, I’ll grab a broom”.
  2. You look in the mirror. Do you think “wow you really need some makeup on ASAP”, “haha, how long has my hair been sticking up like that?”, “ooo my skin looks great today”.
  3. Someone catches your eye across the street. It makes you wonder “oh cringe now they think I’m a creep”, “I knew this outfit was too crazy, they think I look ridiculous”, “hi there – cool glasses!”

Now I know these might seem ridiculous because in the cold light of day it’s obvious which one of those will build you up, but try to catch yourself next time you’re in a situation like this and see what your internal voice is saying. I’m going to bet that it’s something negative or insecure – even if you are generally quite a confident person. If you are someone suffering with anxiety or low self esteem then these might be even more powerful for you.

So great news – these moments are free of charge to change, they are easy to change (to the extent that you are in control and it’s “just” what is in your head rather than needing to change the whole world around you), and they are fast to change (but will most likely take a while to form into new habits). On top of all those practical things they are also LIFE CHANGING.

I was first introduced to the concept of Self Talk by my Dad. He once told me he felt a huge weight of parenting because children are so absorbent of any words or identity you give them. If you introduce your child to someone and they don’t respond you might try to be polite and say “oh she’s just shy”. The child hears that and starts reciting to themselves in their head – “Yes, I’m shy. I am a shy person. Being shy makes me feel safe. This is who I am. I cannot change it. I am scared of speaking to groups. I don’t like meeting new people. I am shy.” From one passing comment you have shaped them forever and you probably didn’t even realise. When he told me this worry it really struck me, and I have been forever grateful for all the kind words my parents spoke about me even when they didn’t know I was listening. The words you say to yourself are so powerful, and often stem from what other people have told you about yourself.

 

 

Practical Changes

The first step is to try and notice what you are saying about yourself – and question it. Reframe it, and change it.

A popular way to change it is with mantras. Reciting out loud something that you want to feel as true:

“I love giving presentations” “I love going on rollercoasters” “I am beautiful” “People always like me”

This can feel a bit cheesy and guru-ish (some people also say it into a mirror) but it’s crazy how effective it is. If you say something with total conviction (#fakeittilyoumakeit) then your mind simply absorbs it as true. You can’t mutter “well I guess doing presentations is OK but only if I really have to”, you must say out loud with total certainty “I LOVE giving presentations. It makes me feel powerful and I love seeing people learn”.

To be honest I haven’t mastered daily mantras yet – but I do think they are very powerful if you are looking for drastic changes and are struggling to notice your negative internal self talk in every day moments. For me just trying to speak positively to myself throughout the day works great. If I’m doing a terrible job of map reading I try to just pause and tell myself it’s ok, I don’t “suck at everything”, I just need a minute to recalibrate, and worst case scenario I’m late – it’s not the end of the world. Beating yourself up doesn’t fix the problem, makes you unhappy, doesn’t make anyone else better off, and builds a long term script in your mind that will repeat the negativity next time around. Basically – don’t let it take hold!

 

 

Fear vs Abundance

I feel like a time at which Self Talk really rears up is when you are considering new opportunities or dreams. Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel and work online. If someone suggested you become a digital nomad and move to Thailand (like I tell people all the time!) what would be the immediate thoughts that pop into your head? “I can’t do that, I have no skills, I wouldn’t know anyone there, what if I get sick, no one would hire me freelance, what would my parents think, etc etc”. All those thoughts will immediately shut down your dream, or at best delay it. They totally get in the way of thinking about the practicalities of HOW you could potentially make it work or what steps you would need to take. If you can train your mind to be kind to yourself on the little things like dropping a plate or navigating wrong on a map, then when it comes to the big changes your uplifting script is already on autoplay. You’ll think “yeah that’s interesting… I wonder who I can ask about it, which city would I choose, maybe I could see if my boss will let me work remotely because I’ve been doing such a great job, it can’t hurt to look into it, I can do anything I want”. Believing the world is available to you and you are perfectly capable of making goals come true means all you have to do is choose which goals you want and then go get ’em!

 

Some extra reading:

This is a topic I could go on about for pages and pages so I’m going to hit pause here for now. But if you’d like to keep learning here are a few options:

Sign up to my Self Talk mailing list for future exciting launches and advice –Β https://goo.gl/forms/uNYaPpTpzeRjaalh1

Check out the Parent Yourself Podcast – it’s only just launched but I really love the message behind it. It’s simple to digest and very powerful.

Get pumped up by Tony Robbins:Β https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB6yxZ5w1j8

 

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