The things that you tell yourself everyday can help you supporting or undermining our pursuit of happiness.
All too often, many people accept that inner voice as Truth. But…it’s not always the case.
Understanding and evaluating your inner dialogue can make a big difference in your attitude, confidence, and success. Once you learn and begin to implement reconnection and self-reflective practices on a regular basis, you will create a buffer zone for your thinking. One that gives you the opportunity to take a step back and determine if your internal dialogue is really working in your best interests.
What is Self-Talk?
Self talk is a combination of our conscious thoughts and unconscious biases and beliefs. It’s a skill we acquire as children–sometimes our imaginary friends are a manifestation of this internal dialogue.
As we grow older, our self-talk helps with cognitive processes, working memory, and decision-making. We use inner talk to remember important appointments, prioritize the workday, and decide if a purchase is worth it.
But self-talk isn’t just about mundane, everyday things.
The quality of your life experiences are impacted by your self-talk. Career success, critical parents, a traumatic event, something a friend told you in third grade – yes, even the seemingly insignificant moments that occurred years ago– can still be very present in your thoughts and could be influencing your inner dialogue.
Self-talk can be positive and affirming. The words that you use in relation to your own abilities, skills, appearance, and self-worth will certainly influence the decisions that shape your happiness.
Other times, negative self-talk derails confidence leading to avoidance or stagnation of personal development.
Let’s take a closer look at the difference.
Negative self-talk can stunt your personal growth, encourage harmful thought/behavior patterns, and make life seem WAY harder than it actually is. This happens when your inner critic has the microphone and it’s blaring at full volume.
Most negative self-talk can be lumped into four categories:
- Catastrophizing: Believing the worst is happening in any given situation.
- Magnifying: Solely focusing on the negatives of a situation without acknowledging the potential positives.
- Personalizing: Blaming yourself for everything bad happening around you.
- Polarizing: Seeing things as only good or bad–not accepting most things in life have a gray area.
Examples of negative self-talk include:
- I messed up…now this will ruin my career/relationship/opportunities
- I never get a break…that’s why I can’t get ahead.
- If only I was smarter…then I could…
- This isn’t going to be my day.
- I’m not ready to try something new.
- The list could go on and on…
Your life is a journey and negative self-talk creates roadblocks and obstacles. Once you consciously realize these barriers are keeping you from moving forward, positive change starts to happen.
Your inner dialogue starts to shift gears towards positive self-talk.
Not everyone is held hostage by the inner critic. Some people are naturally more positive. Others had a supportive upbringing that helped them become more resilient to stressors. Whatever the reason, the effects of positive self-talk can be remarkable.
If you’re struggling with negative self-talk, all is not lost. Not at all. By changing your perspective about the meaning behind a particular situation, you can significantly change your outlook, attitudes, and motivation to move forward.
How positive-self talk can alter the negative chatter:
- I had the courage to try something new…it didn’t work. But I’ll have more ideas…
- I have the power to change the course of my life.
- I will use my positive qualities to reach my goals despite my challenges.
- One setback isn’t going to ruin my day.
- Today I can try one simple thing to start improving my health/relationship/career.
Shifting your inner monologue to one that is more positively focused provides great benefits to your mental, physical and emotional well-being.
But..,creating a positive inner dialogue isn’t as easy as flicking a switch. It involves some unpacking of why we are actually engaging in negative self-talk in the first place. This deep dive inward may be easier with the help of a therapist or life coach.
Once we are mindful of our thoughts, we can consciously pause. This critical buffer zone allows us to shift our mindset by using positive affirmations or reframing thoughts entirely.
Ready to Take Charge of Your Self-Talk?
Understanding where your current self-talk habits originated and creating a process for positive self-talk to replace it is a process. Are you ready to discover how self-talk is affecting your life? Feel it is time to revise your inner dialogue to develop a better relationship with yourself?
Looking for a great place to start?
The Shape Your Foundation online program will help you identify your self-talk, take a closer look where it’s coming from, and get clear, actionable steps to start living a more emotionally balanced life.
Through a holistic, integrative approach, you will receive practical and transformative tools proven to support the release of limiting beliefs, negative emotions, and ineffective behavioral patterns.
You’ll get access to a supportive and inclusive community, participate in thought-provoking discussion, and walk away with a custom and comprehensive plan to support you in creating the results you want in your life.
The Shape Your Foundation program gives you the opportunity to ignite your inner love, clarity, and enthusiasm for life that comes with living your purpose.