POWER OF SELF-TALK

Who’s that voice in my head and what do they want?

We all have a voice in our heads. And it’s a busy voice. We have about 70,000 thoughts a day that crowd our minds. That’s 70,000 times we have a chance to talk to ourselves. Self talk is the natural way our mind processes the world around us by creating a dialogue. Talking things through is usually the way we come to understand our perspectives, our desires, our fears and all the other facets of who we are. Becoming the person we want to be means guiding this dialogue positively and productively. We are often told to repeat affirmations of love, confidence and power to ourselves, especially in the moments where we feel we are lacking in any of those. The truth is, everything you will ever need to feel happy lies within the way you treat yourself; mind, body and, for those who are spiritual, soul. Just as we take time to foster a healthy relationship with ourselves by exercising, eating well, putting in the work to achieve our career and family goals, we also need to take time to be mindful of our self talk. 

Credit: Nirav Patel

The words we impress upon ourselves have a profound impact on our self worth. We will take that perspective and shape the world. Be fierce in your dedication to positive self talk. Be fierce in your growth. Be fierce in your discipline with both. We’ve gone through so many of the ways to channel the power that is within all of us, whether that’s the power of thought, the power of focus, or essentially, the power of you. Self talk is yet another way to manifest the highest vibration of self you can conceive. Positive self talk doesn’t just happen for some of us. We naturally struggle with insecurity, doubt, anxiety and fear and we need to actively combat those thoughts as they cloud our vision. How can we start being kind to ourselves so that we can access this power?

 

Power Tip 1: Be aware of your self-talk

The first step is to realize when those thoughts are running through your mind. This narrative we have is almost constant and we might get too caught up in the external world to even be aware of what’s happening internally. Just as we can eventually tune out any white noise we experience, it’s also that easy to lose touch with the inner voice that’s quietly whispering what it thinks about us. By deliberately paying attention to these whispers you can start understanding whether you think of yourself positively or negatively, whether you see yourself as someone worthy, whether you are confident or not. If you find that you more often engage with negative self talk than not, you can start taking the necessary steps to fight that and you will see just how important it becomes to be kind to yourself. Ideas that we’re not good enough or that we are failures in some way are not identities set in stone but rather, a culmination of those 70,000 thoughts. The wonderful thing is, we absolutely have control over them once we can acknowledge them.  

Power Tip 2: Be mindful of the language you use

Positive self talk is rooted in the idea that you should be compassionate and understanding with yourself. When you constantly berate your mind with punishing words, you are fueling a version of yourself that is insecure, afraid and trapped in both. Remind yourself you are always capable of growth. Instead of framing your mistakes as failures, describe them as lessons. Instead of seeing yourself as inadequate, tell yourself that you are capable of learning and improvement every step of the way. Other ways you can start affirming positivity with this inner dialogue is by reshaping negative thoughts about yourself:

  1. Attempting to do this took courage and I am proud of myself for trying.
  2. Even though it wasn’t the outcome I hoped for, I learned a lot about myself.
  3. I might still have a way to go, but I am proud of how far I have already come.
  4. I am capable and strong, I can get through this.
  5. Tomorrow is a chance to try again, with the lessons learned from today.
  6. I will give it my all to make this work.
  7. I can’t control what other people think, say or do. I can only control myself.
  8. This is an opportunity for me to try something new.
  9. I can learn from this situation and grow as a person.

 

Power Tip 3: Start questioning your inner critic

Our inner critic is actually an idiot. They see things as black and white, good or bad, with no understanding of the nuances of any situation. They blame you, and only you, when a situation is less than perfect. They fixate on negativity and catastrophize outcomes, having you constantly expecting the worst, when we all know there is just as much of a chance of the best case scenario. Start challenging this critic so that they are forced to be rational and positive. Check in with your emotions, especially when you’re going through a difficult time in your life. How would you talk to your best friend if they were criticizing themselves too much? Question whether you are overreacting, are your feelings based on facts or opinions, are your assumptions founded in logic? Fighting this critic can take many forms. Try visual cues for positive self talk like having post-its around the house, a mood board, or even a journal. Distance yourself from this critic by giving it a name or talking about them in the third person. Brené Brown calls her negative thoughts gremlins and in doing so, is able to step away and see them from an objective perspective. 

 

Real talk: Self talk is a powerful tool that helps you become more confident and deal with negative emotions. It has been proven to combat anxiety and depression and lead to overall better quality of life. Research has proven again and again how impactful positive self talk can be not only because it could make you a happier person but also translate to real behavior changes that keep you healthy and hopeful. It can reduce stress, strengthen your mindset when facing challenges, boost confidence and resilience, and even help build better relationships and pick a great circle of friends. Our access to power really is in these overlooked spaces of ourselves, let’s start paying attention. 

 

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