Our Self-Talk Needs a Makeover
“You’re not smart enough to get promoted,” “You’re too old to get in shape,” “You’re too young to start a business,” “You’ll never find love at that size”… Don’t you hate how that negative self-talk jumps out when you take on something new (finally ready to bet on yourself)? It knows which insecurities to dig at, in the cruelest ways, at the worst times. How many times have you allowed your negative self-talk to sabotage your progress? How often does that voice, have a platform to speak down to you, (without you calling B.S)? Keep reading to find out how you can use positive self-talk to speak your dreams into existence quickly.
Our Internal Voice Never Shuts Up!
Self-talk describes the continuous internal conversation taking place just below the surface in each of us. Even our dreams are a continuation of those conversations. There are four main problems with our self-talk:
– It’s littered with false truths and self-limiting beliefs that we inherited from others and repeated regularly on a conscious and subconscious level. The “You can’t have a committed relationship with social media” and “I just don’t have the genetics to be in shape” type of crap that those around us spew, and we buy into (on some level).
– Running on autopilot, we’re mostly unaware of our self-talk, making it impossible to steer in the right direction. Lacking awareness and control of our self-talk often become a situation where, for example, we mean to grab a healthy lunch and feel guilt for downing that extra greasy #1 instead. We miss the in-between convo often, leaving us wondering, “what the hell just happened?!
– Studies show that as much as 77 percent of our thoughts are negative. While that’s pretty discouraging, the brighter note is that we can rewire our brain thanks to neuroplasticity (…” the change in neural pathways and synapses that occurs due to certain factors, like behavior, environment, or neural processes. During such changes, the brain engages in synaptic pruning, deleting the neural connections that are no longer necessary or useful, and strengthening the important ones”). In other words, we can flip our negative self-talk on its rear end!
– Words, more importantly, our perceptions of the terms we use, hold power that we’re unaware of. Words have layers. Our unique experiences offer a definition of words that becomes more important than that words Dictionary definition.
For example, in our currently hostile Political environment, the mention of Liberal, Conservative, Second Amendment, and Congress can ignite explosive reactions, (right down to physical changes like an increased heartbeat or flustered cheeks).
Because of these differences in perceptions, words, sayings, or ideas may lead one person to success and another to self-sabotage. For example, the saying “go hard or go home” may lead one person to feel motivated, and another to feel intimidated. You must understand how your perception of such common ideas, saying, and words affect you.
Why is Positive Self-Talk Important, and What Are the Benefits?
Self-talk is critical because it allows us to move away from a fixed mindset (where we allow obstacles to bring us to a complete stop) to a growth mindset (where we become critical thinking problem solvers).
With self-talk, we’re either leading ourselves towards success or failure. There’s no in-between.
Consciously developing positive self-talk allowing us to cope with hardships productively, has been proven to reduce the adverse effects of anxiety and stress. Other health benefits of positive self-talk include an increase in vitality and well-being, improved cardiovascular health, better immunity, reduction in pain, reduced risk of death.
To overcome the sticky residue that our interactions with friends, family, coworkers, past/present romantic partners, and even social media interactions leaves on us, cultivating our positive self-talk is a must.
How to Create and Practice Positive Self-Talk
The first step in creating and practicing positive self-talk is to tune into it. The process should take you from being a fly on the wall of your self-talk (a sort of discovery process) to slowly gaining comfort with deliberate and systematic conversations with yourself (out-loud until it becomes second nature).
One of my favorite ways to begin getting comfortable with speaking to yourself is repeating affirmations while looking in the mirror, leading to conversing with yourself out loud about decisions, such as weighing the pros and cons of something.
To maintain positive self-talk, it’s essential to pay attention to how you speak to others as well as identify how those around you influence your self-talk. Let’s be honest, hearing friends lament about how impossible it is to find a quality romantic partner, or coworkers whining that it’s impossible to get ahead fuel your negative voice. Those false truths that trip you don’t just fall out of the sky after all.
You’ll gain an awareness of who you need to keep at a distance vs. those you need to engage with more often. An overall increase in your self-awareness is a positive side effect of working on your positive self-talk.
Resources For Developing Positive Self-Talk
Taking control of our self-talk is one of the best goals we can set for ourselves. If I had a bullhorn, I’d shout the necessity for self-awareness, positive self-talk, and growth mindset from rooftops! These are the type of personal improvements that create a massively positive snowball effect in every aspect of our lives. They get us the most significant returns for our efforts.
The Art of Positive Self-Talk on the Teachable platform helps people just like you get into a growth mindset, through the powerful asset of conscious positive self-talk.
Now that you know that there’s indeed a significant internal dialogue taking place right under your nose, do you plan on engaging consciously with it?
Understanding why positive self-talk is so important, and having a couple of tricks up your sleeve to begin to develop it, I encourage you to take the next step and click the link to my course The Art of Positive Self-Talk on Teachable.
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