Our Self-Talk Needs a Makeover
“You’re not smart enough to speak at the meeting,” “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 deflates your spirit? It always seems to happen when you’re ready to take a chance and bet on yourself.
It knows which insecurities to dig at, in the cruelest ways. 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 putting it in check? 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. However, it also spills over into our conversational talk. Even our dreams are a continuation of those internal conversations. There are four main problems with our self-talk:
- – It’s littered with false truths and self-limiting beliefs. We inherit many of these from others. They play on repeat regularly, growing roots in our subconscious mind. We blindly buy into the “All men cheat” and “Money is the root of all evil” consensus that those around us repeat (on some level).
- – Were running on autopilot. We lack awareness of our self-talk, making it impossible to steer in the right direction. This often leads us to familiar situations where, for example, we mean to grab a healthy lunch and end up inhaling an extra greasy burger and fries instead. We miss the entire internal conversation that made that decision, (seemingly out of nowhere). It leaves 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 good news is that we can rewire our brain thanks to neuroplasticity. We can actually change in neural pathways and synapses that occurs due to 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. It will strengthen the important ones. In other words, we can flip our negative self-talk on its rear end for good!
- – Our perceptions of the words we use hold a power of influence over us that we’re unaware of. Words have layers. Our unique experiences offer definition to words that becomes more important than the Dictionary definition.
For example, in our currently hostile political environment, the mention of Liberal, Conservative, and Second Amendment can ignite explosive reactions. You may even see physical changes like flustered cheeks or tension in one’s body at the mention of these things.
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 and abandon their efforts. 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 (allowing obstacles to make us give up), to a growth mindset, becoming 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, and 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, and 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 to slowly gaining comfort with deliberate and systematic conversations with yourself.
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 feeds your negative voice. The false truths that sabotage you don’t just fall out of the sky.
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 and positive self-talk from rooftops! Although I can’t cause a public disturbance to get the word out, you can download my book. This is the type of personal improvement that creates a massively positive snowball effect in every aspect of life. You get the most significant returns for your 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 a significant internal dialogue taking place right under your nose, do you plan on engaging consciously with it?