Hey, Are you talking to yourself? Again? Self-talk is that inner chatter that accompanies us in most of our waking moments.
Much of the time we don’t even notice it’s going on. Your self-talk, internal dialogue, can be a powerful aid to your performance, or it can be destructive. What do you say when you talk to yourself? If you’re like many of us, your self-talk is a caustic mixture of judgments, complaints, and verbal abuse, in the form of “tapes” – mental recordings – that you’ve imprinted on your mind and play over and over again.
No wonder it’s easy to feel down and depressed. You can change the tapes you play, and your self-talk, as soon as you become aware of what you’re saying to yourself. Changing your self-talk will turbo-charge your life and enhance your performance in everything you do.
The First Step to Change: Recognize Your Thinking!
You can change your self-talk right now. Let’s try a little test. Say to yourself, silently or aloud: “That was a stupid thing to say. How could I say _________ (pick any verbal blunder you can remember)? I’m so stupid.”
How do you feel? Perhaps you feel sad, or anxious. Take a moment to track your emotions in your body. Perhaps you have a sinking feeling in your tummy, or your face is becoming hot. Your self-talk immediately affected your body, your mental state and your emotions. Now let’s try some positive self-talk. Take a couple of deep breaths, smile, and say to yourself, aloud or silently: “I’m happy, strong and confident.”
The Second Step to Change Is: Change Your Thinking or Change The Way Think About Something!
How do you feel now? Feel your emotions in your body. Repeat the words “I’m happy, strong and confident” several times – keep smiling as you do so. If you’re like most people, you probably felt an emotional lift, even if slight. You can give yourself an emotional boost at any time, just by changing your self-talk. If you make it a habit to repeat motivating self-talk to yourself, not only will you feel better, but you’ll perform better in everything you do. Self-talk is powerful, and it’s free. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Erase old self-talk tapes: make new tapes
The Third Step to Change: Create a Routine to Reinforce the New Way You Think About Things Or The Change In Thinking You Created In Step Two
Affirmations are a form of self-talk, and you can create your own affirmations to use as self-talk. However, the best way to change your old self-talk tapes is to make a new tape every time you catch yourself replaying an old tape.
For example, if you hear yourself saying: “I’ll never get this project done. No one’s helping me with it, I’m always left to do the hard work and others get the credit…” The late Jim Rohn said, “Forget about the thief waiting in the alley; what about the thief in your mind?” It’s one of my favorite quotes by Jim, he is one of my favorite authors and mentors.
Change your self-talk immediately. Write down your new self-talk tape which will over time erase the old self-talk tape: “This project’s interesting. I’m going to have fun working with it. I’ll ask ___ and ___ for their input right away. I’m taking charge of this project, it will be done in no time, and I’ll claim the credit because I deserve it.” Now repeat your new self-talk to yourself as often as you need to, particularly as soon as you can hear any faint whispers of the old self talk. Boost the new tape with affirmations like: “I’m confident, capable and strong. I CAN do this!”