If you hang around the New Age movement at all, you hear the term self-talk a lot. This is the conversations we have with ourselves. We all have them and for many self-talk is really an excuse to beat ourselves up.
I don’t want you to beat yourself up. I want you to learn from mistakes and I want you to celebrate the wins in your life. Or, at least that's what I try to do with my self-talk.
Here are some ideas you can use to make sure the self-talk that you have is positive… or at least more positive than much of the self-talk you have today.
First, know what you’re saying to yourself.
This is the most important tip of the day. The language you use when you talk with yourself will determine how you feel about your day and your life.
I know that when I was much, much younger… like when I was in high school my self-talk was not terrible. I would beat myself up regularly.
The way I talked to myself had a negative effect not only on my mood, but in how I interacted with others and how they interacted with me. Because I was saying terrible things like you are the dumbest person in the world and why would anyone want to hang out with me others saw it. That others saw it didn’t make them feel sorry for me, which is what I wanted. Instead, it helped them find reasons to stay away from me.
I don’t want you to have that experience. I want you to have the world see you as a happy person who wants to engage. When that happens, your life will get better.
It’s not about giant changes in your life.
This is the biggest thing to learn. You will not turn off negative self-talk overnight. It takes time for this to happen. Even after you’ve had months of not saying bad things to yourself, one day you’ll wake up and start all over again.
When this happens, you just have to say, “my isn’t that interesting” and move on. You will have days that aren’t great. If you find that your “good days” happen more often than the “bad days” then you’re making progress and that’s what it’s all about.
Dan Harris has a great book titled 10% happier. In the book he talks about making small steps and as you add up the small steps you get big results. Doesn’t that sound like something you would like in your life?
Make sure when your self-talk turns negative there is learning for you.
You will have those days. When they happen, stop and ask yourself what’s causing the negative self-talk and then learn from it.
You might find that you must take some actions that will allow you to move on. If that’s the case, take some time to write what the specifics are that you need to do. From there, it becomes an easier path to move on. You now have a plan and once the plan becomes identified you’ll have some specific things to do.
Sometimes negative self-talk is important.
Life is not all wine and roses. Sometimes things you’ve done warrant a good session of negative self-talk. This is when you have time to honestly evaluate what you’re thinking about and what your actions mean.
I know I have had dozens and dozens of times where having an honest conversation with myself would have done me some real good. I will be the same is true for you. I will bet that there are times you wish you had done things differently.
The goal is to become 10% happier.
Changing how you talk to yourself is all about incremental change. I know that small changes add up and I also know that this takes time. If you decide that tomorrow is the day you’ll be totally happy all the time then that’s the day you will be unhappy. You see change is an incremental thing.
I want you to celebrate the small wins that you’ll have as you monitor what you’re saying to yourself. This is how you will make your life better. At Stage 2 Planning this is our purpose. We want to see your life get better and one of the best ways to do this is to improve the way you talk with yourself.
What do you think about this idea? Why don’t you leave a comment below and let me know what you think?