How Is Your Self-Talk?

How Is Your Self-Talk?

“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power.” – Robert Kiyosaki

These wise words remind us that the way you talk to yourself matters! And what I know to be true is if your self-talk is negative, it’s going to get in the way of your efforts to become happier, healthier, more abundant, and more satisfied.

Here’s what happens: Strong negative self-talk gets ingrained in the brain and reinforced with every setback, every failure, and every negative comment you or someone else makes about you. Comments like these could come from way back in your childhood all the way up to the last setback you experienced. 

We know that life has its ups and downs – that’s the nature of life. We have setbacks and we have failures. Think of what a devastating impression negative self-talk could have, over time, on the way you view yourself and your life.

How is your self-talk? 

Self-talk is a pattern of thoughts that come into your mind over and over. Here are some common negative ones. Do any of these statements sound like something you “whisper to yourself” often?

I shouldn’t have done that.

How could I have been so stupid?

I’ll never be able to do it.

I can’t compete with that.

How do you switch your self-talk from negative to positive?

The best way to change a pattern of thought that you don’t want is to identify it, interrupt it, and replace it with something more effective. The more you replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, the faster you will create a new pattern of positive thoughts, that you will no longer have to think about. 

It’s possible to reprogram your brain and overcome negative self-talk in three steps:

1. Become aware of your self-talk. Be an observer of the way you talk to yourself in your mind. What if you were able to record or transcribe those thoughts? What would those words be saying about you? Develop an awareness to hear what you’re saying to yourself that is negative. Also, notice the words you use as you’re talking to others and if you are saying phrases about yourself like the ones above. 

2. Stop referring to yourself negatively. When you catch yourself having negative thoughts about yourself, stop, reset, and start over. When you catch yourself saying those thoughts aloud, it’s okay to reset and correct yourself. Practice developing this new habit of interrupting negative self-talk and resetting your thoughts or words. 

3. Begin using positive self-talk. The goal is to create a new pattern of thought that supports and lifts you up. An effective way to do this is to notice negative self-talk and replace it with a positive thought. When you say something negative about yourself, stop and flip it to something positive. For example, flip these thoughts:

I shouldn’t have done that.  =>  That was a good lesson – I’ll never do that again.

How could I have been so stupid?  =>  I wasn’t thinking very clearly; I’ll know better next time.

I’ll never be able to do it.  =>  I know I can do it if I [fill in some steps to get you there].

I can’t compete with that. => I’m successful when I stay in my own lane and excel at that!

Yes, it’s that easy! Stay aware, notice your self-talk, and lean towards the positive.