The Way We Talk To Ourselves Tells Us More Than We Realise
Self-talk can be useful, or it can be detrimental
All of us, no matter who we are, talk to ourselves. We may not physically talk to ourselves, but there is a constant chatter inside our heads that rarely subsides.
That little voice in our head will always be there. It will be with us through thick and thin, a constant companion on the journey of life.
That’s why it’s imperative that we talk to ourselves with respect and affection, and don’t put ourselves down.
You don’t want to end up in a scenario where your inner voice is constantly sniping at you. There is no way we would let anyone else talk to us like this, so why she should we talk to ourselves like this?
Self-love is the first step on the path to loving others. After all, how can you love others if you do not love yourself first?
We may let ourselves be dictated to by our inner voice, but to become our best selves we need to become its master, not its minion.
Talk To Me
You are the only person that you will spend your entire life with. From the day you are born to the day you die, you will have yourself for company no matter what.
The way we talk to ourselves is a fundamental factor in shaping who we become. It influences how we feel about ourselves, how we feel about what we can achieve, how we are viewed by the world and how we interact with it.
All of this chatter affects us on a scale we seldom recognise. It impacts our self-esteem, self-worth and how we portray ourselves. If your internal voice is either negative or positive that will make a huge difference to your life.
We need to acknowledge how we talk to ourselves, otherwise, we will end up being ruled by our thoughts inside of controlling them.
When I was younger, I had terrible self-esteem. I would go as far as to say that I barely had any self-esteem at all. A lot of this was influenced by insecurities about my weight, but this was perpetuated by the chatter inside my head.
I let external factors influence my internal well-being. I would constantly put myself down instead of building myself up. I had an overwhelming pessimistic outlook on life. Negativity ruled me with an iron fist.
This carried on for a long time. My default mode towards myself was overly critical. If I made the slightest error I would chastise myself and, sometimes, let the mask slip by blurting out my inner feelings.
I don’t remember when exactly, but there came a point when I realised this cannot carry on. If I continued to talk to myself like this, I would be miserable and not become the best version of myself.
Ever since I have tried to be more aware of what goes on inside my head. I try not to live there as much as I did when I was younger and be more present. The chatter has died down, but there are still times when old habits resurface.
When they do, I don’t get down and beat myself up for letting these thoughts seep back in. Instead, I acknowledge the thought and move on. I do not let it hold any power over me. As quick as it enters my mind, it leaves. I do not dwell on these thoughts for that is all they are, thoughts.
As Willie Nelson states:
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
Our internal dialogue is one of the most underrated aspects of our lives. It affects us more than we know.
While this article may have been negatively biased so far, the good news is that positive self-talk has a number of benefits. It can boost our confidence, make us feel better about ourselves, reduces stress, and can even increase your performance.
All of this from changing from a negative mindset to a positive one!
The reality is, we can either be our own best friend or own worst enemy. Your thoughts are the source of your emotions and mood. It’s the equivalent of putting the wrong type of fuel into your car. Put the wrong fuel in, and the car either won’t work at all, or is a shadow of its true potential.
The same applies to our mind. The more control we have over our thoughts and the more we regulate the negative ones, the better our quality of life.
Look at these two inner dialogues:
- “I’m going to speak up in the meeting today because I have something that I really want to share!”
- “I think I’ll keep quiet in the meeting today, nobody wants to hear what I have to say anyway.”
The difference between the two is stark. One demonstrates a positive attitude that shows the person is taking charge of their life and acting with intent, while the other shows someone who is held captive by their negative thoughts.
We have all been in a similar situation to the second scenario. I have thought this way numerous times when I should have gone with the first option. The issue with the second option is that while we all may feel shy about speaking up, our voice is no less worthy than anyone else’s.
The only way we make this so, is if we believe this is the case. This is the essence of negative self-talk. The chat is destructive and it can manifest itself into reality without us realising it.
By taking a positive outlook on the world we open ourselves to it, which provides us with more opportunities. There are many ways we can limit those negative thoughts. We can give these gremlins a name, which devalues their potency and pokes fun at them.
We can take a step back and look at the situation and ask ourselves how we can do better next time, instead of kicking ourselves whenever we make a mistake.
By doing this, we are taking the first steps to a better quality of life that will impact us in numerous ways. We are taking control of the conversation instead of being dictated by it.
When we do this, we get to a point that Henry Ford touched upon:
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”
The world will either shrink or expand depending on whether your self-talk is positive or not. Which one will it be?