Strategies to Cancel Negative Self-Talk
Self-talk, also what the professionals call inner dialogue, is basically the conversation you have with yourself. The narrative of this convo can make the difference between inner peace, empowerment, and achievement. A conversation with the power to make or break your ambitious self.
It can do this with the subconscious and conscious beliefs that started in our childhood. Often times instead of nurturing our potential to grow, we tell ourselves that we are inadequate or are falling short in some way. And we want to use this conversation to grow so that we persevere when we are met with obstacles.
Here are some easy ways to reframe your self-talk:
Increase your awareness.
The first step in changing your self-talk is becoming more familiar with it. Many of the messages that you send to yourself are so automatic that they can escape your notice. Keeping a journal may help you to pay more attention.
Have alternatives ready for the conversations you want to change. Make a list of short affirmation statements to replace your old put-downs. Next week I will talk about clap backs to negative self-talk.
What are your options?
It could be that you have been speaking negatively to yourself for so long your vision is distorted. In this case, you need an arsenal of options to get you through those moments. Self-help books, apps, journaling, videos. Surround yourself with available material to help you bounce back quickly. This is also where your peers are valuable. How do they respond to conflicts and setbacks?
Accountability is always a good thing. It only makes sense when the thing or event was under your locust of control. Events have multiple causes and beating yourself up for the outcome is abuse. Only take responsibility for your actions.
Be kinder to yourself than you are to others. If you would be hesitant to insult someone else, why use those harsh words to yourself!
Changing our self-destructive habits takes a lot of repetition, considerable time, and commitment. Over time you will notice the decrease in negative framing until it's completely gone. Believe me, it's a process that will not happen overnight.
Here are a few strategies for adjusting your self-talk:
Nothing like the present
The only time when you can take action on a thing is NOW.
Focus on present moments instead of replaying the past. I read something once before that mentions not anticipate the future. This is a big mountain to climb. Women are often natural or assigned caretakers, which takes a fair amount of planning and organization. So anticipating the future may be too deeply rooted to address immediately. I believe it will diminish in smaller pieces as we continue on our journey.
What your MF name
According to research addressing yourself by your full government name is quite effective. It's said to make the conversation objective. I think that you are demonstrating respect to yourself that you expect others to have. It's similar to being kinder to yourself, only saying that you owe yourself the same respect as well.
Look in the mirror
The same sentiment applies to looking yourself in the mirror. Your message is affirmed when you communicate while looking yourself in the eye. Talk to yourself as if you are talking to another. You deserve the same body language as well. I laugh at the thought of growing up in a culture that stood in front of the mirror and called for the boogeyman as a game. We believed it enough to be fearful, even for a moment, it worked. Yet as we struggle through adulting, we never thought to say "I'm the shit!" or "I'm remarkable" in the mirror 5 times.
This is where your planned arsenal comes into play. In this way, you will always have cues and scripts if needed to speak to yourself with kindness. Use them. Your peers are valuable here as well. Share your time with those who empower and support you.
Speak out loud
Affirmations are meant to be said out loud. I read somewhere that you should do this in private. But we need to normalize people minding their own personal space and not others. Say it when you need to. Say it out loud when you want to. It may feel awkward at first. I'd be willing to bet it's because we worry about what others will think. I guarantee you if you begin to say affirmations out loud to yourself others will soon follow suit. Until you get comfortable with this, record a few encouraging messages on your phone. This way you can listen to them anywhere anytime.
These strategies will easily have you enjoying a happier and more fulfilling life. Use the conversations you have with yourself to uplift and guide your ambitious self.