We all have an inner voice. It speaks, and we listen whether we know it or not. Do you know what your inner voice is saying to you?
Self-talk is basically your inner voice, the voice in your mind which says things that you don’t necessarily say out loud. Often self-talk happens without you even realizing it and can be a subtle running commentary going on in the background of your mind. But what you say in your mind can determine a lot of how you feel about who you are.
There are two types of self talk: Positive and Negative.
Positive self talk is the stuff that makes you feel good about yourself and the things that are going on in your life. It is like having an optimistic voice in your head that always looks on the bright side.
Negative self talk is the stuff that makes you feel bad about yourself and things that are going on. It can place a negative spin on anything, whether it is good or bad.
It’s important that we feed our inner voices with ideas and stimuli that will in turn foster positive self talk. It’s important to constantly assess how exposure to certain people, places, things, and ideas make you feel about yourself. For example, I can only watch so much of the news each day. Seeing negative story after negative story regarding black men and crime, or black men and negative encounters with law enforcement has a heavy impact on my mind.
There are three things you can do that can help with changing the direction of your self-talk.
- Listen to what you’re saying to yourself– we don’t always consciously take note of that we’re saying in our minds. The first step in improving your self-talk is to actually notice what your inner voice is saying. Take some time each day to listen, and even write down, what you’re thinking.
- Monitor your self-talk– Is your self-talk more positive or negative? Start questioning your self-talk asking things like:
- Is there actual evidence for what I’m thinking?
- What would I say if a friend were in a similar situation?
- Is there a more positive way of looking at this?
- Am I keeping everything in perspective?
- Can I do anything to change what I’m feeling bad about?
- Change your self-talk – Easier said than done, but definitely worth working on. Try countering negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, if you think “I’ll never be able to do this”, ask yourself “is there anything I can do that will help me be able to do this?” Avoid speaking in finite language and try and look for things that might add a better spin to a tough situation.
(Source – ReachOut.com)