You do know that you are talking to yourself all the time, right?
But, are you aware of the tone of your self-talk?
How many times are you commentating on what you’ve just done or forgot to do with some kind of judgement? How are you speaking to yourself about yourself?
For instance, I was driving to an appointment today and there was a huge accident on a major highway, so I tuned in to Waze to see if there was another way for me to go. “She” suggested a left and I chose to ignore it thinking I knew where I was. That one decision cost me several minutes in an already 50-minute delay. I noticed the urge to call myself a less than loving adjective, but instead, I chose to speak gently to myself. “You’re ok.” I repeated the mantra, “I have all the time I need and it’s all working out for good.”
I participated in a two-day workshop in NYC this past weekend. I noticed how many brilliant, outspoken, beautiful, powerful women were in attendance. There was a part of me that felt the tiny whisper of the voice that says, “You are out of your league, you’re not enough, or smart enough, badass or playful enough to be here. Why are you here”? I caught myself and then chose to speak lovingly instead; “Of course you belong here. It wouldn’t have occurred to you to sign up if you didn’t belong here. We all start somewhere. Begin here, now”.
The quality of our lives depends on the quality of the thoughts we keep thinking.
The voices in our heads are so insidious that we don’t even realize the influence they are having on how we think, what we do or how we show up for other people in relationships.
Reading Michael Singer’s book, “Untethered Soul” was what really hit me between the eyes with the analogy he had of Self Talk. If the voice in my head was a friend that came to sit next to me, I’d be amazed at how incessant the talking was and how negative it was! I would likely not want to be their friend anymore ?
Can you break up with the voice in your head? No, but you can change the conversation.
Here are the six steps to how create positive self talk:
- Observe your own commentary. Become aware of what you’re saying to yourself.
- As soon as you notice that you’re speaking to yourself in a less than loving and compassionate way, remember, you are the Observer. Observe neutrally, without judgment and give that observer a voice. “I notice you’re being hard on yourself.”
- Next, think about how you would speak to your child or your best friend. Apologize to yourself for having spoken that way. “I’m sorry for going off on you.”
- Then replace the negative self talk with something more compassionate. Use words that express what you need most in your relationship with yourself: self -acceptance, self-support, or whatever you need. For example: “Even though, you don’t like how you reacted, I still totally and completely love and accept you” or “This isn’t failure, it’s learning and it’s growth”
- Practice! With anything, even when you are a trained professional, you will always be human, and this will always require you to hone your skill. As a suggestion, you could start every morning greeting yourself and asking you, “What words would be helpful for you to hear from me today”?
- Be gentle with yourself. You’re likely new at this. It’s a new tool in your tool belt. Use it with loving- kindness.
I’d love to hear what you notice as you start to speak more compassionately and accepting to yourself. If you haven’t already subscribed to the blog, please do so here. Looking forward to your comments and to cheering you on in your progress!