The Power of Self-Talk
Posted by Todd Smith
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Guess who’s the number one person you communicate with on a daily basis? It’s you! Our internal conversations characterize how we view the world and influence every part of our lives- relationships, achievements, attitude and ultimately our degree of happiness.
If this internal dialogue focuses on your faults, mistakes, weaknesses, insecurities, fears or other negative things, it will be virtually impossible to feel good about yourself and advance your life forward. Furthermore negative thinking can have a detrimental effect on your health and overall quality of life.
If on the other hand your self-talk concentrates on your strengths, blessings, successes, opportunities and other positive thoughts, you will feel great about yourself. You’ll enhance your ability to overcome obstacles and as a whole your life will become more enjoyable and fulfilling.
The great news is that you can control what you think about and you can replace any negative thought with a more positive and productive affirmation. Like anything else, it takes time and practice and it will get easier over time.
Become Aware of Your Internal Conversations
The first step toward improving our thoughts is to REALLY listen to our self-talk. Are your thoughts positive or negative? Do they lift you up or do they bring you down? Do they inspire or do they impede? You may not realize how often negative thoughts pop into your head. Become aware of this internal dialogue and its content and make sure it stays positive. When it gets negative take a few minutes to analyze the underlying reasons for your negative thinking.
Take Control of Your Thinking
If you catch yourself thinking negatively, you can stop your thought process mid-stream by literally saying to yourself “STOP!” Saying this aloud will be powerful and will make you more aware of the frequency and circumstances of these negative internal conversations.
Another trick is to walk around with a rubber band around your wrist. As you notice negative self-talk, pull the band away and let it snap back. It’ll hurt a little and serve as a slightly negative consequence that will both make you more aware of your thoughts and help put a stop to them!
Every time I catch myself thinking about one of my failures, faults or mistakes, I have a firm conversation with myself and I say, “I’ve learned all I can learn. I can’t change what has happened. I refuse to think about it any longer!” Then using my self-control I change the subject.
I confess that I may have to repeat this self-talk technique 20 times before I can finally stop thinking about a major mistake or failure. But as with every challenge I have faced thus far in my life, I have not allowed it to negatively impact my overall outlook.
Let me encourage you to start being aware of your self-talk. Determine which conversations are helpful and which ones are harmful. Take control over your thoughts and you will watch your life blossom before your eyes.
Remember, we all make mistakes. We all have set backs. We all experience failures. We all have bad things happen to us. The key is to learn from every experience and to use our self-control to stop thinking about them.
“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”- Dale Carnegie
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