“Every waking moments we talk to ourselves about the things we experience. Our self-talk, the thoughts we communicate to ourselves, in turn control the way we feel and act.” ~ John Lembo
How do you talk to yourself in your mind?
Have you ever stopped to listen to that quiet voice in your mind?
How often are you extraordinarily harsh with yourself – in judgement, in criticism, in unrealistic expectation?
This usually becomes glaringly obvious IF you stop and think about how your inner voice relates to your choices, your actions, your attitudes and even how you look….
“If you hear a voice within you saying, You are not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh
It’s not just you.
Most people are really mean to themselves.
Step 1 – Notice this inner voice
Step 2 – Get to know and recognise this voice.
Today as an exercise I took some time to examine how I speak to myself in my mind. I noticed I barked (silently, in my mind) criticisms and negative comments at myself – even putdowns. I called myself stupid, dumb, lazy, and a whole entire range of other unsavoury things. Once this registered, it shocked me still in my tracks.
Generally I give my friends the benefit of the doubt. I am kind, tactful, and supportive – or I try to be. When they are feeling down I try to build them up, and try to help them see themselves more compassionately. Yet, I have found that everything is harder to accomplish, to make progress with and on, when I listen to that negative self-talk. Still, the habit is so ingrained I am beginning to understand it takes firstly awareness and secondly – conscious effort to change my inner voice.
Any goal I set myself, and life itself even, gets easier when I have more support, and that includes support from me!
Step 3 – Developing a sweet tone in self-talk.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” ~ Anon
Now I am working to consciously adjust how I speak to myself. ……adjust the messages, and the choice of words……adjust the tone.
I am working to try to reprogram my own inner voice to speak to me as I would my 5 year old granddaughter. I know I am gentle and reassuring with her. I know I am firm, and clear and certainly not sarcastic or abusive.
I, too, deserve to hear sweet and loving tones. I need to manifest unconditional love for myself. I need to express that acceptance and unconditional love for myself. Reassuring warmth and gentleness will build my confidence and self-esteem.
Can you imagine how much easier it would be to get through a stressful day with that kind of inner support?
No one has to know that I am secretly trying to be kind to yourself.
I am asking myself these questions:
- Which do you think would help you better achieve your goals in life?
- Is it better to talk to yourself like someone you love or like the kids from school who called you names?
The tone and words I use when I talk to myself will make a big difference in enhancing my self-esteem, and my ability to achieve my dreams and goals.
The following two books I have found useful to help me recognise my self voice and also help me see what is real and what is not.
Julia Cameron. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
Lucia Capacchione, PhD and Peggy Van Pelt, PhD. Putting Your Talent to Work: Identifying, Cultivating and Marketing Your Natural Talents