“Relentless, repetitive self-talk is what changes our self-image.” – Denis Waitley
Whatever we do in life and how we handle things all depends on our self-talk. There are two extreme ends to how we talk to ourselves. One end is the over-confident, arrogant manner that comes across as cocky to others. The other extreme is the self-derogatory and negative way in which we keep putting ourselves down and knock our confidence.
Finding the Balance
Many of us tend to minimize our abilities, where others tend to over-estimate their capabilities. Somewhere between these two extremes lies a pointer which is suitable for you perfectly. It is all too well to say that we should talk ourselves big, but if we overdo it, we become big-headed in a narcissistic way. If however, we talk to ourselves in a confident and assertive way, we have a better chance of reaching our potential success level.
Negative self-talk only serves to add burden on our shoulders. It then affects the way you handle yourself which is reflected in your behaviour. You become under pressure thus affecting even your body posture. Mental pressure affects you as if you are carrying the load physically. Would you carry that much weight if you knew the harm you were doing to yourself?
Learn to deal with your problems effectively instead of allowing them to fester and grow. When you talk to yourself do you do the following?
- When something goes wrong is the first thing you say a negative word? Next time consciously catch yourself and replace with: O.k, I can deal with this!
- When you catch yourself saying something positive, try to praise yourself. Tell yourself you are doing well and you will keep it up. Pat yourself metaphorically on the back or put a mental tick in the “on target” box.
Self-talk reflects your inner state of mind. If you are not talking to yourself positively, assess what you are saying and replace it with another positive sentence. The road to success begins at home, inside your mind. Think before you talk – even to yourself. Words can have such a harmful effect on the entire atmosphere. Words create images in your mind. Be kind to yourself and you will be kind to others without even thinking about it.
Talk to yourself as if you are your own best friend. You become the words you use inside your mind. If you refer to yourself as “stupid” you behave as if you are “stupid.” So choose your words wisely. You would never hurt or put down your friend, would you. Your friend encourages you and likewise, you do the same.
Ask yourself: What can I do to improve my self-talk further?