Changing Our Self-Talk
Although we’ve grown accustomed to these inner voices, they can be changed. It first requires our becoming more aware of them and developing mindfulness about our self-talk. There are a number of steps to reform these voices that include gaining an understanding of their motives and standards and learning to modify and counteract them. 10 Steps to Self-Esteem: The Ultimate Guide to Stop Self-Criticism is designed to succinctly lay out specific steps and exercises to do just that. There are several things you can begin doing immediately.
Until you’re acutely aware of your inner voices, you can’t change them. Write down your negative self-talk on a daily basis. Writing down your negative self-talk, including all the “should” and “shouldn’t’s,” will make them more conscious and provide you with choices.
Practice positive self-talk by addressing yourself in the third-person. This has the effect of “self-distancing” by shifting the focus away from the self.
Research has shown that by calling yourself by name, you begin to talk to yourself as you would a third person. It helps you regulate your emotions because you’re less emotionally involved and acquire a larger perspective. In effect, your emotional brain is less triggered, and you become wiser. This small change has a profound positive impact on reducing shame, anxiety, and depression. It provides you with increased clarity and better judgment in dealing with work and relationships.
Build positive thinking habits. Spend time each day and throughout the day repeating positive self-talk. If you say a prayer each morning, but negate yourself the rest of the day, which words do you think will have more impact?
Try to make your positive self-talk outweigh any negative self-talk. This way you can develop an improved outlook and attitudes, which can lead to better health and decisions and greater success in your relationships and work.
©Darlene Lancer 2017