Last week we talked about 4 inspiring reasons to start journaling to support your Self-Care.
Today I want to raise awareness on our Self-Talk, our internal dialogue which is present most of the time.
Some of us can be pretty hard on ourselves. Although it's okay to have high standards, it doesn't mean we have to beat ourselves up with a nasty, disrespectful internal dialogue.
You might have heard of the saying "Treat others how you want to be treated". Let's take the meaning of this and extend it to "Talk to yourself the way you talk to others".
For example, a friend tells you about an assignment they have to do for work and they feel rather insecure about it. They may tell you things along the line of that they can not do it, they are not the right fit or that they are too scared to take on such an important task, etc.
You, being a good friend as you are, would most likely try to encourage your friend telling them that they can do it. That they are the right fit because of their experience and they have nothing to worry about as they can always ask for help if they need any. You might even go deeper into the conversation and ask why they believe they are not the right fit and so on.
Now let's turn the situation internally. You have been assigned a task and the same thoughts of being inadequate for it comes to mind. How would this internal dialogue go? Would you take the same supportive role as you would to your friend? Or would more or less agree on your initial thoughts and make it worse by creating more negative statements about yourself?
Or, what about the smaller situations that can happen in our daily life. Dropping a glass of juice on the carpet, a date that didn't turn out well and you start to (harshly) question yourself, or when you were unable to stick to your diet? It could be anything! Pay attention to this: how do you talk to yourself?
I can say for myself that for many years in such kind of situations I could easily take the approach of showering myself with negative statements or harsh self-talk. Such as "you are not good enough, or you can not do that". As you can imagine this didn't bring me any good nor it does to you.
So how can we support a positive internal dialogue in our daily life? Awareness and practice are the keys! From all the things I learned about self-talk, I find these 4 tools the most powerful and effective.
1. How does it serve you?
Engage with yourself and ask how do these thoughts serve me? If you can not think of any positive benefit on how this thought can positively support your wellbeing then drop it. Just drop it. You don't need it, it does not serve you. You wouldn't keep a rotten apple in your fruit basket, so why would you keep a 'rotten' thought?
2. What you believe is the truth.
The things you tell repeatedly to yourself are the truth. It is your truth about how you view yourself and the world around you. For example, if you keep on telling yourself that you are not smart enough this will become part of your self-limiting belief system. We approach our life with this system. When something cool and exciting comes along there is a high chance you would let it slip away as the banner in your head is big in stating that you are not smart enough. Encourage yourself to turn the question around and make it into a purpose-based question such as what can I do today to gain more knowledge, or to become more confident?
3. What do you need?
Sometimes we have those moments or even days that things are not running smooth. A task at work didn't turn out as you hoped for, you may have gotten into an argument with somebody, or feel sad about certain memories. You feel agitated by all of it and instead of dwelling on this and repeating all the bad things, ask yourself this simple question: What do I need? What do I actually need at this moment to support myself? Asking yourself kindly what you need at the moment and acting upon it is such a profound way of self-care.
4. Be aware of the good things
To keep an open flow for positive self-talk it is important to have awareness of what is going well in your life, what you are grateful for and what makes you happy. You can either sum them up in your mind or write them in your journal. This can be at any moment of the day for instance, when you have breakfast, after your lunch break or before going to bed. Actively creating these moments of interactions with yourself will help you to create a positive habit in your way of thinking.
Bonus tip - Stick it up the wall!
A few years ago when a relationship came to an end I started using post-it notes to invoke more positive self-talk in my daily life. Purposely, I stuck them in a room where I would spend most of the time while at home. For me, this was the kitchen at the time. Every time I had a meal, or was doing the dishes or working on my computer at the kitchen table I was able to look at the bright yellow notes with empowering and inspiring messages. Seeing them so often, makes them stick to you and will help you to improve your self-talk and overall wellbeing.
Out of all the relationships we have the one we have with ourselves is a very important one. It's guaranteed you will spend an entire lifetime with yourself, so make sure you take good care of your lovely self. Positive self-talk is powerful and when practised consciously it can help you have a healthy and loving relationship with yourself.
How is your relationship with yourself?
If you feel like you could use some help to reflect on your self-talk? Coaching can help! Feel encouraged to book a Free Consultation.