Self Talk: 3 Great Strategies To Improve Your Inner Dialogue
Photo by Eneas
We’ve all been guilty of this bad habit at one time or another.
No, I’m not talking about skipping the gym or eating junk food.
I’m talking about something much more important – a bad habit that can impact your emotional health and even affect your success in every area of your life: negative self talk!
Before we progress any further, take a moment to reflect on your inner dialogue over the past 24 hours.
Unless you have worked hard to create a positive self-image, then the odds are that you have said a few not-so-nice things to yourself under your breath after making a mistake at work or yelling at your kids.
Something along the lines of: “You’re such an idiot.” or “Way to go, loser.” or “Stop eating, fatty.”
The truth is that these negative phrases are normally something that we wouldn’t even say to our dearest friends or family members. So why are we talking to ourselves like this in the privacy of our own minds?
Positive or negative self talk patterns can start as early as childhood. And these patterns continue to affect our lives, often determining our daily levels of stress.
So if you’ve been feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just like you’re not your best self, changing the way that you speak to yourself could make a world of difference.
And the first step is admitting you have a problem, as the familiar saying goes.
I encourage you to take the next 24 hours to listen to your self talk carefully and to catch yourself in the act of negative self talk. It may happen much more than you would like, and it may be very difficult to control.
1. Use Your Journal
When you notice negative self talk, write down the thought or comment immediately.
Make sure to record what situation triggered this negative comment, such as a stressful circumstance or an emotional day at work.
The next step in the process is to go back over your journal at the end of the day and replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.
If you’re not used to positive self talk, this may be incredibly difficult for you to do. But it must be done if you want any chance of improving your self-image!
Read over your new, positive thoughts carefully, and make a conscious effort to use these positive comments to replace your negative thoughts the next time they appear.
2. Stop Negative Thoughts in Their Tracks
For many people, it’s helpful to actually say “stop” out loud to stop a negative thought from occurring.
When that happens, you can replace a negative comment with a positive thought to change your inner dialogue. This is the beginning of the process of transformation.
Truly, the only thing holding you back is yourself, and even more so if you have a constant negative inner dialogue running.
The truth is that we all have an inner dialogue at all times, whether or not you want to acknowledge it.
By beginning to observe your negative thoughts and taking the time to replace them with positive self talk, you have the power to positively impact your self-image.
This is your opportunity to begin to believe in yourself, appreciate yourself, and begin to genuinely like yourself.
3. Reward Yourself for Taking Action
A pivotal part of breaking the cycle of negative self talk is being kind to yourself.
After spending a full week of transforming your inner dialogue, it’s time to reward yourself for your efforts.
A reward can be as small as cooking your favorite meal, relaxing in a hot bath, or even as big as throwing yourself a party.
The point is to positively reinforce your progress so that you stay continually motivated to change your self talk into something encouraging and beneficial.
Having a positive inner dialogue is truly powerful. It can propel you toward success in both your personal and professional life and finally give you the confidence that you need to succeed!
Need some positive affirmations to counter your negative self talk? Sign up for my FREE Personal Development Email Newsletter today and I’ll send you my 101 Powerful Affirmations eBook (worth US$47)!
This article was contributed by Bethany Ramos, a full-time freelance writer who is passionate about personal development. She is pursuing her dream by co-owning her own e-commerce website, The Coffee Bump.
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