Your Self Talk: What Are You Telling Yourself?

Have you ever noticed how influenced you can be by what others say?  And guess who says the most to you? Yourself, your self-talk. And this self-talk — constant inner chatter — usually goes by unnoticed, like noise in the background.

Some of the messages we send to ourselves we wouldn’t say about our enemies. (“You’re a stupid idiot:”; “You’re a dumb klutz”; “You can’t do anything right.”)

And what you tell yourself, whether you’re listening or not, programs and directs your life. Your self-talk sometimes becomes a self-fulfilling (or unfulfilling) prophecy.

But take heart. We don’t have to be on automatic, which can lead to poor decision making and a general dullness and routineness of life.

It’s good to know you can monitor yourself, listen to yourself and hear the signals in that ongoing self-talk that fills the background of your life.

So how do you do that –  bring attention, light and awareness to what you are telling yourself? Here are four important strategies to apply for a greater life. 

Four Strategies to Improve Your Self-Talk

1. Intend: 
What kind of life do you want today? Remember to tell yourself first thing when you get up:

“Today’s going to be a great day.”
“I am going to be surprised and delighted today.”
“Good things are coming my way today.”

In other words, be pro-active when starting your day.

2. Accept:
Accept what is going on. This usually applies when things are seemingly counter to what you wish, evoking restrictive emotions like fear, anger and disappointment.

It’s fine to note the downer self-statements as well: “I wish that didn’t happen.” “I’m afraid what will happen.” “Now it will never work out.”

Pause and determine to be more accepting of yourself and the situation:

“Part of me is afraid and worried.”
“It’s seemingly not happening as I hoped.”
“There’s a disturbance going on.”

Accepting yourself and the situation defuses tension. It helps you relax and stay calm. It brings the parasympathetic nervous system on board, so you are not trapped recycling in a fight-flight-freeze mode (sympathetic nervous system).

3. Appreciate:
There’s always things to be thankful and grateful for. Give words Offer them silently or aloud, or write them down.

“I enjoy the color of the sky and the clouds.”
“I am glad I can think, feel and respond.”
“I appreciate helpful, loving people who are in my life.”

4. Overcome:
One of life’s certainties is the challenges that come and go like waves on the ocean.

Intend to become a hardier person by giving yourself an identity as an overcomer. Your soul (see next section) will help too.

Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?”

And ask, “What is the best that can happen?”

Positive resilience-invoking self-talk includes:

“I can handle this.”
“This will work out.”
“I can find the courage to deal with this.”

Your Soul’s Presence 

Enlisting your soul’s presence will feed your mind with an elegant silence, and precious words and images.

You can evoke the soul by yourself, at any time. You can also become more aware in a group with a collective soulful presence.

Sometimes the message is quite simple: “Relax.” “It’s okay.” “Be patient, the right thing will come your way.”

The experience of connecting with your soul – in meditation or at any time – lets a deeper awareness and understanding naturally emerge. You connect with the higher realms inside you and hear their advice and wisdom. Then those messages become part of your self-talk and being.

We gain access to the soul by breathing calmly and relaxing into a stillpoint, like the surface of a peaceful ocean that holds a vast fluid depth.

By connecting more regularly with your soul, your inner awareness and perspective grows. You then naturally use the four strategies – outlook, intend, accept, appreciate, and overcome.

Using the above approacheswill help your self-talk considerably. It will promote a positive dialog, like your talking to someone you love and respect (in this case, yourself). You become more conscious and present in your life. And, in turn, you are more present to your life as well.

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Phillip and Jane Mountrose