Hi there :)
I hope you are doing well & taking care of yourself in these crazy times!
Just a quick one from me today, I just wanted to chat about Self-Talk, what it is, why it's important and how to change for the better!
WHAT IS SELF-TALK?
Self-talk is the words that we say to ourselves (I'm sure that was pretty obvious... but let me explain). As we go about about our days, we have this narrative in our heads, our thoughts and how we interpret and reflect on the things that happen/might happen.
Part of this narrative are the thoughts we directly think about ourselves. We are our own worst critics, it is true. Whether or not you have a mental illness/health issue, chances are you don't always think the nicest things about yourself. If you have anxiety, depression or low self-esteem, the things you think about yourself may be harsh, over-critical, and downright nasty at times... don't feel ashamed, I have been guilty of this too.
WHY IS SELF-TALK IMPORTANT?
The words we say to ourselves, become our reality. Read that again.
The things that we say out loud or in our minds, our brain takes as truth. Have you ever told a lie so much that you actually started to believe it yourself? This is 100% a thing, and that's even when we KNOW the fact of what happened.
SO, if we are constantly saying negative things to ourselves ABOUT ourselves, our poor brains start to believe it, and eventually that will become our reality.
I wanted to avoid writing negative things in here, because I don't want you to read them and internalise that message. But in order to give an example, I need to. Following any negative words I write on here, I will fill your mind with 3 x positive thinking to override that. Make sure you read all three and think about the words.
I was the CEO of negative self-talk, only recently I have started working at undo-ing a lot of the damage I caused to my mental well-being and self-esteem but constantly telling myself I am not enough (I am enough, I am enough, I am enough).
I remember during high school, I was probably at my peak of self-loathing and I would constantly scrutinise myself for saying or doing things that I though were awkward (and you better believe I still think about those those when I am trying to sleep at 2am #ItsALifestyle haha). Whenever I would screw up - and we ALL make mistakes - I would say the words "I am soo stupid!!" (I am smart, I am smart, I am smart). I would say this to myself all the time, even when my screw ups or behaviour had nothing to do with my intelligence. I used to shame myself for any decision I made without using my brain in the best possible way. Again, we all have days were our brain is on auto-pilot, it is definitely not a reason to talk badly of ourselves.
I actually starting struggling a bit with school, I noticed that my memory wasn't as sharp as used to be, I was heading into my HSC so this was an issue. I had no idea that it probably had something to do with my thoughts. And when I'd struggle, instead of kind, encouragement I would shame myself, and my intelligence levels, more.
It wasn't on purpose either, it had become a habit. And it is one hell of a vicious cycle.
Many of us grow up watching our parents being super-critical of themselves and saying these things out loud, swatting away compliments when they received them and sighing out loud when they saw their reflections. We learn this behaviour from such a young age.
We have a lot of work to do to undo all that has been ingrained into us!
So we've got no time to waste!
This activity is so ridiculously simple that it doesn't seem like it helps. It really, really does I promise. This is an excellent activity to do, especially when you are having a tough day and the negative self-talk is getting out of control, but at anytime as we have years of negative self-talk to rectify.
What you need:
A notepad or paper
How to do it:
Find somewhere quiet where you can concentrate.
For each negative thought has popped into your head, write down the opposite. Avoid using negative words, even if you are writing them in a positive way (for eg. Instead of "I am not broken", write "I am whole" "I am complete" "I am learning" etc).
The reason for this being that we hear enough negativity each day, when we are being intentional with our thoughts, we should be as positive and kind as possible. Your brain will naturally focus on the negative (selective hearing much?) so don't give it a negative to focus on.
Continue writing down positive statements.
Read over each one a few times and really think about the words, say them out loud (if you can). It might feel silly but this really does work.
When you have finished, take this piece of paper and keep it somewhere you will see it and read it a few times a day - at your desk, type notes in your phone and make an effort to look at them throughout the day. The more we see and repeat these words to ourselves, the more we can continue to rise up and really BE those things. This is how we bring out the best in ourselves!
Do this exercise often, and make sure you take notice of how you are speaking about yourself. It really does make an impact, so make it a positive one!
As always, feel free to DM me if you have any questions!
Love & strength always,