In any area of your life where you want to make some changes, it really pays to examine the kind of things you are saying to yourself. Your inner dialogue (what you say to yourself) really determines how you feel about yourself and your life experience. We all have an inner dialogue whether we are aware of it or not.
Every day we have around 60,000 thoughts, 80% of those thoughts are what would be considered negative in nature. 95% of those are repetitive, going over and over in our minds. 85% of the things we worry about never happens. Interestingly the 15% where the thing we worry about does happen, 79% of people say that it wasn’t as bad as what they thought it would be and grew from the experience.
Some thoughts can be ‘resourceful’ and empower you to move forward in your life, whilst others can be ‘limiting’ and keep you stuck in losing circumstances. They can be made up of other peoples beliefs, things you’ve heard, stories you’ve been told, conversations you’re replaying over in your mind, generational beliefs and patterns, popular culture and so on.
These limiting thoughts are usually an attempt of the unconscious mind to keep you safe. We are all programmed to survive and to do that we need to seek out threats. The issue is that our unconscious can’t tell the difference between what a real threat to our survival and a threat to our comfort zone, ego, or identity.
We can’t ‘control’ the thoughts that come into our minds and attempting to do so is frustrating and exhausting, and in most cases, just creates more of the problem you are trying to solve (re-read that sentence again!)…
So it’s not the thoughts that are important, rather it’s how we interact with those thoughts that makes the difference!
If you are struggling with negative self-talk, here are some journaling prompts for you…
1. List out all the negative thoughts you think of on a regular basis
2. When you talk to yourself in this way, are you repeating things that you’ve heard? Where have you heard them? Have they been directed to you or are they beliefs you’ve taken on for yourself?
3. Do they reflect how you truly feel or have you created a habit of talking in this way even though things are ok?
4. Take some time to look beyond these thoughts now. What aren’t you noticing or recognising in yourself or in your life that you can appreciate? What can you be grateful for?
5. What kind of things would you like to be saying to yourself instead that would enable you to feel more optimistic?
Now create some reframed beliefs to counteract those negative ones you’ve been repeating to yourself. Keep them positive, in the current tenths and believable. Practice repeat these to yourself in the moments ‘in between’ Eg. when the kettle is boiling, sitting at the traffic lights, when up or downloading a file, waiting on hold etc.
If you’ve found this beneficial, share it with a friend who could do with this right now!