There is someone in your life who says some pretty discouraging things to you throughout the day. This person notices when you make a mistake and is quick to point it out to you. This person is more likely to criticize than to praise. Their words have power over you. Do you recognize this person yet? This person is you!
Whether or not we always realize it we have an internal dialogue going in our head consistently through the day. The term for this is “self-talk” and it describes the way that internal dialogue - and more specifically, the way we talk to ourselves. People typically fall into a pattern of self-talk. If we are not mindful of what our self-talk entails we can quickly fall into a negative pattern of self-talk. This can sound different for everyone.
“I forgot my lunch at home. I am such an idiot, I always forget things.”
“My mid-year review is coming up and I know my boss is going to have bad things to say about the project I’ve been working on.”
“It’s my first day of school tomorrow. I know no one will want to sit with me. I am such a loser.”
Self-talk can be messages that constantly replay in our mind. A lot of time these messages might have originally come from someone else - perhaps criticism from a parent or a teacher. But the way that we chose to frame our circumstances through our self-talk is important in changing our perspective.
If we can rewrite the messages that play in our heads we can change our perspective. Rewriting these messages means recognizing truth about ourselves. In order to find out these truths we need to spend time thinking about the negative self-talk that we replay in our heads. When we recognize a moment of negative self-talk we have the opportunity to change the way we are talking to ourselves.
“I forgot my lunch at home. I was rushing this morning because I woke up late. That’s frustrating but now I know I need to wake up earlier.”
“My mid-year review is coming up. I am nervous about this project that I have been working on and what my boss might say. I am going to take some time to think about what I know I did well on.”
“It is my first day of school tomorrow. I am nervous that no one will want to sit with me. I remember that I have made friends in the past and I can make friends again.”
Take some time to think about the negative messages that you replay in your head. How can you replace those with truth that gives you perspective about you or your circumstances? What are truths about yourself that are positive? Are you kind? What are you good at? What are you capable of doing? What are good things that you have done? Who are people who you influence?
Speak to yourself like you would speak to a close friend or family member. Be kind to yourself. Speak love and truth to yourself as you do for others!