Do you talk to yourself? Ever find yourself saying: “I can’t.” “I can never.” “That’s not how I’m wired.” “Email me that or I will forget.” “This always happens to me.” “I’m not good at documentation.” “I get so anxious when…”
If you believe that what we tell ourselves comes true [affirmations, neural pathways and all], then doesn’t it make sense you also might believe the negative comments someday? That they become part of who you think you are? Automatic negative thoughts need to be turned around or they do come true (The link is to a PsychCental article.)
Talk to yourself – but turn it to a positive [examples]
I can try becomes I can take the first step.
I can’t becomes I could if I had xyz to help me out (a person, a tool, a scenery change, a roadmap)
That’s not how I’m wired becomes What I’m really better at is ….
Email that or else I KNOW I’ll forget what you asked me to do ….becomes I’d love to to give that some quiet time; want to email me about it?
This always happens to me …. becomes This has happened before; what does that tell me [what could I change this time]
I’m not good at documentation …. becomes I’d like to enlist so-and-so because that’s such a strength of hers. Then I could focus on ….
I get so anxious when …. becomes What can I do to calm myself before I try this one again? [Ask yourself this one before you’re faced with it so you’re ready. Or, ask yourself: What exactly, what piece of this, makes me anxious.]
Talk to yourself – like it’s someone else
According to a research study at Michigan State in 2017:
“The simple act of silently talking to yourself in the third person during stressful times may help you control emotions without any additional mental effort than what you would use for first-person self-talk — the way people normally talk to themselves.”
Or maybe it IS someone else. Whom do you admire? Ask yourself: “What would Sue say or do right now?”
Or as Brene Brown tells us ….
,,,and think about exactly who this is, the “someone you love,” so you’re ready next time something negative starts coming out of your mouth.
Or, learn to love yourself more. Self compassion. Some people are so good at having compassion for others. But if we don’t have enough for ourselves, eventually the well runs dry for all of us.
Listen carefully when you talk to yourself and to others.
Your language matters.
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