Are you aware you talk to yourself all the time? We all do. Our self-talk makes a huge difference in our lives for better or for worse. The question to ask yourself is whether your inner voice is a friend or an enemy.
Our unconscious is impacted by the words we say in the same way that it is when other people talk to us. How we speak to ourselves can be a powerful tool. The power of self-talk is the most underutilized available resource to aster our minds and improve our lives. Our thoughts influence our feelings, choices, and actions. Positive thinkers are more optimistic, confident, and successful. Their effect is contagious and uplifts friends, co-workers, and loved ones.
Our Role Models
Starting in childhood, our self-talk develops over time. If you’ve ever watched young children play, you’ve overheard them talk to them, their dolls, action figures, and their friends in words and tone are similar to what they’ve heard from influential adults, especially their parents. How parents talk to them and also how they talk to them and each other provide role models. Gradually, children internalize that voice.
This usually is a positive development that helps children master tasks, comfort themselves, and learn to interact with peers. Unless your childhood was less than perfect. Patient teachers and parents teach children patience with themselves, but undermining, critical, or angry role models teach children to talk to themselves with doubt, frustration, and scorn.
Codependents grow up in dysfunctional families where parents generally provide ineffective role models, ranging from neglect, emotionally reactivity, over control, disapproval, or blatant verbal abuse. Even when we’ll-meaning parents tell their children they shouldn’t feel ashamed or sad, parents are inadvertently shaming their children’s authentic feelings. This can lead to internalized shame which can have major detrimental effects on adult functioning.
The Trio- The Critic, Perfectionist, And Pusher
They work in connection reinforcing one another and can make life a living heck. The Perfectionist sets up idealistic standards, the Pusher push’s us to achieve them, and the Critic faults us for never succeeding.
- The Perfectionist
Expects us to be superhuman, ensuring that we fail to meet its unattainable standards.
- The Pusher
Is a relentless taskmaster, depriving us of enjoyment of life and pleasure.
- The Critic
Tells us we’re never good enough.
The Perfectionist and the Pusher can help us achieve our goals if we have positive perfectionism. But of all three, the Critic does the most damage and can undermine our self-esteem. Trying something new and making decisions can be near impossible because of the anxiety that things won’t turn out will. In actuality, we’re afraid of our own inner critic. The Critic is also as essential difference between positive and negative perfectionism. This trio creates anxiety, depression, and inactivity.
Many people aren’t even aware of the extent to which they accuse, blame, and deny themselves. Many people live with the tyranny of the should’ve. They order themselves around and second-guess themselves after the fact. There are those individuals who believe that they must push and punish themselves to improve or achieve anything. Their afraid that they’ll end up as lumps on the couch. Never mind that they’re pushing and reproaching themselves into depression by creating greater unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their lives and those of their families.
The power of self-talk can swamp our with anxiety and rumination and overpower us with shame and painful emotions. It can offer comfort and encouragement or make us feel anxious and inadequate. It can provide self-discipline and organization or make us feel overwhelmed and defeated. It can ruin our lives, job opportunities and relationships, or it can be harnessed to raise our self-esteem, achieve our goals, and uplift our outlook and enjoyment of life.
Changing Our Self-Talk
Although we’ve become accustomed to these inner voices, they can be changed. But, it first requires our becoming more aware of them and developing mindfulness about our self-talk. There are some steps that have to be taken to reform these voices that include gaining an understanding of their motives and standards and learning to modify and counteract them. There are several steps you can do immediately.
1. Practice Mindfulness. Unless you’re actually aware of your inner voice, you can’t change them. Begin by writing down your negative self-talk on a daily basis. Write down your negative self-talk, should include all your should and shouldn’t s this will make thrum more conscious and provide you with choices.
2. Self-Distancing. Practice positive self-talk by addressing yourself in the third-person. This has the effect of self-distancing by shifting the focus away from yourself.
There has been research done that proves that by calling yourself by name, you begin to talk to yourself as you would a third person, it helps regulate your emotions because you are less emotionally involved and acquire a larger perspective. In effect, your emotional brain is less triggered, and you become wiser. This simple change has a profound positive impact on reducing shame, anxiety, and depression. It provides you with increased clarity and better judgement in dealing with work and relationships.
This builds thinking habits. We should spend each day and throughout the day we should repeat positive self-talk. Not Surprisingly if you say a prayer each morning, but negate yourself the test of the day, which words do you think will have more impact? Of course the Positive ones.
Try to make your positive self-talk outweigh any negative self-talk. By doing this you can develop an improved outlook and attitudes, which can lead to better health and de and greater success in your relationships and work.