Self–talk refers to the dialogue that
goes on inside your head when faced with conflict or life
challenges or even simple day-to-day concerns. This aspect
of yourself has a running commentary about everything you
do. It never lets anything go by with out some comment, remark
Becoming aware of this process is the first step in taking charge of
this part of yourself that can create a lot of unnecessary stress. The
automatic reactions you have to this constant barrage of negative thoughts,
judgments and evaluations can keep you feeling stressed and less able
to meet life’s challenges.
You’ll recognize these thoughts because you have heard them all your
life; I'm not smart enough, something is wrong, I can't do it, I never finish
anything, this is too hard, change takes too long, etc. You may have initially
formed these negative ideas about yourself from things you
heard initially from a parent, teacher or someone who was in authority over
you or they were decisions you made in reaction to some event. Now, as an adult
you have incorporated them into your own personality. In effect you don't need
those people to tell you what to do anymore, they are living inside your own
These thoughts surface when you are faced with doing something that is
counter to what your mind thinks you can do, or has a negative
opinion about. Think back over some times that your own ideas
or thoughts about what you could or could not accomplish got
in the way of something you really wanted.
Okay...knowing that, now what?
This internal monologue is present in
everyone. The bad news...there is no getting rid of it. The good news...you
can learn how to manage your mind so that it is your servant and you are
the master, not the other way around. We have found a great book that helps you distinguish yourself from that 'voice' in your head in a lighthearted, 'non-psychobabel' way. We have taken the book and put together an online class where you can ask questions and get help 24/7 as you work your way through the material. Read about how you can take positive action in managing your self talk in our Taming Your Mind online class.
What you will learn how to do.
First...awareness. You must become aware of the inner dialogue. Begin
to notice when it shows up, what it is telling you. You will have to be
vigilant at first. You think that voice is you. It isn't. The fact that
you can discuss it means that it is something that you do, not who you
are. Begin to pay attention to what you think. Observe it without buying
into what your mind is telling you. See if you can start to recognize
the repetitive nature of the thoughts.
Second...you don't HAVE to react to the thoughts your mind presents you.
It is a habit you can break with awareness. The moment you notice that
it is just a THOUGHT and not a COMMAND you have a choice. You are in touch
with your "observing self". That gap or moment of awareness
allows you to notice the thought and CHOOSE to do what you have always
done or CHOOSE to do something different.
Start with observing how often you listen to 'your mind'.
However, we know from experience this can be a difficult process to do alone. Having a map is not the actual territory. You need a guide. That is the best way to manage your self talk. Remember, change takes time but in the class we will be there to support you.