Why do so many people suffer from negative self talk, why does this happen and what can you do to change it? Just so you know I don't prescribe over crazy positivity like the world is amazing etc....I focus on the science.
Today I'll be sharing with you what shapes our self talk, the impact it has on our day-to-day lives, along with 3 simple techniques you can use to improve your mindset, energy and motivation.
The reality of self talk, a quick story....
I don't know about you but as a busy entrepreneur my self talk seems to never shut up. My head is constantly awash with a running to-do list and endless tasks.....then out of nowhere
A little voice says.....'Why are you bothering, you know you're no good at this.'
I try and ignore it, distract myself and crack on but not a moment later I hear......
'No, seriously...just close shop and get a job.........'
Before I know it my head is swimming in negativity (which I know is not good for me) and I feel like a failure....
Whilst this crazy inner dialogue continues I can also rationally think AT THE SAME TIME....that I'm being ridiculous and need to stop but it doesn't seem to make a difference.
Isn't being a human amazing!!!
Within about 5 minutes I can go from getting on with my day quite happily to a self-doubting, negative wreck.
Sound familiar? If so read on, I'm going to explain why this happens and then give you 3 tips you can use to change your self talk.
The science of self talk
I believe that a good understanding is the first pillar of building natural confidence. If you don't know what's happening how can you fix it?
PS. This is what most solutions lack in my opinion. They give you the tips but don't empower you with the understanding. When you know what's going on and why, you can implement the tips much more effectively.
These 'negative' thoughts emanate from our survival instinct, our basic need to keep ourselves safe. This is the fundamental role of your subconscious mind and in order of importance, keeping safe is above all else.
Our negative inner dialogue serves as a barometer reminding us of things which our unconscious believes we need to assess in order to be 'safe'. In the example I gave above the fear stems from feelings of insecurity eg I may look stupid, fail, lose or embarrass myself.
To keep you 'safe' your mind will throw anything it needs to at you to make sure you listen. And it's efficient, it knows what will have the biggest impact. It will not waste it's time with insignificance, it goes straight to the jugular. If you are majorly affected by what others think, guess what......your mind will play on that. If success is important to you it will say what if you fail etc.
Whats more, you are a survival mammal so you look for danger and threats more than you look for pleasure. Your brain is geared to highlight these 'negative' things, it's human nature. That doesn't mean those thoughts are true, it just mean's you're a human.
There isn't a single person on the planet who doesn't have inner self talk and we all have to keep it in check from this barometer of keeping us safe. You are certainly not alone!!!!
3 effective techniques for changing your self talk
If you're finding your self talk is overwhelming or having a negative impact on your motivation and energy try one or all of these techniques.
- Don't listen - often self talk is fuelled by our analytics. We don't just think the thought, we analyse it's meaning, which starts the snowball effect by giving it our focus our unconscious goes into overdrive. DON'T!!! It's just a thought, give it no power, no attention at all.
- Counteract it - Purposely force yourself to think about all the times the opposite has been true. Question the thoughts validity, don't just take it at face value. Often these thoughts are like verbal diarrhoea. They just tumble out and actually they lack honest sustinence.
- Lighten up - it's just a thought, that doesn't mean it's true. I call mine Mr Niggles, I give it a silly character, a mischievous personality. It's like a child who doesn't get it's way. I laugh at how awful it can be. Lightening it up can make you feel less drawn in by it.
I use all of these techniques both personally and with clients, they really work. The absolute key is noticing when you're doing it, when that inner self talk is happening. Only when you start noticing it can you actively choose to do something about it.
Notice it.....question it......minimise it........and then crack on...
I hope you find these practical techniques useful and I know they take a little practise so.....
If you'd like more mindset support book a place on my monthly Break Free, Find Clarity sessions. These give you an opportunity to learn even more simple mindset tricks and also connect with a like-minded community.
And if negative self talk is a real problem you'd like some one 2 one support with, book a free 30 minute Mindset Review and we'll have a chat and get to the bottom of it.
Until next time