The Secret to Self-Talk: How to Motivate and Root for Yourself First

It is important to surround yourself by people that will support you when things get tough, or who cheer for your success. These motivators pick you up when you’ve been knocked down, point out all the great things you’ve accomplished when you didn’t think you could, and help you keep your sights on achieving your goals. But, no matter how many outside motivators you have in your life, at some point, you’re going to be alone—just you and your thoughts. How do you react?

Failure, disappointment and setbacks in life can all have the potential to bring you down. They can also make you stronger, smarter, and more capable than ever. It’s not the event that matters; it’s how you handle it internally. Specifically, it’s how you talk to yourself when there’s no one else around.

These are five steps that will help you improve your self-talk and give you the inspiration and persistence you need whenever you need it.

1. You can eavesdrop on what you think

Before you can improve your self-talk, first, you have to find out what’s currently being said in your mind. We are all in constant conversation with ourselves, but much of it takes place unconsciously—recycled or habitual content we’ve told ourselves year after year. For a time, listen to what your mind is thinking. Don’t try to change the conversation quite yet; let it play out as if you were simply sitting down on a park bench and watching the pigeons. To make any change, awareness is the key.

2. Get rid of the tapes

Listening closer to each voice, phrase, or belief, you can trace it back to its source. You’ll probably realize that many of the words or sentiments are not yours but belong instead to your parents, friends, old teachers, mentors, or past adversaries. Many of these voices and people reside in your head without you knowing. It is time for you to openly admit that some of them are in your life. You don’t need to keep replaying Uncle John’s cutting remarks about your potential. Nor do you need your family’s fears superimposing on you and holding you back.

This is the right time. Your past is not your present. You’re not just another Russian doll among a bunch of Russian dolls, unable to share the fears and doubts of the rest of the family. Your individual goals and potentials are unique to you. You are the one who controls your destiny.

3. Be friendly with yourself

As you listen, the constant white noise of chatter might soon differentiate, and you’ll detect the various voices of fear, anger, jealousy, uncertainty, or other underlying emotions. It’s not always easy to accept that all these emotions belong to us, but emotions are what define us as human beings. When channeled correctly, emotions can serve their real purpose as messengers. They help us to grow stronger and more savvier.

These are just a few examples of ways you could start to dialogue with your emotions.

“I hear your concerns, Fear, but this is good for our growth. Buckle up.”

“Envy, thank you for showing me what I want most. Now, I’m going after it.”

“I know that last speech didn’t land like you hoped, Guilt, but we’re better prepared this time.”

“Every rejection is a reminder that you’re in the game, Shame!”

“Be mindful of your self talk. It’s a conversation with the universe.” – David James

4. As you would speak to other people, talk to yourself.

What’s your initial response when you send an email but quickly realize you forgot the attachment? Is it better to laugh at yourself, correct the mistake, and move on? What length of time do you replay and rehash your errors or mistakes in your head?

Chances are, you’re harder on yourself than you would be on anyone else. You will notice a difference in how you speak to yourself about making mistakes and the way you communicate with others who make similar errors. Consider what you might say to another person in the exact same situation. You could encourage them to get better. You might suggest some words to help them refocus. Then, work to offer your same wise advice—wrapped in kindness, patience, and understanding—to yourself.

5. Talk to yourself as the third person

Now that you’ve cleaned out your mind and committed to practicing more kindness toward yourself, it’s time to get talking. But—how?

Most of us tend to talk to ourselves in an “I” language. This is not the case. StudySelf-talk research shows it is best to speak in the third person. According to this study, when we use “I” language, it tends to slant negative, despite our best efforts. For example, we might say, “I don’t know if I can do this.” When, instead, we speak in the third person, it naturally sounds more positive, such as, “Mary, you’ve done this a thousand times before, you’ve got it!”

We all need to surround ourselves with people who can build us back up when we’re down. This work can only be done by you. To ramp up your self-talk game, start listening in, clear out any old tapes, make friends with your emotions, talk to yourself as you would anyone else—and try using the third person! You might only need small changes to make self-talk more effective.

Enjoy your conversations!

The original article The Secret to Self Talk: How to Motivate, Root and Support Yourself appeared first on Addicted 2 Success.

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