A few years ago I was at a crossroads in my life. I was living in a constant state of flux, setting unrealistic and unsustainable goals. Most of the time I felt flat and I lacked energy. I had exhausted all the usual pathways that people explore hoping to find a solution. Dieticians, nutritionists, doctors, naturopaths, homeopaths, exercise physicians, alternative healers, health and wellness coaches, personal trainers, yoga, meditation, psychologists, and Chinese herbalists. You name it I had done it. Still, the self -doubt continued. One day I was sitting at a coffee shop and I came across a quote that was written on the wall: “It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s your self-talk, what you whisper to yourself, that has the most power.”
I had a light bulb moment. The problem was simple. I was continuously looking outwards for solutions and by doing so I was giving away my inner power. I was not taking personal responsibility for my thoughts and feelings. I took it a step further and decided to explore my inner voice a little more closely. For a week I noted down my language, my rhetoric and my self-talk.
- What was I whispering to myself? Better yet what was I thinking all the time?
- Were these thoughts contributing to my lack of energy and inertia?
It shocked me when I actually read what I had been saying in my head and saw it on paper. I was my own worst enemy and I had believed these thoughts for too long.I was listening to the wrong voice. So what is negative self-talk? It is defined as “the constant mental chatter that we engage in on a regular basis that has become so habituated that we don’t even notice we are doing it.”
Changing the habits of Self-Talk
Self-talk arises from our sub-conscious and is a result of our fears and negative beliefs. It is a normal function of the mind and happens on auto-pilot.
The upside is that with awareness we can learn how to control the negative self-talk and reframe and replace it with positive self-talk. This is a learned skill that takes practice. Once it becomes a habit, it can start to change your perspective on life.
My monthly mantra is by Lisa M.Hayes: “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.”
I invite you to pay attention to your self-talk for a week. Is it positive and encouraging? Does it make you feel energetic or anxious? Is it even accurate? Does it reflect the reality and truth of your situation?
Next month I will focus on strategies for reframing negative self-talk to positive self-talk.
Remember that your thoughts create your reality.
With love and inspiration