Inspiration tip #3 for changing your life is all about the little voice in your head that is either lifting you up or dragging you down. Have you ever thought about HOW you talk to yourself? Are you hard on yourself? Critical? Negative? or generally upbeat,postivie and encouraging with yourself.
I’m one of those constantly-in-my-head overthinking type people (I think it’s an introvert thing) and I’ve spent a lot of time working to get the upper handle on the little voice and it’s narrative. Fortunately for me, and hopefully you, inspiration hit me this morning on how to take back control of this little blonde maniac upstairs.
My epiphany occurred when I realized that self talk comes down to being one of two things (negative or positive) and the trick is to interrupt the pattern when it’s negative. Gaining control over your self talk is really just a matter of conditioning yourself, much the way you condition yourself to eat healthier or exercise. You have to be consistent in your efforts, and like any other endeavour, change will come.
Try this approach with your self talk; GO or NO GO.
GO or NO GO
You will have to monitor your thoughts throughout the day in order to apply this logic at first but over time it will become habit through something called muscle memory and you won’t have to think about it. All you really have to do is check in with yourself and with your thoughts. Since most of what we think is autopilot kind of stuff, we’re not even consciously aware of what we’re actually thinking about, or the extent to which our thoughts are controlling our actions and feelings. Having awareness of our thoughts, and if they’re negative or positive, gives us a sense of control right there.
The Simple 3 Step Process
When a thought comes up that doesn’t feel good (again, having the awareness of your thoughts is key so it’s important to check in with yourself) ask yourself, “is this thought a GO, as in, does it make me feel good?, or is it a NO GO, as in it makes me feel like sh*t. Or makes me feel yucky/uncomfortable/sad etc.
If it’s good, make note of it. It’s helpful to be aware of how often you are thinking supportive, helpful thoughts because our thinking creates our feelings and we want to focus on feeling good. This would be a GO.
If it’s a thought that creates any of the above noted feelings, it’s a NO GO. Call it what it is. Label it. Interrupt it. Most of our thoughts are just ingrained and automatic and we’re not always aware of them and what they’re actually doing to us. These negative, self limiting thoughts and thinking patterns were created way back in our life experience due to an event that occurred, and that we attached a certain meaning to. It’s like a groove on a record (yes, I’m that old that I just used a record for an analogy). Reprogramming or reconditioning ourselves and our thinking patterns is like grabbing the needle and dragging it across a record. Did you just hear that? ZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTT
We are interrupting the train of thought.
DISRUPTING the thought pattern.
If it’s a NO GO, congrats for recognizing that! You’re already a step closer to kicking it to the curb. Next you need to replace it with another thought. We’re reprogramming right? So you need to give your brain something else or it will just stick in it’s current, not-helpful-at-all groove. Find something kinder to say to yourself. If that’s a struggle see Step 3.
Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a good friend. We get so caught up in the emotional attachment to who we think we are and what we think is true about ourselves that we lack the ability to be objective. Ask yourself, “what would I say to (insert name here) if they were stuck in the same rut?” You’ll be amazed at the wealth of helpful advice and supportive words you’d have for your friend that you wouldn’t have necessarily be able to reach for when talking to yourself.
That’s it! I literally JUST came up with this so let’s all try it out and see if it works. If you DO give the 3 steps a try and you find that it does work, comment below or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear from you.