What is Self-talk?

Self-talk is the inner dialogue you have in your mind when you think of doing something, making a decision, or creating change. It is your thoughts making themselves known to you. It is the small voice in the back of your mind that tells you to go for it, to stop thinking about it, or to give up.

For a lot of people, self-talk is a strict and punishing inner judge. That judge is unforgiving and relentless.
Self-talk can be a repetition of what your parents have said to you in the past, what you’ve have heard others repeat. It is what you now repeat to yourself any time you are considering doing something different, challenging, or outside of your comfort zone.

The Power of Self-talk

Thoughts or self-talk precede emotions and action. This means that if your self-talk feeds you self defeating messages, you soon begin to feel defeated and do not take any action towards your goal. This process can happen very quickly and without you ever noticing it. You literally give up on getting what you want before facing any challenge or before moving a single foot towards it. You give up without exerting any effort whatsoever.

How you act in a given circumstance depends on the self-talk that you hear in your mind. Actions are dependent on instructions from the mind. This is why negative self-talk paralyzes you and keeps you from moving forward.

You end up focusing all of your attention on the negative and as a result are unable to even acknowledge when and if a positive outcome occurs.

Negative self-talk can lead to low self esteem, lack of confidence, lack of productivity, self deprecation, and self sabotaging behavior. The worst thing is that it creates a vicious circle. You end up having more negative self-talk as you continue to give up on your goals and fail to achieve them.

Tons of people underestimate the power of self-talk because they do not know how much influence it has on their personal and professional life. They don’t realize what a huge role it plays in why their life is the way it is and why they have so much difficulty reaching their goals.

Becoming Aware of Your Self-talk

Are you aware of all of the self-talk that goes on inside your mind on a regular basis? Think about it. When you decide you are going to do something, do you hear a little voice inside saying “Yes, go for it!” or “I suck. Why would I want to do that anyway?;” or anything in that nature?

Odds are that you are not even aware of the self-talk going on inside of you. If this is the case, don’t feel bad. Tons of people go on about their day functioning through their self-talk without ever realizing that its happening.

This is because we tend to constantly focus our attention on external factors. We spend very little time, if any, on introspection as a way to get to know ourselves. Plus, we have never been taught how to identify self-talk. Yet, there are things you can do to progressively become more aware of your self-talk.

The three steps below will help you to acknowledge your self-talk and ways in which your self-talk is causing you harm and sabotaging your success.

Once you are able to identify your self-talk, you can then take steps towards changing it to self-talk that is positive and conducive to your reaching your goals.

You will then have power over your thoughts instead of your thoughts having power over you. You’ll be able to change the things you see as possible in your life, the things that you feel capable of achieving, and the things you feel worthy of experiencing. It is a process with an exquisite reward- the freedom to control your mind, recognize the immensity of your potential, and design your behavior towards creating the change you want to experience.

3 Exercises for Identifying your Self-Talk

The following are three exercises you can do to identify your self-talk. Make sure to follow each of the three exercises for both positive and negative self-talk. This will help you become more in tune with your thoughts and begin to recognize specific patterns. It will give you the information you need to become more and more aware of your self-talk and make the changes you need to create what you want in your life.

Make sure to use a journal for this exercise. Because thoughts move through our mind so quickly, writing your self-talk in a journal is extremely helpful. It is the best way to keep track of your thoughts. It also allows you to go back to your journal to see your self-talk at a later time from a neutral standpoint, notice any patterns, and see the incongruities between your self-talk and reality.

  1. Set a timer to go off at different times of the day. As you go about your business, take a moment to ask yourself “What am I thinking about myself right now?” Write down whatever comes to mind in a journal. Writing the answers in a journal is a great way to keep track and see the changes as they occur. (Write anything that comes to mind at that moment. Don’t censor or judge yourself. Just accept it for what it is and write it down.)
  2. Take advantage of your emotions. Whenever you are sad, mad, irritated, stressed, ask yourself “What am I saying to myself right now?” and “What was I saying to myself right before I began feeling this emotion?” Write the answer(s) down in your journal.
  3. Take advantage of events or situations that you find stressful. Right before you enter into a situation that you find stressful, ask yourself: “What am I saying to myself right now?” and “What am I saying about this event or situation?” Write the answer(s) down in your journal. After the event or situation is over, go back to your journal and compare your self-talk to what actually transpired when you entered the event or situation.
  4. Make Self-talk your Most Powerful Tool!

    Creating positive self-talk is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It is absolutely imperative for achieving the goals you set out for yourself and for getting more out of life in general. Thinking positive thoughts impacts all the decisions you make, all the relationships you create, and all actions that you take.

    Most importantly, it enables you to feel empowered, confident, motivated, energetic, optimistic, relaxed, and capable of overcoming challenges in the path of your goals.

Author's Bio: 

Sonia Gallagher is an Executive Life Coach at Time for Life, LLC. She works with Lawyers, Business Owners, and Executives who are ready to be challenged and to reach new levels of Success through Balance. Together, they design systems to: 1. Improve time-management and business development, 2. Create work life balance in alignment with their desired lifestyle, and 3. Overcome limiting thoughts and behavior in the way of their personal and professional goals.

Request a Free Success Reboot Coaching Session now at http://www.timeforlifenow.com