There is one place that we will always be. One person that we will always be with. That person that we will always compare ourselves to. The one that we will judge endlessly. That person is you, and that place is your mind. You can try every trick in the book, but those two things will always be true. That leaves one question, do you like the way you talk to yourself?
Let us begin by defining what negative self-talk is, and what it does to us. Any time you tell yourself that you can’t do something you have never done before, that you will never be something you aspire to be. Anytime that you impose a limit on yourself that is not based on fact. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”. Believing in a limit that you created without trying is a great way to never try new things and it keeps you safe. Our Subconscious mind has the job of keeping us alive and if you never do anything new or risky it rings as a job complete. This can be multiplied by any anxiety that you may have.
Comparison is another way to create a limitation in yourself. If you look at someone else’s success and it triggers longing and jealousy that occupies your thought process with why you don’t have what you want. “I could if” is a statement that probably comes up a lot in your mind when you live in a negative state of comparison. You could even go as far as creating negative labels for those successful people. “They lie, cheat, and steal their way to the top.” “Having that much is because they give so little.” But just like your self-talk being negative and your labeling of others in comparison can be negative, you can flip it and compare in a positive light. You can look at those that have the things you want and work for as a source of inspiration. Their actions show you the path if you look closely. Study and practice can bring you the same success.
Odds are you have heard someone talk in a way that belittles themselves, and if they are someone you care about, you probably corrected them or maybe even told them they shouldn’t talk like that about themselves. It’s easy to see it when it’s not you speaking the negative words. We live in a world that almost glorifies self-deprecating humor and it is a plague on our minds. A statement that I used to regurgitate regularly when I asked if I was a morning or night person would be to say “I am barely a person so let’s get that straight” does that exactly scream self-esteem? When you joke about what you are or what you are not, your mind is listening. It doesn’t have a sense of humor though and misses the joke every time. It takes it as a statement of truth coming from itself and then builds decisions and stories that support that.
What if you hack that meaning making machine that is your brain and you start treating yourself like your best friend. Talk yourself up instead of down, break down what you know as a limit and make something more from yourself. All it takes is a little bit of time and practice and eventually your positive self-talk can recreate who you are. You believed that you could not so strongly that you did not, so I believe that you could, if you did. The limits that you used to cling to may have been strong, so strong in fact that they will make a great foundation of what you can do. When you look back at them and see how far that you have come by believing you could. That belief becomes you can, and you will.
The way you talk to, and about yourself will either limit or build who you are. Either way your mind will give it a story and a meaning. Over and over it will make your reality from what your past was and what your future will be. Knowing how the past affected you can be inspiring and lead you to a life you never knew was possible. Now I will ask again. Do you like the way that you talk to yourself?