There’s a running dialogue in your head that’s a kind of “white noise” undercurrent accompanying you as you fly from meeting to meeting, text to text, conversation to conversation. Not in the sense of “hearing voices”, of course…at least not voices other than your own and those of people/experiences of your past. It’s this running dialog that shapes your life. It’s what we call in psychotherapy and coaching, your self talk.
Your thoughts create your life – the good news and the bad news! No matter how much you may not like that, disagree with it, doubt it; it’s a fact that’s been proven time and again by multiple industries and experts alike: from self-improvement experts like Tony Robbins and Brene Brown to the ultimate self-improvement book of them all, The Bible, where it drives home the impact of our self talk to help you have an amazing life “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NCV), and “I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies (Philippians 4:8 & 9 The MSG).
SO, let’s cut to the chase and help you both identify the thoughts you’re thinking 24/7 AND how to change them so you can start feeling stronger and more like you’re living the life and having the relationships you want to have today!
- Slow down the “chatter”
Try to identify your self talk “chatter”: What are you saying to yourself, What are your comments whispered within your mind going through the day as you watch other people, as you work and interact, what are those messages about money, success, love, etc..There is no judgment in this – just notice, don’t censor or try to correct.First time through this, you may hear “nothing”. This is because we’re so used to that voice that we don’t even notice it. DON’T GIVE UP – Try again and keep trying until you finally shine the light on it’s stealth presence in your mind (and heart).
- Write down the thoughts you discover
Make notes of the message you’re telling yourself, the thoughts you discover make up the “chatter” you’re filling your mind with.
Keep a running list on your phone or whatever is close by (post it, journal, odd scrap of paper or, heck, just write it on your hand if that’s all you have). The point is to get those thoughts written down and documented so you can SEE them.
Think of someone you love deeply or even your child (or someone else’s). Would you say these things to them in that tone of voice?If you’d answer “yes”, you are among the minority and likely have extraordinarily loving self talk. Congratulations! Just keep doin’ what you’re doin’!However, if you’re like most, the answer to that question is “of course not!” (gasp!).If you wouldn’t say it to someone you love, why would you say it to yourself?
Usually our own “brilliant” logic says, we “need” the negative self talk to stay motivated, disciplined, on track, etc., etc. etc. fearing we’ll turn into a lazy slug without it. However, research shows and therapists, coaches and those in the business of souls says otherwise. Research and experts see real change, growth, performance and fulfillment of human potential happens when we shift that negative, defeating, self-critical self talk to be positive, affirming, and encouraging. It’s not merely “positive thinking”. It’s reminding yourself that you can handle whatever gets thrown your way, that you are worthy, that there is nothing standing between you and the life you desire other than a lot of negativity. It’s reminding you that with enough hard work, dedication and passion you can and will get there. However, you’ll never reach that place toting around a toxic albatross of negative self talk that just drives you down every time you climb higher.
- Change it!
Take every one of those self talk messages and change them now! Scratch out the old lie and write truth in its place. This may mean “faking it until you make it” or accepting the truth that God created you valuable, loved, worthy and beautiful. Period. Perfect in your imperfection.
- At the beginning of the day, CHOOSE where you want your thoughts to go. Pray, focus, meditate, whatever it is that will help you say “I CAN control where my thoughts go and here’s where I’m taking them today”.
Stay on top of it throughout the day and be very vigilant at first (just as vigilant as that awful negative voice about monitoring and correcting).
With time, practice, passion, and love you will get there! Your self talk will be so much more friendly, loving, encouraging and, trust me (and SO many others) the results in your life will be amazing!
P.S. If you liked this, I’d love to hear from you AND would love to have you forward it on to one of your friends. For more tools and encouragement, sign up at www.amyvanslambrook.com or www.amyvanslambrookcoaching.com.