Self-talk is the inner chatter that accompanies us in most of our waking moments. Your self-talk can be a powerful aid to your performance, or it can be destructive.
What do you say when you talk to yourself? If you’re like many of us, your self-talk is a caustic mixture of judgments, complaints, and verbal abuse, in the form of “tapes” – mental recordings – that you’ve imprinted on your mind and play over and over again. No wonder you feel down and depressed.
However, you can change the tapes you play, and your self-talk, as soon as you become aware of what you’re saying to yourself. Changing your self-talk will turbo-charge your life and enhance your performance in everything you do.
You can change your self-talk right now
Let’s try a little test. Say to yourself, silently or aloud: “That was a stupid thing to say. How could I say _________ (pick any verbal blunder you can remember). I’m so stupid.”
How do you feel? Perhaps you feel sad, or anxious. Take a moment to track your emotions in your body. Perhaps you have a sinking feeling in your tummy, or your face is becoming hot. Your self-talk immediately affected your body, your mental state and your emotions.
Now let’s try some positive self-talk. Take a couple of deep breaths, smile, and say to yourself, aloud or silently: “I’m happy, strong and confident.”
How do you feel now? Feel your emotions in your body. Repeat the words “I’m happy, strong and confident” several times Ė keep smiling as you do so. You felt an emotional lift, didn’t you? You can give yourself an emotional boost at any time, just by changing your self-talk. If you make it a habit to repeat motivating self-talk to yourself, not only will you feel better, but you’ll perform better in everything you do.
Self-talk is powerful, and it’s free. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
Erase old self-talk tapes: make new tapes
Affirmations are a form of self-talk, and you can create your own affirmations to use as self-talk. However, the best way to change your old self-talk tapes, is to make a new tape every time you catch yourself replaying an old tape.
For example, if you hear yourself saying: “I’ll never get this project done. No one’s helping me with it, I’m always left to do the hard work and others get the creditÖ”
Change your self-talk immediately. Write down your new self-talk tape which will over time erase the old self-talk tape: “This project’s interesting. I’m going to have fun working with it. I’ll ask ___ and ___ for their input right away. I’m taking charge of this project, it will be done in no time, and I’ll claim the credit because I deserve it.”
Now repeat your new self-talk to yourself as often as you need to, particularly as soon as you can hear any faint whispers of the old self talk. Boost the new tape with affirmations, like: “I’m confident, capable and strong. I CAN do this!”
Start today: use powerful self-talk to enhance your performance in everything you do.