The power of self-talk

watch-icon February 22, 2021

The power of self-talk

When you speak to yourself, are you being your own best friend, or are you your worst enemy? 

If I had to guess, many of you are not being very friendly to yourself. 

Don’t you think it’s one of the great mysteries of our lives? You speak constructively and positively to others. You help them through tough times. You find their strengths and highlight them. You build them up when they are feeling down. And yet, you don’t speak to yourself this way… 

If your friend made a mistake, you would never say, “you are such an idiot; I can’t believe you did that.” But I bet you say it to yourself. 

Imagine your friend put on a couple of pounds, and when you looked at them, you said, “God, you are disgusting. What a failure. Look how fat you are.” 

Are you saying, ‘I’d never say that to them. It’s so mean!’ 

But you talk to yourself this way. 

What is it that compels us to be so damn negative to the one person that we should be the most supportive of? What a strange creature we are? 

I’ve heard people say that they are hard on themselves, so they work harder to be better person. Sadly, every piece of research I’ve read on self-development, leadership, growth and success contradicts this mindset. Sorry, it might give you an immediate hit of adrenaline and get you to the gym the first time, but it doesn’t work for transformational change. 

If you are honest with yourself, you will recognise a pattern of self-flagellation – action – failure – self-flagellation…and round, and round it goes. 

I’ve been investing a lot of time recently in improving how I talk to myself. Because sometimes, I’m not a good friend to myself. 

I decided that if I want to be a really great coach, leader and cheerleader for others, I had to be one for myself first. 

I had to invest in learning a new way of thinking. It takes time and energy every day. Real transformation is not a set and forgets activity. It’s small daily actions. 

Here’s a couple of the activities I employ to be a better friend to myself: 

I listen to a guided meditation each night before I sleep. The recording is in my own words and my own voice.  I am being my own mindset coach. It helps my brain recognise my voice as a positive influence instead of the mean girl it was used to hearing. 

I also take five-ten minutes every morning to meditate. During the meditation, I ponder on a statement. Something like “grant me the ability to speak last” or “grant me the peace of going with the flow.” I use this as a mantra to stay focused. 

Marianne Williamson says that you wouldn’t leave the house without showering the dirt of yesterday off your body, so you should also wash the “dirt” of yesterday off your mind and soul. 

Whether you subscribe to a faith, religion or philosophy or not. It’s something to ponder. 

Particularly in a world that appears to have more people suffering from stress, depression and anxiety than at any other time. Perhaps a mind shower is just what we need. I know it’s helped me. 

So here’s my question to you. 

If you spoke to yourself like you would expect a supportive, compassionate and achievement-focused coach would do. What would you say? 

If you were able to say to yourself the positive things that someone who loved you would say to you. What would you say? 

If you could be the person that you always wanted to be, and you could only achieve it through constructive self-talk. What would you say to yourself to be that person? 

And the big question… Is this how you are talking to yourself now? 

If not, why? 

To achieve great things, you need to be your own cheerleader and success coach first. You need to fill your own needs before you can support others. 

Take time today to write down 6 statements that you can say to yourself each day that will help you to live a wonderful, happy and creative life. 

And then say them to yourself every night before bed and every morning when you wake. 

I guarantee you’ll start to change your opinion about your ability to have a great day. 

Try it for a week and see what happens. 

#LiveCreatively 

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Michelle Holland