The conversations that you have with yourself may be some of the most important that you ever engage in.
I know that sounds kinda funny, especially since we often equate talking to ourselves with being a little nutty.
We tend not to think too much about the things we say under our breath, or the things we say to ourselves about ourselves when we do something that we might consider less than terrific. But I believe it’s wise to listen to these conversations we’re having, some of them taking place rather quietly in our heads, and it’s even wiser to make changes if we find that we’re not being too kind to numero uno.
A few years ago I made a decision to start paying close attention to the way I talked to myself, and to my surprise I was taking a bit of a verbal beating most of the time. It was simple stuff like a sarcastic “Nice going, Shippey” or a more direct, “That was stupid”, whenever I would mess up in a way that I didn’t find acceptable. The more serious incidents were when I might say something like, “I can’t believe you always screw this up!” or “Come on, man”, insinuating that I was embarrassing myself.
It sounds pretty trivial, I know. But, over the course of time, this kind of self inflicted damage can really start to chip away at your self esteem.
I mean listen, you have to figure yourself for a pretty trustworthy source, at least subconsciously, right? So, if you’re the one that’s verbally beating up on yourself most of the time, how long before you start to believe it?
There’s only so much negativity that any of us can take before it starts to become our reality.
You could really be sabotaging yourself, and you may be doing it in a just a few quick seconds every day. Almost unnoticeably.
The reason that it becomes so undermining is that when self esteem starts to crumble, it prohibits us from achieving anything at a high level. If we lose that core belief in ourselves, it’s extremely difficult to persevere when things get tough. It’s real easy to give up and quit. In fact, without confidence, we rarely muster up the strength to try anything new or different.
Think about how lousy you would feel if someone followed you around all day, noticed all the mistakes you made, and then embarrassed you by pointing them out and making fun of you. Then imagine it was someone whose opinion you usually valued. Get the point?
So what’s my advice? Give yourself a break! Stop abusing the one person that will always be there for you! You may discover that you’ve been saving your best zingers for you. Seriously, you could really be hammering yourself. So, cut it out!
Start being nice. Apply the same rules to your self talk that you do to any other kind of talk. And if you don’t have anything nice to say…
The great thing about becoming aware of how you talk to yourself, is that you can begin to change all of those conversations to positive ones. And, once you start making that habitual, you will begin building the self esteem that you have previously been damaging. Your confidence will soar, and you will find that you feel better and are much more likely to take on new challenges.
Start noticing the great things you do each day and tell yourself just how great they are. Tell yourself how great you are. Confidence is a very powerful thing. And I can tell you this; there’s nothing quite as motivating as a self pep talk.
Believe in yourself and respect yourself. If you can do those things, it will change the way you talk to yourself for sure.