Let’s talk about self talk.
Everyone has a certain level of self talk. Some people do not even realize they have any level of self talk, but it is there. Other people, including my grandmother, talk to, or have talked to, themselves out loud all day long. I’m not quite that bad (or good), but my penchant for self talk obviously came from her, may she rest in peace.
You are your own best friend.
Look at it this way. You are your own best friend and your own worst enemy. You might as well take advantage of that fact for the better. Talk to yourself. Tell yourself you are wonderful. Tell yourself you really are human and can make mistakes just like every other human on this planet. Statistics tell us, people who talk to themselves are happier, more normal people.
And strike up a running conversation with yourself, letting you know you chose the right cup of coffee this morning. Let yourself know it’s alright that you yelled at your spouse last night but tonight you can apologize and try to find common ground. Let your best friend walk you through the day, play by play, they will be with you.
Self judgement is difficult.
As you admit to yourself that this situation or that situation didn’t turn out to the best, next time you can do better. We can all look at our friends and family and tell what they are doing wrong or could do better, it comes from us being social animals. But we can’t very well turn that crystal clear judgment to ourselves without seeming narcissistic, or worse, over critical. That particular attitude came from our mothers.
Except we are past the child stage of life, we need to pick up better tools for living an adult life. Being too critical of oneself isn’t the act of an adult, it’s the act of a child. So we need to learn how to speak with ourselves and to do it beneficially.
We are human, we make mistakes.
We start out by giving ourselves a pat on the back for getting up and trying. If you don’t get off the couch, you’ll never get it done, whatever it is. Next we need to realize if you aren’t making a mistake here and there then you aren’t doing anything. You aren’t out of your comfort zone.
Being our own best friend means getting out of your comfort zone with a pal. You can walk and talk yourself right into a better life. If you’re walking through life and not talking to yourself, how do you expect to arrive at your destination.
Tony Robbins once related the story of an airplane going from one destination to the next. The pilot and crew has to constantly adjust the plane to keep it on track, and keep the plane at the proper altitude and speed. The crew can’t call the tower every few seconds to see if the plane is on the right course, the crew has to do that themselves.
You are the pilot of your life, and self talk acts like your crew. How do you become good at self talk? One, you have to start talking. Silently, or out loud, whatever feels better. Tell yourself right now you are going to start treating yourself better. And then tell yourself that again. the trick is to keep at it.
The actual act of talking to yourself is the first step. And keep it going. Every chance you get. Second, pick up a good book on self talk. HUH? You mean I really was talking about something real? So real there are BOOKS about it? Yes, so real there are books about it.
What to say.
One of the best is “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.” by Shad Helmstetter. He’s a PHD. He knows what he’s talking about, and apparently he’s talked to himself a lot because he is very successful in his life and with his book. Click on the book to buy it.
He’s so successful, he’s sold 20 books in over 65 different countries. This guy knows what he’s talking about. This is without a doubt the top book on the subject. It has also been recently updated for the 21st Century, so check it out.
Another good one is “Me, Myself, and Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” By Jennifer Rothschild. Click on the book to buy it.
Jennifer does a good job of highlighting the lies we tell ourselves to justify our bad behaviors, instead of correcting them. And she has good ideas on what to say instead.
She points out an important issue with self talk, and that is of being HONEST with ourselves. This is a tough issue for a lot of people as we were taught at a young age that if we tell the truth of what we’ve done, we get punished. If we tell ourselves the truth, we have to DEAL with the issue, and learn from it, instead of blaming it on something or someone else.
Lastly is a book on my next-to-read list. “Talk to Yourself Like a Buddhist: Five Mindful Practices to Silence Negative Self-Talk,” is written by Cynthia Kane. Why do I look forward to reading this book? Click on the book to buy it.
Because she talks of those mental tapes playing in our heads. And those old movies play over and over in peoples minds. Kane may well have a method of overcoming those old movies. I, for one, have a whole LIBRARY of old movies playing in my head that my spouse and I work to get rid of constantly.
Correcting the self talk has been one of the most important and beneficial tasks I’ve tackled in my life. Follow me with your own journey through the process. Take time to read one of these books and send me a comment on what it did for you, did you like the book, did you feel it was a worth your time? The best of success to you!
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