The Impact of Positive Self-Talk
January 9, 2021
Importance of self-talk
Ever caught yourself talking to the walls about something that was bothering you? Or maybe playing back a scenario in your mind where you could have done things differently? I have always found myself doing this and wonder why I almost subconsciously choose to replay things in my mind and try to potentially change the circumstance in my imagination at the very least. This is where I realised that self-talk allows us to narrow down the clutter in our mind and sometimes even reduce our anxiety before certain social situations but the kind of self-talk we have with ourselves is what needs attention. Research shows that positive self-talk makes us feel a little more prepared, calm and secure as the mind has recognized the importance of this matter. However negative self-talk, the one almost everyone ends up having without noticing, is the one that really affects us detrimentally.
You’re getting ready for an interview or a big presentation in front of a bunch of strangers and all you can think of is how it could go wrong and leave you feeling embarrassed. After a moment or two, you walk up in front of the mirror and tell yourself ‘you can do this’ and that even if it doesn’t go as you expect, ‘you’ll be proud of yourself for showing up for it with courage and hope’. That right there is the kind of self-talk that holds the power to calm your nerves and accept the possibility of any outcome. It has the ability to shape how you confront challenges, curve-balls and even dead-ends.
We indulge whole-heartedly in so much content on the daily and this content is what has the ability to create a framework of our internal dialog. Whether that’s podcasts, movies or TikTok’s, choose your niche carefully; it’s set to mark its territory in your mind.
I think therefore I am
Socrates famous quote ‘I think therefore I am’ really reminds me that I am and technically can become anything based on what I think I can be. Tony Robbins once said
“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.”
Our life is a reality we create based on the numerous stories we tell ourselves. Some of these stories become the foundation of our belief system which then give rise to different beliefs that either empower us, limit us or estrange us. Self-talk is that first step to building our beliefs, most of the things we choose not to do or think we can’t do are caused by those beliefs.
We come across certain instances in life where we must make a decision that resonates with the whole of us. A lot of these decisions sometimes creates an internal conflict between what you think you want versus what aligns with your values. The stories we tell ourselves are so rigid because they usually align with those values and fit with us ecologically. This is why self-talk allows us to truly break down what we would like and whether it intrinsically works with us. Positive self-talk allows us to create better belief systems which form our most deep-rooted values. For instance, we might say certain negative things to ourselves which we don’t really mean, like ‘I am obese’ ‘I am ugly’, but unknowingly it may strengthen a limiting belief which could be harmful in the long run. Even when you may be feeling at your best, this little inner critic will throwback phrases you consistently fed it. So whether they are true or false, they are getting registered within you. Choose positive self-talk always.
Top 3 beliefs to let go of now
Not good enough
This is by far the most used negative self-affirmation phrase. I am not good enough in/at xyz. We all face self-doubt but consistently reminding yourself to stay in the loop of ‘not good enough’ is going to refrain you from taking an active position in your life. A good way to tackle this is by questioning this belief. At what point do you think you will be good enough? What must you achieve or feel in order to do so? And who must you receive this validation from? Once you question yourself enough, you might end up with this answer. ‘Only when you finally accept that you already are’
Shouldn’t have done that
Admit it. We are all guilty of playing back scenarios from the past and imagining how we could have done it differently. And that’s fine, as long as we don’t beat ourselves over what has past. Understanding our timeline and how time is a construct allows us to realise that at that time, place, emotional and mental state, we did what we thought was best. We could always do things differently in retrospect but does that even matter? Different doesn’t equate to better. The grass always looks greener on the other side but what we don’t see is that shadows always tend to change their place. Live in the now.
I was too much …
Sometimes when we feel overwhelmed or triggered by certain emotions or situations we act in ways that are completely out of our known character. And that’s alright because you know what, we’re human. To consistently judge our reactions and behaviours is heavily draining. We are not a machine with settings that are controlled by a framework made by humans. Elements like emotions, change, love, sickness, death, loss, opportunity and so much more that could never be deciphered into code and that’s what makes humans, humans. Humans are a framework that no one understands completely so really, judging ourselves for the way we react to every little thing is us being too hard on ourselves. Yes, we tend to be harder on ourselves than even life itself.
An expat in Dubai who loves engaging with diverse people and having honest conversations about life, through her blog- Egoiste Life. As a passionate artist, Manahil spends most of her weekends writing about the world, reading poetry and creating adventurous memories with the people she loves.