31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 26 {Self-Talk}

Day 26

In a quiet moment my mind is anything but quiet. There are thoughts swirling through my head like a tornado, all the time.

Sometimes they are whispers and sometimes much louder. Sometimes they are all I can hear. And sometimes I don’t even realize they are there, yet they are.

{Self-Talk} is our internal dialogue that is made up of underlying beliefs created by our past life experiences.

This dialogue may be encouraging and it may be telling you things like “you can do this” or “you have everything you need”. If you look in the mirror and your self-talk is positive, you may hear messages like “you’re beautiful”.

On the flip-side, your internal dialogue may be discouraging. This type of self-talk is far too frequently the kind that I hear in my head. It tells me things like “you can’t handle this” or “you’re not good enough”. When I look in the mirror, my messages can be downright mean and are filled with judgement and criticism.

Imagine trying on jeans at the mall. The supersized mirrors coming at you from every angle are enhanced by the painfully vibrant lighting. Nothing quite like seeing those jeans on your butt from that perspective right? You sheepishly emerge from the dressing room and place the jeans back on the rack, heading over to the section with oversized sweaters instead.

In that scenario, I’m not sure what your self-talk said, but I can tell you what mine sounds like. “Whoa man, is my butt really that big?” “I’m a wide load!” “Got some extra junk in my trunk today.” “There is no way in hell I am buying those jeans.” “When is lunch?”

Just think of how that situation would have ended differently if my self-talk would have celebrated my curves instead of cursed them. Pushing pause on the negative messages seems completely impossible at times. And the damage that negative self-talk can do is devastating.

Why should we continue being our own biggest critic?

I am more aware than ever of the effects of my self-talk on my self-esteem. This soul searching journey has provided great insight into the struggles that I am perpetuating in my own life and I am realizing that…

My chatter matters!

Experts say that the best way to combat negative self-talk is to first be aware of what you are saying to yourself. Then, once you recognize what it is that you’re saying, you need to replace the mean messages with new and improved ones. Kind ones. Encouraging ones.

When you pause and listen to your messages…

What kind of things are you telling yourself?

Are there opportunities to improve your messages?

What would the potential outcome be if your self-talk was consistently positive?

Right now, I am letting my doubts and my fears and my insecurities have a louder voice than my internal cheerleader has.  There are enough obstacles that we face in our lives already without also having to battle the unkind words we say to ourselves. I need to turn my “can’ts” into “cans”!

What if instead of being my own worst enemy, I worked to become my biggest fan? What if when I think of myself, I think of the positive qualities I have? What if my chatter consisted of compliments instead of condemnation? How would my life change for the better?  How would yours?

I encourage you to listen to the messages you are telling yourself. Is your self-talk building you up or tearing you down? And when you determine that, you can work on replacing your negative messages with positive ones instead.

Today, don’t let your flaws be magnified by your own voice. When you change your message, you can change your perspective.

 

*This is the 26th post in a 31 day series on Soul Searching. To follow the series from the beginning, simply click here and you will be directed to the introductory post which contains links to each day’s topic.

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