Every waking minute of every day we talk to ourselves. Whether we realise it or not, that inner chatter directly influences how we act and how we feel and ultimately impacts our ability to lead a positive life. We all speak to ourselves differently and sometimes it may even be through visualizations rather than words. It is suggested that over 70% of our self-talk is negative thereby feeding anxiety, depression and affecting confidence levels and self-esteem.
When we embark on a journey to a healthier lifestyle and perhaps re-invention, we automatically place the emphasis on the physical aspects of the transformation. Whether that be joining a fitness class or changing the food that we eat, it is these physical actions which give us the instant feel good factor and gratification. Very little time is ever spent on changing the way that we think and eventually this leads to our thoughts beginning to sabotage our new healthy actions.
How many times have you heard yourself say:
I can’t do it
I’ve failed before so why would this time be any different?
This is hopeless
Ha! You’ve eaten a biscuit. You’ve blown it. Might as well have another one
It won’t work for me
This inner dialogue, or ego, wants to keep us safe so it feeds us stories using the limited information and perceptions it has. We’ve been giving our ego the information it uses for the whole of our lives through personal experiences and the views of others and as a result, this information then forms the basis of our beliefs and our understanding of what is possible.
But, what if we could change this? What if we could harness this powerful tool and use it positively to really improve our health?
If you truly have a desire to change your habit of negative self-talk to improve your health or any other area of your life, it’s entirely possible.
You firstly need to recognize and be consciously aware that you are doing it. Take note of the words or phrases you are using and ask yourself ‘Would I speak to my friend like this?’. If the answer is no, don’t speak to yourself like that either!
Secondly, challenge what it is that you are saying. So, if you are telling yourself that you can’t change the way that you eat, look for evidence that it’s possible that you can do it. Maybe another person you know has done it already and therefore the evidence shows that it can be done.
Thirdly, replace the old way of thinking with a
new phrase or word. Habits take time to
establish and at first it will feel awkward and even in-sincere but, like
exercising a muscle, the more you practice the stronger your new beliefs will be.