Wisdom//

Transforming Your Self-Talk

When the obnoxious roommate in your head tells you you're not good enough, it's your own voice that has the power to kick it to the curb.

Science Photo Library/ Getty Images

Have you ever walked around your home complaining about yourself? Do you tend to talk negatively when you refer to your behavior, body, attitude, and so on?

Negative self-talk is rampant in our society today. There is so much pressure to live up to a certain image, an image of “perfection,” in which we constantly see by watching television, reading magazines and other media sources.

When it comes to our children, do we want them to continue this process, questioning themselves in comparison to what they see in the media or societal standards, or do we want them to see themselves as unique, beautiful, individual souls? Perfection is something that cannot ever be reached. We need to teach our children that they are perfectly imperfect just as we are and that it is a beautiful thing. We need to empower our children to love themselves, not despite their flaws, but because of their flaws.

We are the models for our children. Every step of the way, our children are watching us and learning from our behaviors, attitudes and, of course, our negative and positive self-talk. Our job, as their role models, is to live authentically as we encourage and support them to do the same.

Self-talk can be shifted and altered in a way that serves us. Just like we build muscles at the gym, we need to do the same with our own voice in our head. Our minds and the internal dialogue gets stronger through this practice, just as our bodies do through repetition at the gym.

Self-talk is the endless stream of thoughts that run rampant in our heads. Sometimes these thoughts come out in our body language or verbally. Shinning a light on this kind of talk is crucial in living a healthy life. Confidence and positivity lie in our self-talk, as does love and self-compassion. We must encourage and promote positive self-talk to not only others but to ourselves as well.

Loving yourself first is imperative. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” — Buddha

When we step out of this mode of behavior and begin to shine a light on the positive things that we see in our lives and in ourselves, we, in turn, shift our attitude, perhaps unknowingly.

Positive self-talk is a way for people to encourage themselves and keep themselves feeling more confident and self-assured.

One of the best ways to make yourself aware of negative self-talk is when something becomes difficult or makes you nervous, and doubt and judgment sweep into your head. Negative thoughts usually begin with “I can’t” or “I never.”

When we hear ourselves say these things, it is just as important to correct and shift this process, as much as it is when our children do this.

Here are some easy steps to change these negative patterns and thoughts and promote more positive self-talk within ourselves:

  1. Recognize that you are thinking in this way.
  2. Ask yourself why you are making this statement or
    comment about yourself. Why do you think you can’t do something or are
    never able to do something? Try to get to the bottom of where this doubt
    is stemming from.
  3. Try to bring a change to this thought process by either
    asking yourself what is one thing that I can do that would help me move
    into a more positive direction. What will it take to do this?

What we focus on grows. Do we want to focus on the negativity and then watch our children model this after us? It is a choice. Let’s choose positive self-talk.

For more information, visit www.decaroparentcoaching.com

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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