It’s no secret that the way we communicate with others has a direct bearing on the quality of our relationships. Our words have the power to discourage or encourage, to build up or tear down. I am sure that we have all experienced the healing power of a kind word along with the pain of someone’s cruel or careless comments. Being aware of the powerful effect our words have on other people’s lives, we naturally try to use our gift of speech in a responsible and compassionate way when interacting with those around us. But, let me ask you this…
Do you show yourself the same consideration?
Our ongoing dialogue with ourselves, whether internal or verbal, has a direct influence on our self-image. Self-talk may not be audible to others, but your nervous system gets the message loud and clear. If you use self-talk to belittle yourself, minimize your achievements, or express doubt in your own abilities, how will that influence your sense of self worth? Obviously, it won’t produce beneficial results. On the other hand, positive and encouraging self-talk will contribute to feelings of inner strength and self-respect, which will have a very beneficial effect on the way you view yourself and your personal potential.
You replay your inner conversations
Self-talk is like a recording that constantly plays in your mind, and much of the time you are completely unaware of it because it can occur on a sub-conscious level. Negative inner conversation can have the same side effects as hurtful gossip. If those recorded messages include limiting beliefs from the past, reinforced by derogatory input from the present, the damage gets compounded. If you are currently the victim of your own negative self-talk then here’s some good news. With a little effort those recorded messages can be erased and replaced with new, more empowering ones. Let’s look at a few simple ways to use positive self-talk to change your mental recording and empower yourself.
Best ways to energize yourself with positive self-talk
Build yourself up - If you’ve gotten used to tearing yourself down, you may not even notice how harshly you speak to yourself. To turn this around, you simply need to make a conscious choice to use self-talk to build yourself up as often as possible. Begin a new habit of speaking encouragingly and expressing positive thoughts about yourself and your abilities. For example, instead of referring to yourself as an idiot when you make a mistake, remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and experience is what helps us to improve. In addition, make some time every day to look at yourself in the mirror and find at least three positive things to say about yourself. You can compliment your physical features, personality traits, abilities or accomplishments. We all have our strong points so be sure you make the time to use self-talk to acknowledge yours. Most importantly, always speak to yourself in the same way you would speak to a good friend who is in need of support and encouragement. You would never call them names or say mean things to them, so don’t use self-talk to do those things to yourself either!
Be your own cheerleader - Rather than avoiding a difficult task because you doubt your own abilities, use self-talk to become your own cheerleader. When you’re getting ready to tackle something challenging, take a few minutes to give yourself a mental pep talk. Express confidence in the fact that “you can do this.” Also, be sure to regularly commend yourself for a job well done and don’t limit your expressions of approval to just the big accomplishments. If you gave something your best effort, then go ahead and acknowledge that. For example, you could say to yourself, “I’m really proud of the way I handled that rude customer. I kept my cool the whole time.” Or, “I’m so proud of myself for finishing that project before deadline.” Next, find some way to reward yourself so that your expressions of approval are linked to tangible benefits. This will do wonders to build your sense of self confidence.
Love yourself unconditionally – We all have things about ourselves that we want to improve, but our love for ourselves should not be conditional on making those improvements. It is important that we love ourselves, not for the things we’ve done or plan to do, but for who we are. Love your uniqueness, your personality, your character traits and everything else that makes you who you are. The more you allow yourself to feel your own love and approval, the better you will feel about your life. In turn, the easier it will be for positive self-talk to become your natural tendency.
Do it anyhow
You may feel a little self conscious following some of these self-talk suggestions at first because they might be considerably different from the way you normally treat yourself. You need to do it anyhow because the more you practice them, the easier and more natural they will feel. Before you know, those old, negative recordings that used to undermine you will be a thing of the past. They will have been replaced with encouraging and empowering messages created through the power of positive self-talk.